A boy and his train
Image by alexanderino
This steam-hauled train was set to depart Sydney Central at 0700 hrs. on Sunday. Trains are my other surviving love from childhood,and I could not pass this opportunity to play with my new Canon. A few friends had bought tickets, so it was a good excuse to see them off.
Come 0700 h. and virtually everyone had climbed aboard. The driver was waiting for the green light, and I was by loco 3801’s side, happily snapping away, when this boy and his father caught my eye. In an instant, I was transported back in time and space to India when my parents took me to Bombay [now Mumbai] as a boy of four. After a stopover at Pune, we caught the prestigious Deccan Queen, hauled by a majestic WCM-1 electric locomotive in matching livery. That 192 k.m. ride remains one of my all-time favourites. Such effortless performance from the loco through hilly terrain, I was smitten and simply had to get a better look.
After we arrived at Victoria Terminus, we were walking past the loco. From my perspective, it was enormous! I plugged my ears in fear of its horn. It was a wise move as it filled the station with its thunderous roar. That event was a stepping stone in my career as a budding railfan.
On the return journey, I threw a rare, but potent, tantrum since we didn’t catch the same train back to Pune, and then another to Cochin [my hometown]. I was inconsolable for days.
Back to the present: the signal went green, and the loco let out a huge hiss of steam, engulfing them both. By now, the boy had clamped his ears, but the look of fascination never left him. He was riveted by the magic that only steam wields. His father looked affected in a similar fashion, as was his wife, who had joined them.
After the departure, I introduced myself to Mark [dad], Simone [mum] and Declan [boy]. Simone confirmed Declan has a growing fascination with trains. Declan’s grandfather actually worked on this locomotive many years ago. Perhaps railfanning is genetically passed on 🙂 A cute boy, reminiscent of a younger me.