A few kilometers further down from that creepy old house, and there’s more urban decay in the Tiny Train Town- more life left behind, expensive possessions left to rot and rust and time.
Tourist steam trains are the only trains that still use the rail lines in Tiny Train Town. Drive along the main road far enough and you’ll come across a shiny new museum that houses trains and locomotives of all types and sizes and speeds; if you reach that you’ve gone too far- turn around and drive back a kilometer or two.
On your left there- slow down so you don’t miss it- just behind that row of trees. Just where the second set of rails end, and only one continues into the distance.
That steam engine has been parked there for years.
It’s impossible to tell what it’s paint job used to look like, because the entire body of this train is coated with crinkly, dusty deep red rust. How does a train, worth goodness only knows how much to manufacture, just be left to rust like that…?
The steam engine isn’t all. Buffered to it’s front, as if the engine pushed them there any no one ever uncoupled them, are train cars, four of five of them. There is stock car, still faintly smelling of animals. A car loaded with what appears to old, wooden shipping containers, one a long way from home, marked Melbourne. A Special Services car that a friend suggests was a prison carriage, but it just doesn’t seem guarded or solid enough.
I walk away feeling sad, slightly devoid of life myself. How does life just disappear like that…? there is the vaguest sensation of ghosts talking, chatting happily in the background as they go about the business that was theirs- shoveling coal, driving a train, packing a crate destined for Melbourne. Living lives that once revolved around objects that are now abandoned and lifeless.
It’s sad, but there’s a strange comfort in it. Maybe it’s just that muffled chatter of ghosts who voices I don’t immediately recognise, rather than the one that talks in my mind all the time.