First Train From Ratville

The fur of my coat collar tickled my neck as I snuggled into it waiting for the train. The diehards were already here – automatons with coffee (not a judgment, rather the observation of one who has been there – back in the day).

The air gathered visibly as I sighed loudly, I could hear the cold. The sun cut a swath through the grey-blue tone of the sky and burst into a loud giggle that hurt my eyes.

The train approached, its awesomeness even turning the heads of the regulars. It gracefully sidled up beside me, dropping its gleaming steel skirts beside the platform. The doors opened all at once in an Elizabethan bow, inviting us to enter the party.

Trains remind me of trains; from the 1920s sleeper from Ha Noi to Lao Cai; the 1960s compartment for an adventure weekend; the 1900s open air to the races and now the ratville express. It never gets old.

It keeps being re-imagined. The tunnel between Italy and Austria opens in 2016, and I plan to be on the first train through it. The tunnel promises to challenge the aircraft for efficiency. That’s fine as long as it maintains the dignity and elegance of train travel.

As I begin to pencil my map of train experiences, and where to next, I will be keeping a close eye (well the Valet will be instructed to keep a close eye) on the Gotthard Base Tunnel, AND be first in line for tickets…

Until then I will need to entertain myself with High Tea on the Singapore Flyer, not a train, but still very elegant…


Facey Comments

12 Responses to “First Train From Ratville”
  1. says:

    gosh I remember that train trip too…. Hanoi to Lao Cai on our way to Sapa in Vietnam. we treated ourselves on that trip by booking the ‘sleeper’ carriage. there are 4 bunks in the carriage and instead of sharing, we booked the whole carriage for ourselves. ahh memories of that long trip are wonderful, especially when you’re half naked and peep out through the curtains at daylight, only to see the guard staring back at you. not sure who got the worst fright.

    • Siobhan says:

      Why would you ever be half-naked anywhere….you have a very poor track record in this regard! Cover up sista 🙂

  2. Donna Guille says:

    There must a million train stories…. a friend and I travelled on the overnight train to Goa in India. What an experience for I am rather tall and the sleeping carriage did not cater well for sleep. My feet went half way up the wall, the heat, rocking (not described as gentle) and noise went on throughout the night, we laughed our way through and lapped up the warm masala chai when it was brought around in. I could not believe the amount of people disembarking – certainly marked that one for experience!!

    • Siobhan says:

      I caught a train in India, we got to the platform and it wasn’t the lovely shiney one I clapped my eyes on. It was one of those ones you see on Documentarys, you know, people hanging on all over the roof, out windows, chickens, kitchen sink…you name it! When I told my friends that I had seen a naked man (a Sadu, they are always naked) at one of the stations they thought I was HALLUCINATING…oh Lordy, that was a loooooong trip!

  3. Kerry says:

    Do you think that sitting on the train with a carriage full of people is like being at the ‘pictures’. You have no where to go if someone starts sneezing or coughing or eating for that matter and that’s all you can hear. What do you do ? do you put up with it ? do you glare ? how do you handle that situation ?

  4. Donna says:


  5. Kerry says:

    yep good one – I’ve bought the ‘heavy duty’ ones for flying, maybe they should be a permanent fixture in my bag. Do you think I’d be able to use them at the ‘flicks’ ?? I think not !

  6. Aunty Mod says:

    I love trains, movie trains, real trains, toy trains… all trains

  7. Pam Farey says:

    Love ‘mum sayings’ at bottom of page.

    It brings back memories of my mother who often quoted ‘it’s cruel cruel world’, us kids could not look at each other in fear of of laughing out loud.
    It was the frequency of her using this saying, was the actual issue.

Leave A Comment

Mum Sayings

"I wonder what the poor people are doing?"
"Did you see anyone you liked better than yourself?"
"I've had that new coat forever."
"Go on, you deserve it."

Yummy Aunties…

We demand more Auntys reveal themselves... Email the Valet...