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The Glory Days of Train Travel

Thirty-seven years ago, I took a train trip from Kansas City to Oklahoma City (and back) and decided that was the best way to travel ever. Sadly, there are fewer passenger trains and routes now, so fewer people ride, and that means fewer luxury amenities, too. But we have pictures of the golden age of rail travel.

Throughout the Victorian period and the early part of the 20th century, railways were a source of great civic pride and prestige for both private citizens and the companies controlling them. And while newer networks tend to be more environmentally friendly than their forebears, the march of progress and modernisation has brought utilitarian trains and often soulless, unimaginative architecture. This article looks at 20 classic railway scenes across the world, spanning the past 180 years.

Relive those glory days at Urban Ghosts. Link

(Image credit: Flickr user State Records NSW)


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Come to just about any part of the former USSR and take all the night trains you want... Unless you splash out the bucks for the luxury wagon, though, you will wish you hadn't. Trains are convenient, though, as you can use them as a rolling hotel- wake up where you need to be or, if you're travelling during the day, do tons of stuff while you roll down the tracks. I have a real love/hate relationship with trains!
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Man, the last time I was on a train (the only time, come to think of it) was almost fifty years ago. My mom (I think she was pregnant) and younger brother and I went from OKC to Atchison to see family. I met my great-grandmother, who I was named after, and some of my mom's aunts and uncles. The last time I went there was by car with my mom, grandmother, and mom's sister to see where the old house was, about twenty years later. I loved that train ride and the gorgeous station in Kansas.
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Forty-eight years ago I was traveling a similar route, but by auto. We lived in Sunflower, Kansas (my aunt and uncle lived in KC) and traveled regularly down to OKC to see family. Most of our extended family lived there then; we've since scattered far and wide.

Edit: I don't think Sunflower exists anymore. The next nearest towns were Olathe or DeSoto.
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