Saturday, April 23, 2011

A-Z: Trains

My son (who turns four next month) is obsessed with trains. He wears striped overalls and a striped cap every single day. His favorite things to bring for show-and-tell are model train catalogs, and he gets upset if one of the other kids tears a page. At home, he likes to cut the engines and cars out of the catalogs and tape them all over the walls and furniture. (I finally took down the ones in the living room, but there are still some in his bedroom.) He knows the difference between steamies and diesels, and he also recognizes the various types of freight cars. As you might expect, he has a ton of Thomas the Train toys, and he's also showing interest in Chuggington. However, he prefers "trains with no faces," such as the G-gauge freight train set he got for Christmas. Luckily, we live near the Illinois Railway Museum and the Chicago Botanic Garden, so we take him to those places, hobby train shops, and train shows. Here are a few of the exhibits we saw last year:

Every year, the Chicago Botanic Garden sets up an outdoor model railroad exhibit featuring American landmarks. Here's one of the trains.

My son riding in the Zephyr at the Illinois Railway Museum last year.

Here he is posing with his favorite train at the Railway Museum, a Baldwin Steam Locomotive. It doesn't run, but Alex talks about fixing it when he's old enough. I wonder if he'll still be as much of a trainiac at twelve as he is now.

We're actually taking Alex to a live Thomas the Train show tonight, so I wonder how he'll like it. While he does watch the show occasionally, he's more into other shows like Curious George--especially episodes involving trains.

Although train fascination seems to be a boy thing, I have written about trains in my stories. The final volume of my Season Lords trilogy was supposed to include a train trip, although I don't think I got to that part. There's also a train ride in Twinned Universes.

Are there any other current or recovering trainiacs out there?


Trisha said...

My uncle was obsessed with trains for a long time, and then his son sort of inherited it ;)

SugarScribes said...

My little boy, but he is not so little anymore. I guess he became a reformed trainiac around age 7. Cute pix, reminds me of when mine was still little and obsessed with trains

Claire Goverts said...

Cute pictures of your son.

Trains are fun. My brother had a train set when we were younger (HO I think) and I used to enjoy playing with it as well. One of the things I used to love about going to the county fair in the summer was seeing the large train set they had in the one building.

KjM said...

Trains are fun! I ride one to work and back 3 days a week - have always loved them.

My brother was a trainiac from early age. He lives in New York. He honeymooned in San Francisco - and he and his bride took the train from there to here (she was very tolerant of him - although she did insist they fly back to New York! :)

Seems your son is having a ball with them. Long may it last.

Julia Smith said...

Hi Sandra - one of my very good blog friends in England has a husband who has always had a passions for trains. Here's one of his guest posts about them:

I've taken over for the day

I enjoyed hearing about your son's early passion for the romance of trains.

Christine Fonseca said...

Love the train pics. We went to a train museum recently - so much fun!

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