18 August 2014

Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!

I was never a 'girlie' girl growing up. Sure, I had Barbie dolls and sewing kits, but I'd be so busy designing their international homes (made with stacked chairs and ice cream container Jacuzzis) and embroidering details into their fantastical outfits that I never really managed to find the time to style their hair or play tea with them.
 
Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!

Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!

I'm much the same 20 (or so) years later; while I've learned the basic art of applying make-up and dressing up with scarves, of a weekend I'm never happier than with my hair chucked my hair into a crazy bun and skidding around an architectural wonder, be it a church, bridge or tube station.
Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!
This...
 
Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!
or this... it's not even a choice is it?
Yes, you read that correctly, I'm a self-proclaimed geek with a fascination for mechanics, design and structure. This weekend began with delicious cocktail in  glamorous London bar, but by the end of it I was found on a tube station platform, eagerly awaiting an original London Underground Steam train running specially for Chesham's 125th birthday.
 
 Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard for Chesham!
 
Chesham is at the far end of the Metropolitan line (that plum coloured one running NorthWest to NorthEast) and is quite a pretty station. Surrounded by trees, cream iron tracery and pretty cottages, it isn't the grim, grey London that commuters are used to, in fact it's not really London anymore, but an area of Hertfordshire.
 
Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!
  
Trains evoke for me a taste of England; the tolling of church bells, the delicate tinkle of a tea cup, and the chugging whistle of a steam train. It also spins an image of London; the chatter of commuters, splash of a chilled pint and the melodic whoosh of underground doors to a background reminder of 'mind the gap'. 
 

Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!

Inlaid with the glamour of a bye-gone age, there are no perspex sheets or lemon yellow safety rails here, but an opulence that transports you to another era.

Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!
 
Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!
 
Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!

Some of our fellow passengers dressed beautifully...

Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!

...while in this case I opted for a style far less flattering and much more suited to shovelling the coal. Some things never change.

Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!

The underground does, evolving to suit technology and the needs of the growing population, but we much prefer the slower, prettier trains used to running the Underground. Alas, our white bullets are here to stay, shooting through London, keeping the city running smoothly.
 
Watching the countryside speed by as the gentle chugging of the train echoed around the nearby villages was simply divine.
 
Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!
  
Sadly, all good things come to an end and the train whistled off into the sunset, back to the depot for cleaning and housing whilst we boarded one of the white tube bullets back through London, to make our weekday daily commutes as normal.

Travelling in style - Catching a steam train on the London Underground - all aboard!
  
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24 comments :

  1. What a cool post! I love old trains and would've been in heaven :) Your pictures really took me back in time. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. EEEk!! Chesham!! I used to lived there and went to school there!! It's pretty but there's not much to do!

    Lots of love,

    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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  3. I loooove steam trains! I think its fantastic how they still run them, it's like a peek into the past.

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  4. Love the post and the new, cool layout but can't work out how to Google+ any more. Help!

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  5. This looks amazing! I want to go on one! xx

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  6. Emma you forgot your hat!!! I was looking at tickets for the steam train earlier last week and I couldn't believe there were still tickets available xx

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  7. I'm so jealous! I have to admit to being a train geek - both of the life size and model railroad variety (we have a tonne of model railway stuff in our basement that needs setting up). In fact for my 21st all I wanted was to take a long trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railways - was fantastic! You can't beat train travel and that one you went on looks so nice inside!

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  8. Wow. This is so cool! I love train trips!

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  9. Oh wow - this is absolutely my idea of fun! The last steam train I rode on was the Isle of Wight steam railway. So much fun! And your outfit looked positively gorgeous. You'd look silly in a Victorian dress.

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  10. I read about this and it sounded amazing! So glad you got out to see it. There is something so old school and romantic about these old fashioned trains. There is a ride you can take through South Africa on one of them which is a dream trip of mine!

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  11. How jolly fabulous! I just love steam trains, and although I didn't get to enjoy the splendid journey which you did, I may just have squealed with delight when the steam train came through Paddington allowing me the opportunity to take a pic. I love how these magnificent inventions of yesteryear are still adored and celebrated.

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  12. That's fabulous!! We had a friend call and tell because he saw the train pass too - it is such a wonderful piece of history!

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  13. That would be incredible - and the orient express to Russia!

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  14. Isn't there just something so wonderful about the rhythm of the engine - so soporific!

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  15. What a fantastic 21st!! It is proper train travel glam, isn't it!

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  16. Thanks! I'm just making a few tweaks here & there :)

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  17. Much, much better than so many other transport modes.

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  18. It was just so much fun - I think I enjoyed it more than my husband...

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  19. Love the photos of the inside!!! So fun to do this!

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