The other night at the C&O for dinner, Jon turned to our companions and said, "Patience has a passion for trains." Is there any statement that could make a person look more like a total prat? A passion for trains? Are you freaking kidding me? I admit, I am a geek about trains--and other forms of transportation --planes, helicopters, ships--those big lake barges that we used to see in the Black Rock Canal while rowing. There's nothing like being in a boat so fragile you can put your feet through it, and being passed by a million-ton oil tanker. It's pretty awesome, actually.
I found this image from Buffalo Rising that illustrates the experience.
I also like snowplows-- not the puny examples of plows you see in Virginia but the great big ones we had in Buffalo. When I was a kid, we liked to play chicken with the plows. The game went like this: You walked in the street. The snowbanks along the side of the road were sometimes higher than your head. You'd hear a snowplow coming up behind you. The object was to scramble up the snowbank, out of the path of the plow at the last possible second before it ran you over. It really was dangerous, partly because snowbanks can be unpredictable when you try to climb them, but mostly because those plow drivers would have had no qualms about crushing us.
I was trolling youtube, looking for examples of proper snowplows and I found a movie of a train that is also a snowplow. Ten minutes of rural train tracks in Western New York being cleared of heavy snow. It's awesome. The video is followed by eight comments written by people who are even geekier about trains than I am. ("Nice trestle shot!"--It sounds like train geek porn.)
Of course, running to beat a train is a thrilling experience too. I guess what attracts me to these vehicles is their ability to kill me. Raise your hand if you have a childish fascination with cars and trucks and things that go?