Strange Trains

By Richard Sheaff

Though both my father and his father worked for the Boston & Maine Railroad for their entire careers, I’ve never been especially interested in trains. (Though when, as a boy, I got to actually drive a steam engine for a short distance in the Charlestown, MA yards, and a few years later likewise drive a diesel engine a bit, I found that very exciting!) But these days I do have an active interest in 19th-century train images, especially the odd and unusual ones which Victorians were wont to create. It was, after all, the golden age of the iron horse, and trains—the economic and travel wonder of the day—were front and center in the Victorian consciousness. Advertisers came up with many a strange train to tout their products.

In other cases, though the locomotives themselves were shown in a straightforward fashion, the situation was a tad unusual . . .

A great locomotive image from the era . . .

And to wrap up for today, a modern stamp design, one of a series of stylized transportation vehicles. Several in that series were released, but the series was ended before the locomotive engine made its way onto envelopes . . .