The Collection - The Disease

Dear Marjorie - My husband is 46 years old and spends most of his time playing with toy trains. He doesn't pay any attention to me these days.

Dear M - You have my deepest sympathy! Unfortunately, this condition is well known and is usually terminal. Very few people ever fully recover. However, you can turn this situation to your advantage! Trainaholics are so oblivious to their surroundings that you can bring as many men back to the house as you want - your man will never know!

Whatever you do though, don't get rid of your train fanatic - they are notoriously good at paying the bills! Blessings

When I first read this letter in a women's magazine I was shocked, devastated, mortified........

It took me a while to comprehend the truth in these words, but I am determined to 'clean up' my act.

No more trains!

The disease started .......... continue reading my incredibly boring history


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Worlds Worst Train Accident

If you are in any doubt as to who is in charge of this planet, a look at the worst train accidents on record should be enough to remind you that Mother Nature, The Great Universe or just plain Ol' God is actually at the helm.

In December 2004 a new world record was set for the number of people killed in one rail accident. The death toll for the 'Queen of the Sea' accident in Sri Lanka is estimated at 1700, knocking spots off the previous record (if I allow myself to be so glib) held by Bihar, India when a cyclone blew a train off a bridge into the Bagmati river, killing 800 passengers.


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What could possibly have caused such a monstrous accident? A wave. A tsunami in fact. A 20 foot wall of sea water (and all the debris that such a wall can carry) jumped out the sea and swept through the jungle in time to meet the 9am from Colombo, ironically called 'Queen of the Sea'.

According to records, about 1500 tickets were sold for the journey, but in typical Asian style, the train gathered a couple of hundred free-loaders, who clung to the sides and roof. Maybe G*D was a ticket collector in a previous life! Just a thought.

Is that what's known as blasphemy? It's OK, I can confess all of my wordly sins in good time and still catch the slow train to heaven. If that fails, I have it on good authority that St Peter is open to a bit of bribery - fond of the yellow metal I understand! It might be worth noting that most of the passengers were Buddhist, just in case you thought the Catholics, Jews and Muslims were the bad guys!

1700 people were on board the Queen of the Sea and only a handful survived. Don't let that put you off train travel though. It's still one of the safest modes of transport ever devised by man. That's a crass statement! Put another way, it's one of the most inefficient methods of killing people ever devised.


  1. Well, apart from the HD advertisement where the adult pipe smoking is no longer de rigeur, everything else on this page appears to have a basis in acceptability. In fact, even as far back as 1883, the safety of railways was legendery. Tht was the year that Butler and Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, situated in both Frome and London, printed the forth edition of the tome Our Iron Roads. Frederick S Williams was the author.
    Yes, there on page 439, between the real gilt edges, we are sagely told "that more people choke themselves in England than are killed on all the railways of the United Kingdom".
    You see how fine a point is placed on the statistics. Choking only occurs in England, whereas fatal accidents on railways, happen ALL over the kingdom.

    Now for the loading gauge D1. How is it that every light blue box that Hornby Dublo had printed, has D1 on it. Well almost all... you know what I mean. Coach boxes are printed D1, horse boxes boxes (yes that's double because it is a box, in a box ... listen!, listen!) are printed D1, cattle wagon boxes are printed D1, even coal wagon boxes are printed D1. And so are buffers, loading gauges and other accessories. But wait ....... what do I see? ...... she's walking back to meeeee....., oh God man, you are showing your age. Get over it!.
    But wait we said!! Signal boxes, ah aAH! (... no the cardboard ones, not the ones with windows, beside the tracks, and men leaning out with green flags, and little dogs sitting at the top of the stairway, guarding against other dogs, cats, rats, wives, girlfriends, etc etc..... no not those.). We are talking about blue cardboard boxes (some with white stripes) that had D3, yes D3 on them, and contained little model signals or such.
    Oh the wisdom of the universe, or the majesty of God. Or perhaps it was just the dumb side of Mr Hornby or his helpers.
    As you can see I am struck dumb with that one, can't figure it out no how!
    Thanks for listening.

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