Based around the column "Trevor's Travels" published each Sunday in the San Bernardino Sun, with some detours along the way.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Trains Part Two
When I was about ten I had a friend, Chris, who introduced me to a pretty amazing experience. He took me down a steep embankment to the edge of the railway track about five miles from Watford Junction. It was some 100 yards from the tunnel that took trains north toward Birmingham about 90 miles away. At a few minutes after five each evening, the express would come through and Chris would lay some pennies on the rail and await the train. We would crouch alongside the line and eventually hear a slight ticking on the rails, then a whispering followed by a full bodied murmur. Finally in a gust of air and smoke the beast would roar out of the tunnel and thrash it's way past us, pulling its dozen carriages at about 70 m.p.h. We would squat about three feet from the railway bed and that meant about six feet from the rail itself. It was a terrifying experience but we were quite safe as long as we didn't move. We were too scared to. At best we never found more than half the pennies we had placed, but the ones we collected were pretty banged up and precious souvenirs for a long time. I only went a couple of times with him. My mother would have killed me had she known!