down there by the train

We live close to the train tracks. We run parallel to them, two streets away. No passenger trains here though, purely coal trains – 24/7. Full ones coming in and empties going back out up the valley, as far as the eye can see.

I’m awake a lot through the night and now that it’s summer I have the window open and I often lie there and listen to all the noises the trains make. I quite like train noises.

I walk over the bridge at least four times a day and I always have a look and see what’s happening and take photo’s. That’s the TAFE I go to everyday there in the background, those brick buildings.

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15 thoughts on “down there by the train

  1. fun photos. i occassionally hear trains in summer (going to/from the Port of Los Angeles) but hear the local metro every night – even now, in winter, with the windows shut. Ever now and again (wow – there’s a train horn blowing at this very moment), I can hear announcements from the metro station but never clearly enough to know what’s being said.

    • I don’t think I’d like voices, I just like the shunting and screeching and whistles. Sometimes in the middle of it all I hear a boat horn which always makes me laugh because we’re a fairly long way from water. I mean there are a lot of ships about waiting to take all this coal far away but I never think of them as being that close. But every now and then amongst all the metal railway sounds you hear this long sort of sad boat calling out. Well it amuses me at 3am anyway.

    • Thanks – I can’t take credit for the processing though – I took these using my iphone with the hipstamatic app. The iphone is a handy little camera.

  2. These photos are very atmospheric.

    We live farther away from the tracks so we don’t hear them, which is good as there are freight trains rumbling through all the time and several passenger trains a day. Of course, most of my shopping and doctors and errands are on the other side of the tracks, so I get stopped at crossings a lot. I don’t care for the DING DING DING bell, though of course it’s important.

    We live even farther from the public transit, but many times in the evenings when the weather is right, we can hear that if the windows are open. Those trains make a particular whistling noise that is very distinctive, but we don’t hear any announcements.

    It beats when we used to live within earshot of the speedway! Funny cars all summer long.

    • This line has the road going over the tracks which is good for traffic as it’d be stopped all the time otherwise. The passenger lines can be a nightmare, they all have cars crossing and at peak hour in some areas the traffic can become a nightmare. Peole are always complaining about it but there’s nothing really that can be done about it, it’s just the way the city was developed.

      • It was a big deal here when they got all the crossings at grade level instead of having the rails raised up above the road so you had to bump over them slowly every time. There are trestles over many of the roads, but there’s really no way and no room to put either the road or the trains up in this part of town. It’s only a few times a day, but it’s always when I’m out, it seems!

        • There’s always a lot of debate here about what to do with the lines. For years now there has been talk about ending the heavy line tracks just out of the city centre and putting in light rail or bus services to the city centre but the Save the Rail group always seem to have a lot of power over the decision. I often wonder if any of these Save the Rail people actually ever spend any time on a train or sitting at a rail crossing because it would really make the city centre more appealing and allow things to flow easier.

  3. I love the photos, especially the fourth one down with the gorgeous clouds.
    When I was a teenager we lived near railroad tracks and I used to love listening to the trains on summer nights. It reminded me of an orchestra tuning up.

    • I love that photo as well, it’s one of my all time favourite ever photo’s. I took it with my phone camera one morning when I was walking over the tracks. It is like an orchestra isn’t it, last night they were very noisy, lots of screeching and banging and even a few horn toots. They very rarely toot. When they do it always makes me think of the kids show Thomas the Tank Engine (it’s an english thing that showed here, it was narrated by Ringo Starr) and all the trains talked to each other and raced each other and when I hear a toot I always imagine one train is getting impatient with a carriage to get a move on.

        • Homey, I’m pretty sure Thomas is still on. It was on PBS here. I don’t know if they’re still showing reruns of the live-action ones, but the cartoon version must still be on b/c I see the toys and clothes around.

          Wiki says they’re still making the cartoon one, in Canada.

          After Ringo left, the US versions used George Carlin (!!) and Alec Baldwin. I remember seeing Carlin as Mr. Conductor and you’d never have guessed it was the same guy from the 7 Words You Can’t Say On TV.

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