Saturday, May 05, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Traveling on the Night Train

There's something about the sound of a train whistle in the night that has tugged at my heart for as long as I can remember. Lying in bed, almost asleep, I hear that distant whistle and I am transported onto that train. In my imagination I am elegantly dressed and clinking champagne glasses with other passengers in a luxurious dining car. Another time, I'm curled up in an upper berth, listening to the snoring of the nearest passenger and the rumbling of the wheels on the track below us. Or, I am a young girl, dressed in tattered overalls, my hair tucked under a straw hat, holding the hand of my beard-stubbled father, huddling together in the corner of a freight car, keeping our distance from the other tired hobos as we pass through the midwestern night.

These imaginary journeys have been with me since childhood, each one different from the last one, but every one comforting in its own way.

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt is a picture of a miniature railway. I don't have any old photos of trains, sepia or otherwise, but I do have a newer  one, taken only this past November at a local museum:

The photo isn't old, but the train is. As it turns out, the only train in my photo collection is also a miniature. That's serendipity, I think.

So tell me: what kind of magic does a train whistle work on you?


This week's Saturday Song Selection is a long-time favorite song about trains. I'm pretty sure it's one you know.


The song is "The City of New Orleans" by Arlo Guthrie.
Thanks to fender1955 for posting this video on YouTube.
Click here for the lyrics.

To see how others have interpreted this week's theme,
click on the image below and follow the links. Allllll abooooard!


  1. oh, what a cute miniature train. Too bad it has seen better days. I wish it was still running somewhere and making children happy.
    I love arlo guthrie

  2. That's a fine old train. Travelling on a night train reminds me of my days in the army and catching a train at midnight on a Sunday, back to camp. Oh and sleeping on the luggage rack.

  3. Serendipity indeed. The Arlo Guthrie is very catchy; I’ve a feeling I’ll be singing it all evening.

  4. What a wonderful post. My mom, who I believe is the same age as you, describes her memories of listening to the train exactly the same way you do, right down to imagining the hobos on the empty cars. That and the "bulls" slapping them around when they were caught. She told me when she used to hear it at night, she'd feel very safe and warm in her own bed. I love that the experience was the same even though you and she lived a country apart at the time

  5. Great song, although a little sad listening to that while looking at the old miniature train parked in some long forgotten siding.

  6. Your writing is so beautifully descriptive I can visualize what you are saying. Wonderful post.

  7. thanks...I love that song andI had not thought of it in years...


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