There’s the legendary Great Train Robbery, the otherwise-known Cheddington Mail Van Raid, and that one was the classic sort of train robbery where mean and greedy people stole a big bunch of loot that was traveling by rail. Then there’s the other one, the baby version perhaps, but equally thoroughgoing: the way riding trains stole my heart. The first trip I remember taking by rail was when I was in junior high school and went to help out a little at my aunt and uncle’s place across the state after the birth of their second child; I got to take the train home all by myself, and I sat up on the second, viewing deck watching the splendid scenery as we all rolled by, and that was it. I was smitten.The marvelous European expedition I was privileged to share with my older sister when I was in college sealed the deal perfectly. Besides being convenient and allowing hands-free and restful travel with the simple ability to bask in the scenery, to rest or read or work, and no traffic or parking worries, train travel delights me with its multitude of stories to tell. It’s full of history and adventures–past, present and future–and the romance of all those tales surrounding me gives me an instant surge of pleasure and hope.All subsequent opportunities to ride the rails have only fed my infatuation. I don’t much care if it’s for a short day jaunt on the subway or a cross-continent push in a sleeper car, I’m nearly always ready to get on board for another train outing. Is that a whistle I hear beckoning me with its come-hither siren song? Make way! I’m headed for the nearest station, and I’ve got my passport burning a hole in my pocket as we speak. All aboard!