Tuesday, May 05, 2009


We have become big train fans in this house. The Boy really, really likes trains. Whether they be freight trains, Amtrak trains, or L trains, one never passes without eliciting an excited "train!" That happens pretty often because we live on the northwest side of the Chi, and as the map below reflects, we are surrounded by train lines. We live near Portage Park, and there are multiple lines south and east of us, as well as an L line in the middle of the Kennedy and huge yards to the west of us. We see lots of trains.

View Larger Map

This also means that I have been scouting places to watch trains. Of course, there is one place we can always watch trains, and that is on the television. Not just Extreme Trains either. We also watch lot of Thomas the Tank Engine. And that's the point of this post (in case you were wondering). Does Sodor have more miles of track than any island in the world? Seriously, they have one bus (Bertie) and about 20 train engines. We just watched an episode where they have an engine to pull the "mail train" which consists of one car that is loaded into a mail truck. Seems like rail overkill to me.

Maybe I'm not making my point effectively. Check out this map of Sodor and its rail lines. Now look at this rail map of Germany. I think Sodor has as many lines as Germany! And this one of the UK. I don't understand the extensive rail coverage on Sodor. Unless there was some sort of Victorian stimulus package that promised a railroad in every pot, and never having to walk more than ten feet to reach a train. Must have been like the old Johnny Canal sketch on SNL.

By the way, I recently discovered that a cousin of mine (maybe a second cousin? I dunno. My Grandma's sister's kid. That's a cousin, right?) is a train guy and takes some fantastic pictures of trains. Check these out.


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