On The Path Towards Train Geekdom

I realized this morning as I found myself joining another Train/Railway Group, that I had become a train-geek. I believe it started back when Mom came home from work (she worked at our local Newspaper doing the ads and being the mother hen of the paper) with a picture an older gentleman had brought in of a steam engine coming into the old Station here in Dodge; from maybe the turn of the century.


Then I ended up marrying a Conductor who worked for CP, who eventually became an Engineer, and I believe he still is. We had a passing train interest, but it was more me than him. Then Mom bought him a model train for Christmas one year. I don’t think he really loved it as much as I did. Again, the awakening of my inner train-geek was afoot.

Cover of "The Station Agent"

Cover of The Station Agent

Even when I lived in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), I lived by the tracks. The Homestead is beside the tracks – although I know the house was here BEFORE the tracks were.

One of the movies in my personal TOP FIVE is about trains/railways – THE STATION AGENT. It’s about a man who inherits a railway Station from his co-worker. There are all sorts of true characters, and a plot that delves into how sometimes such different people are attracted to one another, often because of the one defining element that has placed them somewhat outside societies norms – about a man with dwarfism, a guido, and a woman dealing with loss.

Harrow on the Hill cutting on the London & Bir...

Harrow on the Hill cutting on the London & Birmingham Railway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Originally I joined the first Facebook train/railway group because I recently found out one of my ancestors worked on the London & Birmingham Railway in the 1830’s to the late 1840’s (England). I don’t know yet what he did, except that by the 1851 Canadian census he was listed as being a carpenter here in Ontario. I also know who he married, when, and that his daughter died in 1843, and his wife 2 years later – by 1851 he was in Canada with 3 of his sons, 1 (that I know of) stayed, as did 1 other girl (again, that I know of).

So at the time I wanted to know just more about that rail line, what its history was, if there were any documented accounts of life working on a railway line from that period? I could now walk over to the local library and log onto the library addition of Ancestry.com, but I haven’t ventured over yet.  I lost my geneology bug in the fall before Tim died, it will come back, but I guess I just got alittle tired with dealing with dead people.  I’m more attracted to the living right now.

English: Neil Young in concert in Oslo, Norway...

English: Neil Young in concert in Oslo, Norway in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THEN, my all time favourite musician, Neil Young, HE is a train-geek – goes to train fairs and such ALL the time. He got into it when he was looking for a way to help his severely disabled boy play. Confined to a wheel chair, and with little upper body dexterity, he required something he could interact with, yet for the most part have a very visual and dynamic reaction. AHA, Neil says, a big elaborate Model Train village, complete with a BIG RED BUTTON for his son to control the movement of all the moving bits, such as of course the train itself. Cool eh? What a good Dad. Love that man; I love his music, I love all his persian flaws, and his sincerity and his passion for music, and life in general. I love that he is so loyal to his band mates, and stands by his principles and values – sometimes to the detriment of his own career.

Therefore, I’m hooked. I’m officially proclaiming here and now that I AM A RAILWAY geek. Perhaps my fellow geeks don’t like the word geek, but I think geekdom is a term of honour. It proclaims that you choose to be different, you choose to follow your own passions and to heck what others may think. Peh!! C’est la vie

So, looks as though I may just have to go out get myself a model train. 😉 Would be cool to have a model train of the one in that picture of the Dodge Station.


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