Saturday, May 10, 2008

Train Tripping

I think in another life, one where I couldn't have turned into a blogging geek, I might have become a train geek. A really fun part of my day trip to Albi a week ago was simply taking the train there from Rodez.

The Rodez-Albi-Toulouse line is part of the ter regional network, and some of its trains are pretty spiffy:

But somehow I generally don't get put on those models. I took to the rails last week in this:

Suffice to say I'm glad I didn't spring for the above first class compartment.

I imagine trains like this one have a few technical problems, and before leaving Rodez, I got a glimpse of what must be a sort of train ambulance -- SECO-RAIL!

Actually, my second-class car was pleasant enough, although I suspect the SNCF will be rethinking their color scheme when they get around to replacing this set of older regional trains:

The mustard-yellow seats do get a little hard on the eyes, which is why I like to catch bits of the smaller gares along the way:

This weekend I'm off for another little trip: to the Ariège department to see friends. It will be a family car trip though, so don't worry -- I won't bore you with more railway shots.

Bon weekend de Pentecôte!


screamish said...

I actually like more and more these old train things change so fast, its kind of nostalgic, the old ones that are noisy, dusty, hot (or cold)

Having said that I don't have to use one every day to go to work...!

Yeah you're right, is,'t it strange the idea of charging FIRST CLASS tickets for those old ones? There's not much difference!

tut-tut said...

What?!! This is anything but boring! Great, and great to have such a rail system in place, too.

La Belette Rouge said...

Oh, it is an either or deal. So, that explains why my husband is train geek and not a blog geek and why I am blog geek and not a train geek. Thanks for clarifying it for me.;-)

Tinsie said...

Some French trains are shockingly old and garrish - we're really lucky in SE England as all our trains have been replaced with spiffy new ones over the last few years.

They may not be as fast as French trains but they look (and smell) good :-)

Samantha said...

Hi Betty! Just wanted to let you know that my new blog does have an RSS feed, so you should be able to subscribe to it now. -sam

Betty C. said...

lbr -- lol! Actually if I had time to do nothing but toodle around France on trains, I could probably combine the two forms of geekdom.

Nicole said...

The trains in Europe are so much nicer than those here and have more mystique and romance too.

Love that last shot your did. So interesting.

b said...

I could definitely combine the two forms of geekdom. I do love trains in general. Although I almost never travel by train sadly, I go so gaga over the sound of trains in the distance, especially at night lying in bed. The sound of a heavy train in the not-too-far distance just makes my heart flutter. :) Yes, I am such a geek!

But agreed... those mustard yellow seats are blinding!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I enjoyed the train shots!
How I wish we had train service around here. I love to travel that way, and with the price of gas, I bet lots of folks would start considering it.

Terina said...

i love trains. and the ones i've been in usually have the orange seats. yuck. i kind of like the older ones because there is a bit more room and it feels more like a train on the inside rather than an airplane. but some of the new ones have play areas for the kids which is awesome!! i miss french trains....sigh....thank you for the pics.

Randal Graves said...

The 1970s called, they want their seats back. I think we had one of those in our house!

Taking the train around France and the rest of Europe would be a hell of a trip.

Nicole said...

Betty, I love your blog! I have tagged you with an award! Check it out here:

Cécy said...

It's going to be a while until all the TER are changed. I do love the new ones, they are also so much easier to use when you have luggages!

Hey where are you going to in Ariege? That's where my mom is.

A World in a PAN said...

I came to your blog from Nicole's and have enjoyed reading your posts. I love slow trains and had the chance to take the trans-siberian from Beijing to Moscow back in 87 when we were living in China.
I take the TER or regional train when visiting friends in Marmande. Quite a change after having sat in the TGV or High Speed Train between Paris and Bordeaux!
Finally, I love Albi and its brick architecture ...

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Train shots never bore me.

I love those little pinky orange utility buildings along the tracks.

My biggest thrill was seeing an old Mistral car along a side track at Limoges.

sarala said...

I certainly wouldn't mind a quick trip on the TGV. My older son was a train fanatic when he was little and we learned all these great things like what a pantograph was. He has since moved on to other things.