Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Trains and Romance

What is it about the romance of trains and train stations? Train stations are the perfect setting for the cliche "goodbye" scene, or the "until we meet again" scene from a classic black and white film. It's perfect. One leading character on the train, as the other watches the train slowly pull out of the station. How can it not touch us?

But there is so much more to it. There's the scenery, the destination, and of course the journey.

I have a dream that one day I will be able to go take a trip on the Orient Express. They have many routes through Europe, with the same old, beautiful, and romantic cars that made the original trips from Paris to Istanbul. The beautiful cabins, the woodwork in the bar and dining cars, and the surrounding strangers all create the atmosphere. Oh, the Luxury! Cramped luxury, but luxury nonetheless.

I see myself with a cappuccino and a plate of scrambled eggs, sitting next to a window, and just feeling the atmosphere, and watching the scenery fly by me. I can't think of a more exciting way to travel!

One of my very favorite movies is Noel Coward's Brief Encounter. Much of the drama happens in the train station, and it is what brings the two leading characters together, which lead them to carry on their forbidden love affair. Alone on the train is also the perfect place for the female lead to voice her "inner monologue" about what is going on in her life, and what she thinks about it. I do not think the movie would be one half as good without one of its most important characters: the Train Station.

So, I hopefully leave you with something to spark an idea, which begins with a train, a journey, and a destination. Where will it take you... ?