Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On the Right Track

The Metro Gold Line tracks stretch out and disappear into the west, reminding me of so many great train scenes in film: Marilyn Monroe falling out of an upper berth in Some Like it Hot, Cary Grant pulling Eva Marie Saint into an upper berth in North by Northwest, Farley Granger trying not to get too creeped out by Robert Walker in Strangers on a Train...

Freeways -- even empty ones -- just can't compete.


Dixie Jane said...

Without them there would have been no need for, "Chattanooga Choo Choo" or, "Take the A Train." I would love to see trains return in all of their glory.....dining cars with white table cloths and a rose, just like in the old movies.(Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer.) Club cars with sofas. Planes just don't compare as you squeeze into a seat with no place for your legs and a bag of peanuts. Of course you get there quicker but trains allow you to arrive intact with all of your faculties and bypass all the airport madness. Plus, you get real bathrooms! Let's hear it for trains. Whoo whoo!!

Judy Williams said...

This is a classic Laurie black and white. The leading lines and vanishing point of the tracks are fabulous. This has that lonesome feeling and so many songs come to mind. Can you imagine what the music world would be like without songs that either have train in the title, or in part of the lyrics?

Long Train Running - the Doobie Brothers

Fulsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash

A- Train - Duke Ellington

Wabash Cannonball - Roy Acuff

and one of my favorites:


dbdubya said...

I agree it's a great photo. Unfortunately, the Gold Line has not sleeper cars, dining cars, or bathrooms.

altadenahiker said...

THE most romantic mode of transportation. You can still find some great ones in Europe.

Ok, other movies where trains loomed large:
Once Upon a Time in the West
The Lady Vanishes
Brief Encounter
Doctor Zhivago

Yakpate said...

And of course, that highbrow classic: Throw Mama from the Train.

Rock Island Line (Johnny Cash) is my all-time favorite train song.

As for films: The creepiest of ALL train scenes is the climax of Shadow of a Doubt.

TheChieftess said...

Friends of ours went on a spectacular train trip in Spain...sort of like a cruise, but on the train...she said it was her favorite vacation ever!!!!

william wray said...

I like painting them.

Mister Earl said...

Mr. Earl has been known to dabble in model trains. About 10 years ago I went on a trip from Oakland to Sparks, Nevada, in a restored Denver, Western, and Rio Grande lounge car. I went with a bunch of train buffs. It was lots of fun. The next day we took a bus excursion to Portola, California where we went the the train museum at the old Western Pacific train yards. We even got to drive a diesel locomotive. It's fun to drive something that you don't have to steer!

Judy - I'm sure you know that the original Locomotion was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and was recorded by their baby sitter, Little Eva Boyd, who invented the dance for which they wrote the song. Locomotion is notable for appearing in the top 5 in 3 different decades by 3 different artists.

My favorite train songs that I can think of at the moment are Chatanooga Choo-Choo and City of New Orleans. My band does a song called She Caught the KATY, a reference to the MKT (Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad.)

Yakpate said...

LA: Isn't there some kind of interest in funding high-speed monorail trains like those in Japan?

I guess that would be one way to strip the romance from train travel!.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, city of new orleans. I'd forgotten that song. So beautiful.

Laurie said...

Hey kids,

William, welcome!

So many great songs and films mentioned -- so many interesting facts. I love how talented, erudite and clever you people are!

Yak, who knows, maybe high speed rail is romantic in its own way. Kind of like being in another dimension when you go that fast. But then again, I'm a huge geek and scientific things make me all warm and fuzzy.

Chieftess, I've heard about those rail trips. After we took a cruise, we started getting all of this ritzy vacation direct mail. One of the brochures was for one of those trips by train. It looked like something out of a movie.

Thanks for keeping track today! (Note to self: enough with the silly wordplay. Chi Totaler was bad enough, Laurie. Sheesh!)

Til next time...

Wayne said...

If she isn't skulking around SoPas in the middle of the night she's playing on the train tracks. What to do, what to do?

'He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle scalded to death by the steam' The Wreck of Old '97, that was another really cool train song.