I live by the main line just outside Taunton, near Cogload Junction. It is nicely busy and I enjoy watching 125s pound up and down. Not for much longer though as the IEPs have started to appear.
Today we were out in the WSR and the difference struck me. Not sure why it's taken me all these years, but there we are. Settled into a comfy corner seat in a compartment, the gentle steam engine motion soon had my head lolling.
I found I was remembering Sassoon's poem:
A Local Train of Thought
Alone, in silence, at a certain time of night,
Listening, and looking up from what I'm trying to write,
I hear a local train along the Valley. And "There
Goes the one-fifty," think I to myself; aware
That somehow its habitual travelling comforts me,
Making my world seem safer, homelier, sure to be
The same to-morrow; and the same, one hopes, next year.
"There's peacetime in that train." One hears it disappear
With needless warning whistle and rail-resounding wheels.
"That train's quite like an old familiar friend," one feels.
I was also reminded of John Betjeman's journey from Evercreech Jct to Burnham. I am sure most of you have seen it, but if not, please do follow the link and enjoy the next 26 mins. It is recommended.