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Until I met my husband and moved to the South Coast, I was a miserable, stressed out commuter. A train commuter, which I often felt was the worst kind. Every evening I’d finish billing clients, keeping an eye on the clock, and I’d power walk as gracefully as I could [read: not at all] to try and catch the 17.48 train home, before the serious crowds got there and I had to wrestle to even get through the train door.
Every evening I was cramped, crowded and uncomfortable – and in the Summer months it was unbearably hot, especially with the inevitable delays. Yet after our weekend visiting 1066 Country
I can’t help but feel that installing steam trains at Birmingham New Street would have made my life much more fun and I’d have been far less begrudging of handing over nearly £5 a day for the pleasure of getting to work on time.
We could have simply driven to Bodiam Castle, but instead we elected to ride the rails and travel on the Kent and East Sussex Railway
from Bodiam Station to the castle
in an old fashioned steam train – the country’s finest rural light railway, in fact, and the boys were beside themselves waiting to see a real steam train like Thomas. The only other steam train the boys had ever experienced was Mickey Mouse’s locomotive in Walt Disney World, but it was dark then, and they were exhausted and completely missed out on the magic of it all.
With ten minutes to spare, we pulled up to the station and raced to get to the platform, and fixing our eyes on the distant horizon, we watched with our boys as we stared, open mouthed on tiptoes as the coal black train peeped through the countryside tapestry.
Eventually the steam engine began to appear, with coal scattered gusts of telltale smoke clouding the air above. Our train was coming into the station.
We were quite confused when we saw what we thought was the front of the train arriving – only to discover it was indeed back to front. It still looked majestic pulling into the station though, and the boys were suitably impressed.
It’s becoming a bit of a monster task to get everyone to look the same way – without making a fool of myself.
The steam train was magnificent. Seated neatly in 3rd class, we admired our opulent surroundings and the boys sat wide eyed with little legs dangling over the edge of the upholstered couches, ready to hear the whistle of the train, ready for departure. As the conductor slammed the doors, we sat back in luxury as the engine roared and powered its way down the line, through the beautiful English countryside and to the castle. I really, truly think I’m ruined now for public transport. We are most definitely a steam train family.
Our little video of our entire day will be uploaded soon – you can see the train in all its glory!
Love this post and some beautiful photos! There is something magical and magnificent about steam trains! x
I love old steam engines, I'd happily travel more by train if I could travel on one of them 🙂
Ah I love steam trains – I have such happy childhood memories of going on them as a child. Nice to do the things you did as a child with your own kids isn't it?
Love your pictures! There's something so special about a steam train isn't there? I commuted in London for years, I am sure this would have been a much more civilised way to travel! 🙂
I love locomotives. I love the way they look. I love the feeling they evoke. I love everything about them. I've been on several old school locomotive rides with the family, and they're always so much fun!
Oh how fun for your family! Your photo's are beautiful and your family lovely!
I love trains. Its just something about them. Steam trains are my favorite. I was able to take a steam train trip one summer, we stayed in the caboose. It was an amazing journey and so much fun. So many memories were made that summer!
Beautiful photos! I used to get the train to work and it was so much easier than driving as I do now!
Fab pictures. We have the N Yorkshire steam railway near us and we love going on it as a family,
We took my kids on a steam engine a couple of years ago or a polar express and they had a ton of fun. What a fun trip to take the kids on. I know that my son would love to explore this place.
Great pictures. I would love to take a train ride with my boys. I know my two year old would love it. I am sure my 10 year would too but he probably wouldn't admit it. LOL
Beautiful pictures.. Looks like a great location. My kids love trains. I think they're going to love this place. I'll show these pics to him tomorrow. He's going to freaked out. Beautiful family!
Can't beat a good steam train day out can you? We love going.
I have never seen a real steam train in my life and I'm so sure it will be so exciting to take a trip riding it. You guys looked like you had so much fun.
Oh this is wonderful, I love your write up and pictures, I was there in the magic with you. It reminds me of the Swanage to Corfe Castle journey that you can do by steam train. My Grandad worked on trains and they will always feel special to me.
I have to admit I haven't been on a steam train in years – there is something amazing about it though. x
lovely pictures! My son has a fascination with steam trains and would love it here
I think you only have to mention London Underground and my stress levels rise rapidly x
Ohh I have to check this out, we only live 20 mins from Bodium. Thanks, Mich x
I don't know how the Philippines' MRT3 compares with your train but I think ours are the worst train operations ever in the entire world. Can you imagine, the doors open while the trains are running? Droplets of water from the rain enter from the ceiling and people get wet inside. Lots of stops and train commuters are stuck for hours. That steam train looks very cool compared to the one we have here.
This train looks absolutely beautiful! I would love to go for a train ride, it has been many many years since I have been on a train. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
This looks like a great family day out and very relaxing! I must say that your £5 a day train fare sounds like an absolute bargain to me – my husband takes the train to work and my daughter travels by train to school and the amount we have to spend on train fares is unbelievable!
Sebby would adore this as he is train mad!! Hopefully visiting my Aunt soon so bookmarked for an adventure
These photos are gorgeous! I love old trains. I would love to ride one of these steam engines like Polar Express. I think my son would love it too. Thanks for sharing!
Oh what lovely photos and a great family day out.
Oh wow! This is a child's dream!! I'd love it too.
Such lovely pictures! Sounds like a great experience x