Do Railway Stations Still Have a Measure of Magic?
A photograph of Grimsby Town Railway station was going to be the catalyst for a ‘history’ article but instead I thought perhaps something more ethereal, whimsical and self-indulgent perhaps . . .
Is there still romance, excitement and intrigue to be found at railways stations . . . ?
Trains are special, not as special as the once were of course, steam and the era of travel made them more evocative but they’re still different.
I suggest that going on a special trip by train is far more feels like more of an occasion than going to the same place by car
A train station seems to hold a pull that that other venues do not, certainly historically. Look at all those tremendous scenes in black and white films featuring a train station!
It was a place for love and murder, for separations and reunions, so strong was the pull that you could centre a wonderful film around one, Brief Encounter is a delight which owes so much to the mystery and romantic notion that a railway station can supply
Grimsby Town Railway Station is unlikely to be used for a remake of Brief Encounter today, the best it could do was get a mention in John Le Carre’s book Tinker, Tailor but it did once look different it it would once upon a time have been home to all mentioned above.
Here’s a wonderful image very kindly sent in by Neville . . .
It’s been a long time since I travelled by train and of course much of the magic I talk of here is long since gone, commuters forced to travel by train go through, it seems to me, nothing but a very expensive living nightmare so perhaps we’ll just keep those rose tinted spectacles on and look back at those times when train stations were places that spies met at, where lovers waved each other goodbye or ran into each others arms, where parents waved as their sons went off to war.
I wonder sometimes whether I wasn’t born in the wrong era as I don’t want to travel at 200mph on a state-of-the-art HS rail line, I’d much sooner potter at a sedate pace in a wood panelled carriage pulled by a steam loco. I’d prefer to see the men at the station wearing suits and trilby hats and elegant women who have some pride on their appearance and manner.
I realise that much of the above is romantic nonsense but it does feel like we’ve lost a lot, I know much is better nowadays but we could have had the improvements without discarding all that we’ve lost.
Why not share a special moment you know of which happened at a train station, how about thinking only of nice things rather than depressing things and wallow in a little nostalgia, whether we ever experienced it or not . . .