I had a train set growing up but it was nothing special out of all my toys. I would put the wooden tracks together and build the trains and play with them for awhile and they would end up back in the box in the closet.
It was not until I was in my early 20’s when I started working graveyards that I became fascinated by trains.
On my nights off, on the couch watching television unable to sleep, around midnight, I would hear the train off in the distance in the City of Angels.
My hearing was not good enough to hear it in my sleep therefore this was the first time I heard those trains at night even though I had lived in my childhood house my whole life.
There was something I could not describe about those trains. Something about the sound. Traveling in the dark of night. Horns blaring. Steel clanking down the metal tracks. So far away but audible.
Fast forward moving out… 5 years of living in San Francisco and then moving to my beloved small town in 2004. This town has railroad and train history.
Still unable to sleep on a graveyard schedule many nights, the trains go by and I smile every time I hear them. It takes me back to being a young girl hearing the trains in my room at home. Now in my third residence in this town, it also takes me back to my first home in bed reading late at night hearing them zoom by, with the windows open.
In my second residence, where I lived for a year, I could see the train across the highway and open fields from my living room and bedroom windows. So, for the first time, I could see not only hear the train, but I was seeing it. They would go by several times a day. I would stand in the window or out on the patio watching the train go by.
I fell in love with the train even more. That is the thing I miss about living there. That and the amazing sunsets as backdrop at the horizon.
Last time I heard the train from where I live now, I was taking a candlelit bubble bath and reading when the train sounded its horn late at night.
Yet again, I smiled.
Today, I headed one city north which I rarely get out to since everything I need is super close to home. I decided to go for a little ride and coming back on the one-lane road before the highway started, I was running right along the train! There is no sidewalk, just the pavement to pebble road and tracks. I had never driven on that road when a train was going by. And never been so close to a train moving!
Exhilarating and boy, I had a train moment. Is this what little boys feel when they become infatuated with Thomas the Train and train sets and the horn?
I sped up and sailed along side the train until I had to turn onto the highway. I could have rode straight on that road along the train for a long time!
Jason Aldean has come out with a song called Night Train that I love driving to. No idea why. Something about the beat of the song. And the words have made me decide to take my train fascination to the next level.
Why this song is a fantasy, no clue. I am weird, that is nothing new. I guess it is something about being in the moment, the innocence, the exhilaration and the cool evening romance.
Well, I do not have the romance but a new girlfriend of mine lives right by the tracks on the other side of town. She loves Night Train too. I told her one night I am coming over, we will have dinner and a glass of wine, slip on some tennis shoes, and go run out by the night train.
Thankfully she did not look at me like I was crazy, but instead replied, “I’m up for that!”
So, come on baby, let’s go listen to the night train!
(Jason’s video of this song does not have trains in it. This is a lyric video that creates a better train video image.)