|Images from Google|
I've made frequent good use of trains in the past couple of years. Whether it's just hitching a ride into town, exploring a local dwelling or going on a small break away... I seem to have become a bit of a train advocate. Now, I have to admit, my mom is a huge train fanatic (just call her Shelly Cooper), and eggs me on to use the good ol' trains as my mode of transport at any chance she gets. Mom loves the whole experience. She romanticises the steady chug of the train on the track, and the trolley carrying cheese sandwiches and plastic cups of tea... it's as if she's transported back to 1930, sitting in a compartment on a bright red steam train (minus the plastic cups though perhaps).
However, I do understand her enthusiasm. When I'm on the train, it's as if life has been paused. You're happily confined to the vehicle - yes, there's often wifi, but it's so slow that nobody bothers with it - and waiting for a decent 3G signal gets boring after a while. And so you are left with the views, your thoughts, the people around you, and maybe a book. It sounds clichéd, but it's like being in a different world - a speeding capsule of unique character. Trains cut through areas that you wouldn't see in the car, so I find it very intriguing. I recently caught the train to Llandudno, and the journey consisted of zooming on a viaduct, high above luscious welsh valleys, in addition to skimming the waves at the water's edge.
My friend Lauren and I occupied ourselves on our journey to Liverpool, by doing a spot of people watching. We were entertained by a peculiar pair's conversation, in which the excruciatingly irritating, forty-something year old son, almost bored his poor mother to tears... she literally had her head in her hands and feebly asked, "Can we change the subject now please?".
My grandparents very kindly bought me a 16-25 railcard last month, meaning for £30 a year, I get one third off train fares :) I feel like the country is my oyster! For a good price, I can jump on a train and explore hundreds of cities and towns. I love making the most of the UK and touring all the lovely locations that we are lucky to have - who says you can't have a fab holiday in your own country?! Although I am seventeen, I haven't even considered having driving lessons yet. I feel that I travel around pretty well, and have independence, by taking advantage of public transport. It helps that I live in a major city too I should add.
Of course, there are downsides to train travel... the other week I felt like a sardine when my train had three times too many people on it... but let's not taint this positive post with complaints ;)
I agree with my mom that train journeys are an experience, an experience that can be surprisingly rewarding.
Are you a fan of train travel?