Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Train keeps rolling

Well the Flying Scotsman does keep rolling as shown recently during trials in Lancashire. WOW!

Now, I've travelled on this record breaking locomotive in the early 1950's. I was born in London but my maternal grandparents lived in Aberdeen. What do I really recall about such an event ? Well the fabric covering the seats really was itchy! In those days one travelled in " Sunday best " and the material really irritated the skin on the backs of my legs!

I guess we changed trains at Edinburgh as I don't know if the Flying Scotsman went that far north . Perhaps someone knows ? After leaving Edinburgh we crossed the Forth Rail Bridge. Now this I remember vividly for it was traditional to throw coins out of the windows ( hopefully into the Forth but more likely onto the structure ). I envisage that railway gangers maintaining the bridge probably collected the pennies!

I've also been lucky whilst walking in Yorkshire to see steam trains on the Settle to Carlisle line. Spotted on the Ribblehead viaduct and from the Ribble Way footpath.

For an anniversary gift my late husband and I went on the steam train to Mallaig ( now known for it's association with Hogwarts) . Another memorable journey.

Nowadays I enjoy rail travel, even though it's not always very reliable! Annually I take a trip north to Elgin to visit friends in Buckie. Unfortunately both of Buckie's lines were axed so the wonderful coastline cannot be viewed this way any more and the people of these outlying ( but once thriving ) fishing communities have been left isolated . Meaning that the train no longer keeps rolling!

I wrote this piece after my northwards journey in 2015.


On the train speeding north
Through the fields and dales.
Past the villages, 'cross the rivers-
Seldom slowing down.

See the lambs, sparkling white
Running in the field.
The pony momentarily startled,
Raises his head and stares.

I recognise places as we pass,
Remembering long ago journeys.
Through the tunnels, under bridges.
Turbines slowly turning.

On the train , 'cross the Forth
I used to throw out pennies
Fifty or more years ago.
Follow the coastline closely.

On the train further north
Across the graceful viaducts.
See miniature cars below
Speeding on their journey.

Mountain tops covered in snow.
The sun glinting on waterfalls.
An iron bridge built for strength
A hundred years ago.

On the train going north.
Almost at my destination
Where a loved one waits patiently
To take me home for tea.

Thanks for reading......Kath


Adele said...

Can hear the rhythm and rattle of metal of rails as I read your poem. Lovely blog Kath.

Lady Curt said...

Thank you Adele for your kind words.