I don’t know if anyone else had a little brother who was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine/trains, but I spent a lot of time listening to my little brother watching it in another room. He used to wake up really early in the morning in order to watch it, which was aggravating beyond belief.
Anyway, there’s this movie, Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Of all the weird things about Thomas, this movie has got to be the epitome. Instead of stop-motion weirdness, they try live-action. I have so many problems with this movie that I won’t even try to describe them. However, there is one thing that this movie has going for it: an abandoned railroad.
I’m not sure what it is about abandoned railroads that seems so fascinating to me. It’s definitely not the train part. I hate trains. It’s the nostalgic aspect, more than likely. However, abandoned railroads don’t do the same thing for me as the ruins of castles or old forests (Ghost towns creep me out).
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that castles and forests have an element of home to them. People, animals, living things resided there. It’s easy to picture the life that once existed in a place and all the history that happened there. With an abandoned railroad, it’s much different. Nothing ever lived or belonged there. It’s a new level of loneliness. The only life that has anything to do with it is the people present when the track was laid.
If you think about that, it gets even lonelier. Think about a hundred and fifty years ago with the Transcontinental Railroad. Those people traveled along the work sight for such a long time. Every foot of rail is just the same as the one that came before it and the one after it. It isn’t likely that any of them is going to remember a specific length of rail. Not only is it not remembered initially, it is to be abandoned later.
Not to mention, trains are solitary as well. Everything about it is just sad.
Crap… I think I’m becoming a bit of a romantic. Trains, castles, forests. Not to mention I’ve been looking at way too many baby animal photos on the internet lately…