Short Trip is a delightful interactive illustrated railway journey with sound, like a digital Myriorama endless landscape, by Australian based illustrator Alexander Perrin.
As quirky as the photos and short lines of the USA of my favourite railway book Mixed Train Daily, Short Trip was inspired by a real railway in Japan called the Hakone Tozan Railway https://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/en/.
This is delightful – you drive or travel at your own speed, listen to the bird song, the train sounds and trolley bell at each station stop.
You can go forward or backward, right or left at your own speed.
Go slowly and look at the all fine detail of hand drawn buildings, bridges, stations and landscapes. There are moving parts ranging from tiny humanoid animal passengers, turning waterwheels and windmills to rippling water.
You can read more about its creation and creator here
“It’s a magical, rickety switchback railway that ascends a forest shrouded mountain all throughout the year,” Perrin told Colossal.
“There’s something about the beautifully crafted forms of the railway in sculpted union with the cliff faces and trees that just hits such a therapeutic, aesthetic sweet spot. It’s a little bit like riding an enlarged miniature railway, if you know what I mean. You remain passive and enjoy the ride for the sake of the journey.”
Source quote: This is Colossal.com
If you are too flibbertigibbet to finish your own railway project or it’s too wet a day for a garden railway, this is just the calm thing for you.
I’m sure Heath Robinson and Rowland Emmett would approve.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 18 December 2020.
B.P.S. Blog Post Script
There is a donate page on the simple menu linked to PayPal if you want to reward Alexander Perrin for the fun you have had with his creation.
1953 Mixed Train Daily – one of my favourite railway books
One of the things I like about the Internet age is how you can drop in on small communities for a short while.
I often do this whilst browsing the Forgotten Georgia blogpost and its Facebook page.
Reading Mixed Train Daily, I come across little historical nuggets of rural and wild-west America or Americana that have survived into the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The Bowdon Railroad of west Georgia is one such curiousity. Bowdon Railroad used to link up with one of the Georgia main lines at Bowdon Junction, providing the rail link to the City of Bowdon (“The Friendly City”) located in Carroll County, Georgia.
Bowdon now has a population of about 2,000, twice what it had in the railroad days of the 1940s and 50s This is more like the population numbers of a small town or larger village in the United Kingdom and quite different from the average city in the United Kingdom with its requirement to have a Cathedral, despite the occasional granting of recent smaller Millennium UK cities.
I like this evocative Short Lines Map of Georgia from Mixed Train Daily
The Bowdon empire
Through the wonders of the Interweb you can drop in on Bowdon as a community today through its website – see http://www.bowdon.net
You can see on the photo gallery who has received Business of the Month this time.
Having seen some interesting Pathe footage about the one man operation that was Port Victoria railway in the 1930s and 1940s, Alan Tradgardmastre Gruber as part of his 16mm (1/19 scale) garden railway plans asked on his blog about railway memoirs and manuals that give a ‘squad level’ picture about how a branch line runs, especially in the inter war years.
We chatted in the comments and email about inspiring films – Oh Mr Porter!, The Ghost Train, The Titfield Thunderbolt, The Railway Children – as well as various railway sitcomssuch as Oh Doctor Beeching!
In terms of inspiring railway reading, I was a little more stumped about memoirs. My railway reading tends to be a little more fantastical.
The Punch illustrator and cartoonist Rowland Emett
Lots of inserting wartime railway cartoons in this Emett compilation. Emett famously designed the Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway for the 1951 Festival of Britain.
This attractive Fifties colour children’s book uses railway model layout photographs
Several other books that I find interesting are railway historian Jack Simmons’ The Victorian Railway (Thames and Hudson) and Full Steam Ahead by the BBC team that did Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and Wartime Farm. The series is out on DVD and a few clips can be seen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07lpglf
Mixed Train Dailyby Lucius Beebe and photographer C.M. Clegg is probably my favourite railway book, published in America in 1953. It is based on the vanishing Short Line Railroads of mixed freight and passenger trains that connected the rural communities, industries, small towns and workplaces of America. Many were vanishing as Clegg and Beebe hurried to ride and photograph them before they were broken up. This was much the same process as happened in Britain during the infamous Beeching era. In many parts of America, cars and freeways, airplanes and freight lorries replaced railways.
This poignant and celebratory book is worth a future blog post by itself and worth buying just for the quirky names of the railroads and the photographs.
The original Thomas books that circulated in my family were interesting enough scenes (colour illustrations!) and at some point I acquired Rev. Awdrys poster map of Sodor. I found Sodor fascinating, slotted in the sea between Furness in Cumbria with the Isle of Man where my late Dad had taken part in the cycle TTs in the late 1950s. Another ImagiNation. I like the theme or hashtag here on this short lived 2008 blog of Topographic Tuesday, an occasional chance to share ImagiNations maps or landscapes https://pithhelmet.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/topographic-tuesday-the-island-of-sodor/