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Fiction Happy

I was a rail enthusiast, I love steam locomotives, I was fond of any locomotive both narrow or standard, I would visit every railway, on the Isle of Peter, it was my dream to work on a heritage railway.

My dad was a railway enthusiast, he was a volunteer at the Isle of Peter Steam Railway during their heritage era in the 50s, he loved it, he told me that a railway scenery what makes it very worth it. My mum would volunteer from time to time in the 60s, which is why our house was nearly empty, but they both love it, they would take me there as a young lad.

I was only a young chap, at the age of 16, when a new railway, on the Isle of Peter, it was named, 'The Ruined Castle Branch', it was a modern railway, but with an old locomotive, I was the track gang, in 1973, I was guided with old looking blokes, and a serious-looking chap, it was hot, sweaty, but fun, that was in 1973.

I applied as a guard, I was hired by a company, that operated the railway, it was easy, but with only one locomotive, Roger, did most of the work, it was hot as usual, and we mostly work on the weekend.

I would often visit the Isle of Peter Steam Railway, their trains were very cheap, and it was Ruth, Rhys, and a couple of quarry Hunslet, they were the lifeblood, the lifeline, and the thread of the railway.

The people would often ask, "such beautiful railway, it's a pity that you lads don't any attention", it was mostly the older folks, other famous societies like Ffestiniog and Talyllyn Railway comment saying, "What a beautiful railway, you have a nice engine and carriages, we'll tell all our friends what a nice railway it is." We thought they were pulling our strings.

One day, my family decided to take us, to the railway I work at, the tickets were cheap and you can get a cab ride on Roger. It was magical, but the Isle of Peter was magical to the outside island, but it's a hard-working railway. I have a day off, so I get half-price as staff, we only have 3 staff, two drivers, and a guard, that's me.

The yard was filled with activity, and the background scenery made it made much better, which is the strongest seller,

Everyone is a volunteer, which was the original plan, but the company wants fast work, so they only choose volunteers that can work fast, the slower ones, like teenagers, they'll work on more the slow place work during the offseason.

My dad would take me to the Hunslet Peter, which was very busy, but seeing Roger was beautiful, I would be very happy to take that offer and work on the little Avonside.

Our locomotive is old, 76 years old, built-in 1899, he's the true star, the coaches were built by Ffestiniog Railway, they were comfy but very comfortable. It was a hot day, and Roger left, the scenery was something you only see in wales, Scotland, or anywhere else in Britain. There's a valley that is wide and free, there are some parts were cover in trees, the railway planted a couple of chestnut trees, it's a railway not like any other, and Roger made it better. The hills in the background were like a painting, which was so beautiful, we have painters paint our train, background with a hill.

"Hello old chap," I told Roger, he smiled at me.

Roger said hello back, he was very happy, with a happy smile, it ought to be a good day, I paid for the ticket, and was riding to ride with Roger.

Roger was going slowly, but not very slow or fast, but at a good speed. I look out and see nature, which was intoxicating, and the flowers next to the ballast, was a new thing by the volunteers, you could fall asleep on the train ride since the coaches could very warm enough to make you very drowsy.

It's the scenery, which is why people cam here, and why they want to be here, the line is only 3 miles, to a station name 'Roger', our locomotive name, it's also decorated with flowers, it's a pretty railway, not an industrial railway, not an old railway, none of that, even working here for three months, I could never get over the valleys, the trees, the chestnuts, the hills, and anything else.

My sister would tell me, that it was romantic, and she could be move to tears, but I said that's bollocks, she was only 16, but she already became a volunteer, at Ruth's firewomen at age 15 last year, that something to be proud.

'Roger' was a good size station, it has trees, and the valley in front of it, I could see people walking and having picnics, which was relaxing, to see a train passing by, summer I would say it's the best time and see how the plants react to it, it's a railway that I swear to mother nature, will never change.

People were happy, enthusiasts were taking photos, they talk with the guard, fireman, driver, and Roger, it was tough work, but it's tough to work that we like to do.

Snacks were sold, and many of the passengers would leave the station, cross the tracks, and would have a small picnic next to the train, this would happen every weekend, and it's a relaxing thing to do, I could see my colleagues cooking up some sausages on the shovel, and begin cooking their lunch.

When it was time to leave, Roger will be turn around onto the turntable and operate back to 'Sutton', the name of my boss, my friend, and a person that loves working with steam locomotives, he's the greatest man int the railway preservation scene.

I'm pretty sure Roger agrees with me as well.

April 17, 2021 00:23

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