Thursday, July 7, 2011

All Aboard!!

Train travel - does any method of travel sound more romantic?  Okay, maybe those Pullman cars aren't the most comfortable, but I still relish the idea of traversing this great country of ours via rail.  Ironically, I have traveled by train - in Europe.  I wish we had an efficient rail system here in the States.

But we used to!  My mom has wonderful memories of taking the train as a little girl, by herself, from Green Bay to Chicago.  Her grandparents would meet her at the station and then they'd drive the rest of the trip to Hoopeston, about 100 miles south.  She was treated very well by the staff, both at the station and in the railroad cars.  Alas, those days are gone.

The wistful nostalgia for trains is alive and well, however! Collecting railroadiana is a HUGE business.  And then of course, there are the model railroad enthusiasts.  Both Brian and I love the "N" scale models but won't start with it because we both know that hobby would take over our basement AND our lives.  Its power is too great and the addiction could ruin us both.  :D

We're very lucky - the National Railroad Museum is very close to us - it's right in Green Bay.  Ironically, the entire 28 years I lived in Green Bay, I never once visited and it was only about 3 miles from my house.  I only went back in 2009 and I enjoyed it thoroughly!  If you live in my area and enjoy anything to do with the Golden Age of train travel, I highly suggest a visit.

Of course, my favorite part of that visit (like everything else in my life!) was seeing all of the ephemera that the museum had on display.  Not only did the mail car have honest-to-goodness mail in it, but there were napkins from the dining car, tickets, schedules - all that good stuff.

I have amassed a lot of little railroad items in my collection from all different venues and shops. I love all of the  different aspects of the railroad - time books, shipping tickets, etc.  Much of what I have comes from Silver Crow Creations - in fact, they still have some of the items for sale! :D

I've done a few cards using my railroad ephemera - it's fun to work with and people seem to respond to it, especially from that nostalgic standpoint:


  1. Thanks for the mention, Mel! But, really, thanks for a nice article every day that usually reminds me of something nostalgic and wonderful from my youth - or of stories from my family.

    Pete & I love your column! We love old stuff. And we really love trains - we hear them go by at least 3 times a day!

  2. Oh, thank you Annie! I'm so glad you enjoy reading the blog! That makes me happy! :D You're very welcome for the mention.

    I used to live near train tracks and while the trains bothered me at first, I grew to love that sound. Same with the cargo ships in the port of Green Bay! :D