A Train to Nowhere

A few years ago I spent some time in Prague without much to do for most of the day. The core of the city is beautiful and modern, but as you get to the outskirts, things are a bit grittier. And that’s where my somewhat down-scale hotel was: miles from downtown, next to a big rail yard. A rumbling train came by every 40 minutes, all night long, past my open window. One day I walked down the road from the hotel, past a lot of rails and great big mechanical stuff, and happened onto a colorful sight.

On the edge of the rail yard, obsolete engines and cars sat on dead-end sidings, waiting to be recycled. No fence or security – and graffiti artists, vandals, transients and corrosion had transformed scrap metal into a post-apocalyptic circus train.

I’ve had those 3 passenger car photos on my wall for years. They give me that nice relaxing feeling that hey, it’s over, it doesn’t matter anymore, time reclaims it all. No more schedules, inspections, repairs. No more crowds. So just step in, sit down by a sunny window and forget about… everything. You’re going nowhere.

But leave before dark, because things might get a bit crazy. Inside one car it looked like maybe a friendly little campfire got out of hand during a “party” and reduced the interior to ash. I hope no one was sleeping there at the time.