Thursday, August 31, 2006

Railroads and Miami

I have been coming over here for what is now approaching two years and just today it struck me that I have not seen one single freight train on that time! I ride at least once or twice a week on the passenger rail system, the subway or the light rail. Trains are ubiquitous here in the UK but it just occurred to me that I do not remember once in the time I have been here ever seeing an actual freight train.

I know that they have them because I have heard reports on the BBC about how freight is the bread-and-butter of the Channel Tunnel. More money is made off freight trains passing through the tunnel from The UK to the continent than is on the passenger rail.

Back in the states I see trains all the time in Denver. There is a major rail switching yard for one railroad visible from the building to the north, and another from a different rail line visible from the western windows a little further on. I cross three or four (I cannot remember exactly) different rail lines to get to the light rail and pass a major railroad engine yard on the way to the office once I board the commuter train.

I wonder where they run all the freight trains. It is not as if they can run them in the vast expanses of land between the cities. (It is not as if there are vast expanses of open land between the cities, well, at least there aren't any in the area of the country I live in.)

I guess that it may also be that I am just in the wrong part of the country to see the trains. If I had been visiting the area of Southwest Miami centered around the house I grew-up in for the amount of time that I have been visiting the UK, and if I had traveled from that point in no further a radius than the one I have covered from the house in Thames Ditton I think I still would have crossed a freight line or two.

Of course, If I had been spending as much time over the last two years in Village Green (the section of Miami that I grew up in) as I have spent in Thames Ditton, I think I would have been suicidal by now. My blog would probably read more like this:

January 05 - Cockroaches the size of Volkswagens stole my PC today from the office. I guess I need to order a new one; and perhaps a can of RAID.
February 26 - Fires in the Everglades today.
March 13 - Gosh It's Hot and Muggy Here!
April 23 - Help Me! I'm melting... All my beautiful wickedness! What a world! Oh, What a world!
May 31 - The news paper said there was a dead body found in the canal today. Nice. We are down to only one!
June 16 - Gosh It's Hot and Muggy Here!
July 08- Drive by shooting scheduled for three o'clock this afternoon.
August 03 - According to the Miami Herald, the crack dealers are going on strike for better working conditions.
September 19 - Gosh It's Hot and Muggy Here!
October 10 - Hurricane Xavier hit today. (Yawn!) That would be the twenty-first hurricane this year. Hmmm, maybe there is something to this global warming thing. Nope, nope! The president still swears there is no such thing!
November 28 - Put Turkey in the Oven and hit the Beach, God! I Love Miami!
December 21 - Gosh It's Hot and Muggy Here!

Or something to that affect. On the whole, I am glad that I am here!

I hope wherever you are today it is somewhere you like being!

Don Bergquist - 31 August 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

No comments: