Chugging along

There’s always more to a train journey than one thinks possible. Start with booking a window seat and you could make your journey exciting and memorable.

Chugging along from Liverpool Street towards Ipswich and onwards to Darsham, the concrete and glass of the cities gave way to the pristine countryside as we travelled further north-east. Did you ever wonder why some trains are noisy and some really quiet… why some rides are bumpy and others really smooth? I am certain some train engineer could certainly give an appropriate answer, but for me the bumps and varied sounds are important, as is the occasional honk of the engine – to me it is a sign that this great big machine is alive and getting me further away from home, taking me through the unknown to someplace new.

For me, making this journey for the first time, every move, every sound, each aspect of the beautiful country zipping by, added to the experience. Sometimes bright and sunny, suddenly dark and cloudy. The stunning landscape, meadows and farms, cows and sheep peacefully grazing in their pasture, quaint homesteads and old church spires, and the unexpected bustle of the town life as a station approaches; the sudden aroma of freshly brewed coffee as the catering trolley passes by, or the ticket collector making his rounds. My eyes were constantly moving, taking in as much as I could while my mind made notes of the unusual.

What seemed the most interesting to me were the many stone bridges that suddenly pass over you, forcing you to crane your neck upwards only to see them pass by in seconds. Thinking back – they were all old stone bridges – nothing modern and new.

The change of trains at Ipswich was quick, and before I knew it, the train was pulling into Darsham. It was a little station, really nothing more than a platform with a sheltered area. Was I expecting something bigger?

As I stepped out of the station, a tiny old car pulled in – but certainly, it wasn’t my brother at the wheel – my ride was running late. I really didn’t mind. There’s always something to do, and there was. I looked across at the little parking lot at the old house – the sign said “Antiques” – the Darsham Station Emporium. Another adventure had just begun.

My train routes:
Liverpool Street – Stratford – Ingatestone – Chelmsford – Marks Tey – Colchester – Manningtree – Ipswich
Ipswich – Woodbridge – Saxmundham – Darsham

PS: Please excuse the reflections in the pictures – I think the trick (as I learnt much later) is to place the phone (camera) right against the window.

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