Okay, so he's no Awdry, but E.M. Forster's not a bad writer and so today we turn to him for a quotation:
Railway termini. They are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.
Sometimes these days it seems as if we have lost the romance of railway travel that Forster conjures up. When we think of trains too often its the functional and banal, the commute to work, the means of travel rather than the end. We need to rediscover the excitement of railways, the opportunity they offer to travel and discover, to see the world in a relaxed way impossible by car or by air. There's amazing literature based on railway journeys.
[Not all journeys that produce artistic successes are great, Kenny Rogers' Gambler only comes about because of how boring the journey is:
On a warm summers evenin on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin' out the window at the darknesstil boredom overtook us, and he began to speak
Well, not everything can be fun]