Abandoned | Train Car |

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy Monday. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was good despite the fact we all seem to be getting a bit of a summer cold, but we were able to get out a bit and enjoy the sunshine this weekend and make it to the farmers market. I also found my own abandoned thing to take photos of. I have loved trains for a long time, growing up there was one near my house and waking up to it rumbling by in the middle of the night was one of my favorite sounds. I once got in some pretty serious trouble when my friends mom found smashed pennies in the pockets of our laundry, but it was worth it for those few afternoons we spent waiting for trains to go by. And really were very safe about it - we'd set them out and climb way high up in the bank and wait for them to shoot out under the trains. (But seriously, kids, don't play next to train tracks! While we were very cautious of not being run over by the trains, I am pretty sure those shooting pennies could have caused us some serious damage.). 

My oldest, Fisher, and I took the train once from Portland to South Carolina and it is one of my fondest memories. It was after nine-eleven and, though, we were safely on the west coast nor did I have any personal connections, I think it was absolutely something that affected everybody in the states on a very visceral level. And for a person who already hates flying, this pushed my fear over to a debilitating edge for awhile (which had nothing to do with terrorist by the way, just a fear of flying having been validated in an already anxious-to-fly mind). Soon after we had a reunion to attend on the east coast that I did not want to miss (or fly to) and so going by train it was. It was a long train ride. I think we spent 9 days on the train in total and, no, we didn't have a sleeping cabin, I don't even know what the inside of one looks like. But I spent some time on that ride imaging what they might look like, trying to remember what a bed felt like. There were some lows, but mostly it was completely magical. I traveled through states I may never see again, ate the best cookies I have ever had, before or since, given to us by an Amish father and son (made by the mother and sister), had long conversations with people from Ohio and California and New Jersey and everywhere in between, from all walks of life. We sat on the lookout decks and sped from one world to the next. Glacier national park, snow packed North Dakota, fields of Wisconsin, to the fringes of Baltimore where people were living in boarded up buildings. We saw so many different parts of American and American life, and played lots of hands of uno. We spent a day in Chicago and in Washington DC, as well as a night in New York, and I think it may have been one time my fears served me well. I hate to think of all the things I would have missed if would we have flown. I am not sure I would have ever really considered taking the train otherwise. And, really, I'd love to do it again and I truly hope that going by train doesn't become a completely archaic form of travel. There were lots of rumors on our trip that the "empire builder route" was going to be closed, but it's still going, so hopefully not.

I don't know anything about this train car other than it definitely looks like it was for passengers. And as soon as I stepped in, well, right after I made sure I wasn't going to fall through the rusty floor, I got an heavy since of nostalgia. The sense that this was once an amazingly beautiful place and a luxurious way to travel. There were stained glass ventilation windows, a small foyer where you could see that it once obviously had beautiful woodwork and an ornate light fixture, and as you can see, it also had amazing tin ceilings. One of my favorite aspects was the note written on the back of one of the doors which reads (i think): Jan 20 -1932 9- men laid of yesterday, me [? - i can't figure that word out] wonder how long I will be here. B.A. Duzell. 

Have you ever traveled by train? 


  1. A wife of a friend of Jeff's has a fear of flying and has never been on a plane. They did a train tour of Canada for their honeymoon, and make a 28 hour train journey home to Chicago every major holiday. Jeff and I joked, probably somewhat cruelly, that if we were her husband (or if that were one of us) we'd stick her on a train and fly and meet them at the train station whenever she got there. I don't mind air travel, I just don't love take offs and landings so much. I think I'm afraid there is going to be a Challenger-esque explosion when we get off the ground. But your train trip sounded amazing, what a treat you got to share with Fisher. Aside from taking the train to DC or New York, I haven't had much experience. And those are only 2 hour trips. Nine days! You guys are troopers.
    This might be up your alley, it's from an old episode of Sunday Morning: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/pullman-rail-cars-a-detour-back-through-time/

  2. Beautiful photos you've taken, Christine! And your train trip sounds like quite an adventure. I can't say the train is my favourite means of transportation (I always prefer the car or plane), but I have travelled by train hundreds of times and now, that I don't take the train that often, I can say that I'm really enjoying it. And this is an element that has always fascinated me in movies.

  3. How cool is that! Love these photos. And wow Portland to South Carolina I bet that was fun. I wish I could do something like this, but I have such bad insomnia prob not to practical for me.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC

  4. wow, your train trip sounds amazing. I love, love, love long train journeys and would kill to cross America that way. your photos of the abandoned train car are fantastic too. two of my favourite things together! what's not to love? xo

  5. Beautiful photos! What a cool experience (this train car and the train trip with Fisher too). XO

  6. There is nothing about this post that I don't love. It's a dream of mine to travel across the US or Canada by train (but I'm old, so I might need a sleeping car!). We don't travel the way we want, using trains, even though we now have a station right in our town. Europe is where most of my train travel happens, and let's face it: I love that too.

    And this abandoned car? LOVE. It reminds me of when we were in Hungary a few years ago and explored an abandoned rail car with the group we were with. Haunting.

  7. I love these photos. It's something romantic in a train like this. I will love try the Orient's express one!

  8. I like this site.a nice train car. car transport shipping


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