When Richard Trevithick built the first steam powered locomotive back in 1804, little did he know that train travel would become one of the most common forms of travel in the UK, with 1.3 billion rail journeys made every year. His achievement and importance cannot be overlooked.
…then again, 1804 was a long time ago. One can only suckle on the teat of their success for so long.
I am writing to inform you that your suckling days are done. Your once tasty milk has been left to go sour. And gone sour it has. In days gone by, traveling by train was a romanticised pursuit; beautiful scenery passing by while safely ensconced in the comfort of your carriage. Train travel represented a sense of adventure and discovery, unparalleled by the other land-based transits of the day.
The world has changed. I can see it on the train tracks, I can see it on the carriages, I can smell it on the platforms. I can only imagine that your vision of possibility was founded in a desire to do good. But through you, it has created a power too great and terrible for you to imagine. And much that once was, is lost.
The once great symbol of the train has come to represent nothing less than the hellish reality of our existence in this modern world. As we trudge through our lives, the monotony is only broken by the relatives of your creation. Late, overcrowded and full of the most fascinating of specimens, the modern train journey has become a thing of dread. You are Dr Frankenstein, and your monster has reproduced to a degree we could never have imagined.
As the father of the modern train, it’s not that I’m angry, I’m just disappointed.
This may well seem hard for you to believe, and I understand that. In an attempt to cure your confusion, please find here the ‘Diary of a Train Traveller’; a collection of my train-based experiences. These entries are not for me. They are for you. They exist to show what you have created; to show you what you’ve done.
They are for you. And they are for the future. Together we can defeat this evil that has spread across our land.
I hope this has found you well,
The Train Traveller