Photo Friday: traveling by train

Mia culpa!  This got posted before I was finished editing, but I think I got it now.  ~ L   😉

Once upon a time travel by train was the ultimate in luxury, though I am sure that those who traveled by rail in its infancy might argue that point.

Photo credit:  Scanning around with Gene – please click the photo for source and many other wonderful vintage photos and adds.


As a child, in California, my 2nd grade class took a ride on the train to the San Bernardino Depot.  It was a wonderful experience, though I also remember how cheated felt on finding out we did not get a return trip!

San Bernardino Train Depot, California

I also recall arguing with my teacher about this point.  At which time she put her hand firmly on my arm, and with the conductor’s assistance, redirected me to the bus!

Photo credit:  Scanning around with Gene – please click the photo for source and many other wonderful vintage photos and adds.

The picture is the right vintage, but do you see that the Teacher and Conductor have strained smiles… and me?  No way was I smilin’!  Posers all!


Later in my life I would meet my husband Bob.  He and his father were great train enthusiasts.  Why, he even had a model RR set up in his bedroom that was so big it went edge to edge, taking up a full two-thirds of the room.   That  necessitated the placement of his bed shoved head first into one closet, with the chest of drawers shoved into the other!   Me, being a tomboy at heart, loved to watch him and his dad run the HO Scale models on the layout.  There were mountains that climbed the back walls, tunnels, bridges, a town and more.  All done to exacting scale and very realistic.


Jump forward to this November when we went to the Huntsville train museum with our friends Pam and Tim…  They wanted to take the “Fall Color Ride” and could either of us say no?  Of course not!

The following photographs were taken on that day and recalled many memories of times that are no more…

In its heyday, the dining car carried folks long distances, and you were  wined and dined in comfort and luxury.


Looking about I saw

A Diner’s still bright windows,

and  I thought to myself, 

“They resemble eyes, still bright, that remember better days.”

Clinging vines tying iron wheels to the tracks,

dust, rust, and

Couplers gone green with algae

were now rendered useless.

The men who remember,

some as old as the relics they tend, 

dream of a time when life was large

and mighty engines



and rattled down the tracks,

taking us to where we were going

in style and luxury.

A time that passed…

and is no more.



31 thoughts on “Photo Friday: traveling by train

  1. promenadeplantings says:

    A lovely post and beautiful photos. I love long distance train journey’s there is something about the rhythm and the changing scenery, your fellow passangers, life on the outside flashing by. Just makes me want to pack my bags and book a ticket!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hello Clair, I haven’t traveled by train much as I would like, though I wish I could. I did take the Metrolink often when I lived in Southern California. I used to take my bicycle with me and use it for transportation to and from the depot. I think my ultimate fantasy train ride would be to travel on the Orient Express, back in the day of course. 😉

  2. littlesundog says:

    Nice post! I have never taken the train. I never lived in an area where it was easily accessible nor could it have taken me anywhere I needed to be. Love the history and photos!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Lil’ Sun Dog! If you ever get the opportunity I highly recommend it. The view from the tracks is rich and diverse, but the tracks through the cities are a very candid view! I still laugh when I think of all the little boys who would line up to yell and make faces at the Metrolink trains when they went by. Too funny!

  3. Lindy Barnes says:

    When I was a girl we had trains leaving Plymouth, MI (my hometown). We often took the train and loved doing so. We need a return to trains and get many of the gas guzzling cars off the roads.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Oh how I wish, Lindy! We used to have the most magnificent cross country and inter-city rail systems and sadly most have been torn out. The rails in SoCal were replaced by buses in the 50s… a political scandal if you ask me. Now you see them running empty on their routes, given up in preference to the privacy and expediency of their own cars. It really is a shame. However, people are coming round to the convenience of the commuter train. Sadly, it’s expensive to get the tracks back with today’s dollars…

  4. Stevie Taylor says:

    The trains still run through our small town. And all the small towns around us have a depot. Sometimes the train still stops there and sometimes it’s just an inn or a coffee shop. But there’s something pleasant about having train tracks that run through the center of town and every child in the library (also downtown town, parallel t the tracks) runs to the picture windows when they hear the whistle so they can watch it go by. Quite a sight to see!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hi Stevie, I Didn’t think of it till I read your comment, but when I was seven, there was a train track that ran right through the center of the street in front of the house where my grandmother used to live. My cousin and I used to run out to the front porch steps to watch them go by. We’d wave like crazy at all the RR workers on board. They always waved back, and sometimes the Engineer would blow the horn too! Such fun! The kids do enjoy the trains, and big equipment as well, like fire engines, garbage trucks, bulldozers and such. 🙂 ~ L

  5. kerryl29 says:

    Simply a terrific installment.

    When I was in college in Ann Arbor, Michigan I took the train back and forth to Chicago when we went on break at the U. of Michigan (limited to Thanksgiving, Xmas/New Year’s and the so-called spring break, which was actually at the tail end of February). The romance, such as it was, wore off pretty quickly. 🙂 This was in the mid-1980s, long after the golden age of passenger rail in the U.S. had faded into the ether.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Kerry, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I miss the old trains, but then, I am certain that each of us misses something from our youth that we felt was grand and should not have faded. ~ L

  6. Penny Keach says:

    Great photos and writing, Lynda! I go to to Claremont often and cross the tracks all the time. My Curves studio is about 50 feet from them, so we hear the whistle and roar all the time. By the bye, Judy Wright, former Claremont mayor and savior of the old depot there, just passed away from a heart attack. You may remember her. Did Bob ever buy train stuff at the Train Stop in San Dimas? The owner there, Paul Kirby, recently passed too, and my Dave has been helping Sue, his widow, the last couple of months, first with selling as much as possible for the Christmas season, and now inventorying what’s left to either sell the store or the contents, noone knows for sure yet. Quite a fun place; it adds a lot to the charm of San Dimas.

  7. Penny Keach says:

    Oh, another thing! I went to the zoo on the train in Kindergarten, will never forget it. I would love to take steam train rides wherever I could. they are like living, breathing beings.

  8. Margaret says:

    I used to take the train from Toccoa GA to Tuscaloosa AL in the summer with my children. When it was the Southern Crescent, it was wonderful. It is still nice except the toilets are now porta potties. YUCK. My grandaughter and I rode the other way 12 years ago. The diner was still good and we ate right outside of Birmingham. Real plates and silverware and glasses. It is still somewhat romantic if you ride by yourself. You can dream that you fit in those vintage photos!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hi Margaret! I think I will have to try your suggestion and find a fun place to travel to… I am such a good dreamer… (Although porta-potties do take a bit of the Southern Charm off the idea! 😉

  9. Donna says:

    My dad use to be heavily involved in the North Alabama Railroad Museum. He is also a HUGE train enthusiast and is trying very hard to get my son into it. (Dad informed me last week that I needed to go buy x amount of plywood for my son’s layout they are planning in MY basement. 🙂 Truth be told, I’ll probably have just as much fun with it, if not more so. By the way, if your husband is still into model railroading, is he familiar with the Redstone Model RR Club?

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hello Donna,

      Sad to say, but Bob’s interest in MRR waned when his father passed. As a matter of fact, we have a box or two of MRR buildings and an assortment of other goodies that your father and son might be interested in. Seems a shame to let them sit and go for dust and ruin don’t you think? If you are interested have your father email me so we can send them along (email on home page). You did say that he was in the area did you not? The ‘stuff’ is free, but the special engines will have a price tag. The steam engines are all metal, one is articulated, and all are from the 40s and 50s. ~ L

So how about that? Go on; say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s