I’ve never been on an American train. I dismissed a vague plan I had to see the country by train, deciding car is better for the nature lover.
But travelling one arid day through Arizona, as you do, from Sedona to Winslow (famed in the Eagles song Take It Easy) we saw a train. Not the 7.38am from Manchester to Leeds. Or a more impressive fly covered Virgin service to London. But a bloody great freight job on the line that ran parallel with the road between Albuquerque and Los Angeles.
This thing impressed. Not for its dirty great open trucks, or shabby looking branded sealed units. But it’s sheer length. This thing went on forever. As we were heading in opposite directions it was hard to estimate that length. A mile perhaps? It would certainly overrun the platform at Sowerby Bridge! Subsequent trips out west have matched it.
This month’s journey from Mount Washington to Manchester Village in New Hampshire ended at a motel overlooking another railway line. We heard the horn of an approaching train. A sense of excitement at the chance to see another of these monsters go by.
Another horn. The sound of motion now nearby. Cameras at the ready, despite New England’s green summer shrubbery partially hiding the railway line. A bright yellow monster of an engine came into site. Video camera initiated. The highlight of the trip’s only damp day to follow.
A few seconds later three trucks had passed by and that was that. This was not quite in line with our expectations. A tad shorter. Video deleted. Enjoy The Eagles.