Monday, March 03, 2008

Nerdier by the day or Das Trains

I am getting nerdier by the day. I ought to take some drugs, get drunk and go out for a dance and pick up. Can't be bothered. More fun to listen to the Great Train Show, a podcast downloadable from our ABC's local radio website.

It is presented by ex Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer. His train knowledge is astonishing and far superior to his radio program presentation. Bit harsh, he just isn't a natural broadcaster, but regardless, I love the show and Tim is nothing if not likeable. It talks about local trains, overseas trains and lots of history of course. It is not a train spotters type of show, but much more general. And I love these podcasty thingies. I can listen whenever I want. Beats what I used to do, tape radio onto a cassette using an electronic timer.

In one episode I was particularly impressed by a steam train audio recording. It started with bird noises and you hear the train approaching. It was slowing as it encountered a steep hill and then you hear the wheels slip as it struggled up the hill and the engine working even slower. Marvellous.

To top and tail the show musically, the song Chattanooga Choo Choo is used. Not one of my favourite songs, but a worse one could have been chosen.

I knew nothing about Chattanooga Railway Station, but thanks to the radio program, I do now. It is not a functioning railway station any more, but a private hotel I seem to recall. And one person was right, the sign on top is horrid. Get rid of it. It spoils what is otherwise a fine building.

While we sometimes lament the loss of many railway lines, it must be nothing compared to the US.


  1. "While we sometimes lament the loss of many railway lines, it must be nothing compared to the US."

    You're right there. I've been lamenting the US for decades.

  2. But then you come across people like Daisy Jo, and faith is restored.

  3. Awww...thanks, my friend. Brian, you are a bad boy, but I like you anyway. :)

    I have to admit that I'm sad there aren't trains here. It would make going on vacation much simpler.

  4. My father would on occasion wake me up in the morning with a recording of a steam train played loud enough to vibrate the furniture. Yes, those were the days. Strangely, I have the gene for looking for disused railway tracks.

  5. I love 'Cattanooga Choo Choo'. I can even tell what film it was in, Sun Valley Serenade with Sonja Henjie and it was sung by a black group who could really swing.

    Friday night movies, bless them.

  6. A train holiday would be great Daisy Jo, but from what I have seen, they are not especially cheap.

    LiD, sorry if I have forgotten, but have you been through the Molesworth tunnel?

    Pardon me Jah Teh while you swing your hips.

  7. I shall listen to this tomorrow when I am less tired and more able to soak in knowledge, sounds like a good listen there Andrew, thanks :)

  8. No, I haven't Andrew and I don't know why but it is on the agenda for my next trip through Yea.

  9. Should be interesting LiD and a bit spooky.