The 2:40

By: pbcmedia

Nov 29 2008

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Photography, The Single Life, Train Travel


Focal Length:26mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

I love trains and everything about them.  I love the stations.  I like the food courts.  I particularly like when the trains are on ground level and you can see them through the doors of the station as you walk in.

My favorite railway stations in the world are in Boston, London, and Florence.

This is the 2:40 PM out of South Station in Boston.  It is approaching it’s final stop in this commuting town southwest of Boston and I’ll admit, I sped across town to this particular crossing  (I knew the sky would look good) to get this picture.  The train is not full but there are a surprising number of people who have decided to come home early.  I know this because this is usually the train I take back from Boston after an arts or photo day.

Freud need not be called in to figure out my attachment to trains since any arm chair psychologist would prove adequate to the task.

My father used to travel for his business and Chicago was a frequent destination.  Eventually, he began to fly but in the early years, which coincided with my early years, train travel to Chicago from Boston was the way to go.

We would drop him at the station and then pick him up four or five days later.  The only way you knew the train was arriving into the station was if you saw its light begin to emerge way down the track.  It began as just a flicker and then the beam steadily grew in diameter and steadiness.  I still remember being excited.

Did I also say that he usually brought gifts back with him?  He did but I like to think I was just glad to see him whether he brought me something or not.

Although, I have to admit that I do still find myself at the age of 63 scanning some of the tall men on the train with large suitcases to see if a stuffed animal or doll’s arm may be peeking out of their pockets.

(PS.  Tell me about your favorite train stations would you?  Where are they? Why do you like them?)

©Pat Coakley 2008


10 comments on “The 2:40”

  1. I love long train rides.

    I remember fondly, back in 1982, trying to explain why I laughed out loud after reading how two immigration officials got stampeded by pigs at an abattoir in Chicago when they yelled “freeze!” at some guys running away from them; to a local at the Atocha train station Madrid, who asked me, “que pasa?”.

    The situation was just so Spanish. The desire to share in the laughter and the open friendliness of the people there. For me, it’s always the people that make the place.

  2. You know, Razz, I’ve been thinking of “people” stories at railways of my life and I have two hilarious moments that I think I’ll blog about in the coming days. I think I have just started my “train” series. How about you? You were going to post some photos about your recent overnight train trip???

  3. I’m very glad you sped across town to capture this. I love the motion contrasted with the set environment, but I think the most interesting detail is the level of the train tracks. Being even with the road gives the whole thing a slightly surreal look. If the warning gates and lights weren’t there, this train could easily be some ghostly interloper plowing across a country road. There is an invasive feel to it.

    I’ve never taken a proper train trip (NJ Transit doesn’t count)…though I’ve always fantasized about riding the Orient Express through the mountains of southern europe. Someday…

  4. Ask and ye shall receive.

  5. Hiya Pat!

    Pomeroy missed you!

    Say… this is the second blog I just read about trains. Now I want to go ride on a train!

    Well… if I keep annoying my wife… I may be on the next train. Hmmm..

    Great picture. I love it!

    I love Grand Central. It’s dirty, sure. But I think it’s amazing. It’s old and beautiful in only a way that New York can offer.

  6. Pomdog! I just went to your site a couple of days ago to check if you were back! Yea! Grand Central is totally lovable but you still have to go beneath it to get on the trains.

    Razz, Your photos of the sleeper cabins make me a little claustrophobic. Is there no way for two people to sit opposite one another by the window? I’m trying to remember the ones I’ve been on without much success.

    Mt. Brooks! I just issued you a challenge to try and roust you out of your black hole and give you something to do while you await “someday” and your journey through the mountains of the southern Europe. I’m a pain in the rear but not in humdrum ways is about the best one can say about me.

  7. Yeah… I feel like the Moleman about to fight the Fantastic Four when I go underground.

    (Sidebar: I’d like to accept the dorkiest comment award now, thank you very much).

  8. O, now, this is why I have missed you so much! This is the dorkiest ever comment and it could only have come from you. PS. I went to where you do the reviews. I would so love to read it, Pomman, but it is so long! My attention span is that of a mayfly.

  9. Also, this title reminds me of the song “2:19” by Tom Waits. That’s a good thing.

    “Now I’ve got nothing but the whistle and the steam, My baby’s leaving town on the 2:19…”

  10. Love the photo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: