Sunday, April 03, 2005

Bluebell Railway, Sussex

Railway enthusiasts have, in different parts of the British Isles, rescued ancient steam engines, lovingly restored them, and are allowed to run them on special sections of rail. You discover that the driver, the guard, the conductor, and other personnel are in real life schoolmasters, professors, shopkeepers, chemists or merely retired train buffs who give their services free so that this generation can experience the feeling of real train travel, can smell that magic, acrid perfume of coal, soot and steam, can thrill to the owl-like hoot of the engine itself, can be sent into a trance by the rattle, clank and hiss of the train and then settle to that rhythmic clackety-clack like the heartbeat of the train itself. Eagerly, we wended our way down to the charmingly named Bluebell Railway.


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