The Abandoned Train Line

The Abandoned Train Line

A Story by Chris Rankine
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Gerry is intrigued by the abandoned train line he passes each day on his commute to work, after a night out, his curiosity pushes him to find out where the track leads. Nothing can prepare him for wha

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The Abandoned Train Line

 

Gerry had got a new job, better pay and better prospects. The downside was that it was in the city centre, which meant that he would have to get the train to work every day. He had always tried to avoid the city centre, too busy, he felt claustrophobic.

He had been on this train before so he knew the line fairly well, he knew the number of stops and how long the journey took. What he did not remember was the abandoned train line between the final two stops before the train arrived at it’s destination. It led off in an entirely different direction. Everyday he would look down that line and try to figure out where it led to. It must lead into the city somewhere, but where? He was intrigued, he had to find out.

He was to find out at the end of his first week at work.

 

Some of his new colleagues were heading to the bar across the road for a few end of week drinks, and had invited him along.

As was the case on so many occasions, he had stayed longer than he intended, and had a few too many.

 

He wandered wearily to the train station, only to discover he had missed the last train home.

He started walking aimlessly out of the city, he was starting to feel rough, he needed fresh air.

 

He realised that he had just passed the last train station before the city centre, which meant that the abandoned line must be close. The stop before it was about a mile away, he began walking towards it. As he got closer he could see a small row of shops, unless he was mistaken, the train passed the back of these shops just after it left the station, he followed the path to the back of the shops, had he been sober he would almost certainly have thought better of it, however, as is often the case alcohol is the devil on our shoulder, encouraging us to do things against our better judgement. So off Gerry went, through the bushes towards the tracks, there was no path next to the tracks but if you didn’t mind walking through bushes and fighting your way through branches of trees you could get along a reasonable distance.

 

Gerry did not care at all, he barely noticed. He came to what he was looking for, the abandoned line. With a deep breath he jumped on to the middle of the track, in between the lines, he began walking.

 

 

Time had escaped Gerry, he had started to regret this, he wanted to go to bed and sleep. He stopped to look about to see if he recognised where he was, it was too dark to make anything out, in fact it was almost pitch black, no moon, no stars, it wasn’t just the lack of light above, there were no street lights or nearby houselights. ‘Sack this’  Gerry thought, he was off, he turned back and began walking back the way he had come.

The sound came from nowhere, the sound of an oncoming train, this wasn’t the sound of a train that was half a mile away or a hundred yards away, this was the sound of a train a few feet away. Gerry barely had time to even turn his back to it, he shut his eyes and waited for the impact. Except the impact never arrived, he heard it, the deafening rumble of the engine, the clattering of the carriages behind.

 

He was too afraid to open his eyes, he felt numb, but not hurt.

He could feel light even behind his eyelids. Upon opening his eyes he realised it was broad daylight, but how? It had been pitch black mere seconds ago. It made no sense, not only that but he was completely unhurt. Impossible. How could the train have hit him.

The noise from further down the abandoned tracks had caught up to him. It sounded like people…lots of people, he made his way cautiously towards the sound, voices were getting louder, where was he? Where was he going? What time was it? What the….?

As he rounded the bend he was faced with a sight that made his jaw drop.

 

A train station, not just an ordinary modern day train station. This was like something out of the early 1900’s.

The way people were dressed, men wearing smart suits many complete with a bowler hat, or even some with a top hat.

Women in elegant dresses, some wearing long fur coats.

It was the trains that caught Gerry’s attention when he got to the platform. These were old school steam locomotives, fuelled by coal.

 

The loud peeping of the trains whistle brought him back to reality.

He was actually here, wherever and whenever here was, it was no dream.

“I say are you getting on or not Sir?”.

The voice was that of what he assumed was the conductor.

 

He got on board before he even realised what he was doing.

Fear, nerves and excitement were the overriding emotions as the train pulled away from the station.

Where it went next Gerry had no idea. He passed some places he did not recognise, others he did, derelict buildings in his city were busy factories in this one. Blocks of flats nowadays were rows of houses here.

 

This was the same city in name only. He leant his head against the window of his compartment and thought.

 

Would he ever return to his normal life?

Could he get back?

What would he tell people?

 

Questions without answers as yet.

 

 

© 2020 Chris Rankine


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Added on November 19, 2020
Last Updated on November 19, 2020
Tags: Train, tracks, locomotive, abandoned

Author

Chris Rankine
Chris Rankine

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom



Writing



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