Old Steamer.

Old Steamer.


Once again the steam whistle sounded its wheezy asthmatic sound telling the passengers that the train was stopping. Looking out of the not too clean windows I watched the moving countryside coming to a stop. The window was one of the old kind that one had to pull up a wide leather belt. This moved the window up then it dropped down leaving the view free.


We have not stopped because someone wanted to get on or off of the train. The news was shouted back to the passengers from the locomotive. A cow had wandered onto the tracks and made herself comfortable. The driver and the man feeding the fire with coal managed at last to move the cow.


The wheezy whistle gave off another of its asthmatic sounds and clouds of smoke belched from the chimney of the train blowing back so that all closed their windows as quickly as they could. The slowly moving countryside changed from deep green to a brownish colour we were now moving up into the mountains.


The noise coming back from the engine pulling the train became louder. One now heard the different tones as the driver of the train opened up other valves increasing the pressure of the steam. The traction of the wheels were now being helped with trickles of sand running down in front of the wheels to stop them slipping on the rail tracks.


The wheezy old whistle sounded again and I watched from the dirty glass of the window as we pulled into the first regular stop of the train. The train shuddered to a standstill and as if to celebrate our arrival the driver sounded the whistle again and again.


A few passengers carrying suitcases managed to board the train. Five minutes later the whistle sounded again and the engine gave off what sounded like a protest at being made to move once more.


Later another stop and it was my turn to leave this old relic that had seen better days. I stepped off the train with my suitcase in my hand. The few steps to the exit I managed quite well. The porter on duty asked me for my ticket. I could not find it. I am the type that explodes quite easily and I could feel the anger building up.


Annoyance not at the Porter that was only doing his duty, but at my own silliness for not having my ticket ready to hand over. The Porter told me to look inside the lining of my hat. Now feeling a right fool I took off my hat and there was the stupid ticket. I gave my ticket to the Porter who tore it in two halves and left the railway Station. The driver of the train as if to wish me farewell blew once more the asthmatic whistle of the train’s engine. I will never travel by train again this experience was enough to last me a lifetime.

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bishu's picture

So nice to see the bunch of colour in your profile picture

So nice to see the bunch of colour in your profile picture. You are galloping well Respected Sir.I seem to become lazy off late but I hope to splatter more goo in future. May happiness go to you sailing on the wings of good wishes from a tiny friend.Where was that ? Perth.... a man's leg got stuck between the train and the platform. Fifty passengers tilted the heavy train and freed the man's legs ! Was it a miracle ??? Or simply "good intentions"? Time for "Shut UP"