Sunday, 25 January 2015

On the Rails

2012: 150th Anniversary of the Railway
The Allegro high speed train crosses a Finnish lake on its way from Helsinki and over the border onwards to St Petersburg and Finland Station (Russian stations are always called after their destination).  The journey will only take three and a half hours.  Those on board will have seen the giant statue portrayed on the stamp as they entered the portals of the Central Railway Station in Helsinki, for it is one of two sets that flank the entrance and the lamps they hold will shine down in darkness (which in winter I think will last a long time).  Depending on the source Helsinki Station is described as Art Deco, Finnish Art Nouveau or Finnish Romanticism but that is unimportant as it is considered one of the great railway stations in the world. I'm a bit of a collector of railways stations but what would also attract me about this one is that it is dressed in pink granite.  Designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1909 and opened in 1919 it is Finland's busiest station. The statues are by Emil Wikstrom whose house where he lived by lake and forest is now a museum.  Appropriate then that the picture is of a still clear day with a beautiful reflection of forest and train.   
2010: Great Railway Journeys
This stamp too has a 'reflection' but of shadow in the heat of an Australian day as it crosses the deep heart of the country.  This is the famous Ghan train which links Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the north travelling 1851 miles and taking 54 hours with a four hour stopover at Alice Springs.   The card below shows the train as it travels through the MacDonnell Ranges which run east and west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territories..
The name 'The Ghan' is a diminutive of  the nickname The Afghan Express which is a nod to the Afghan camel drivers who arrived in the 19th century to help find a way to travel to the country's interior. The card is too 'busy' to show the cancel to any great effect but it is of a train riding the rails. 

An entry to Violet Sky's Sunday Stamps II theme of - Shaped Stamps or Australian stamps here


Bob Scotney said...

The shape of the Finnish stamp gives a sense of speed to the train. The Aussie stamps are magnificent.

viridian said...

great to show off the stamp on a maxi-card.

Eva A. said...

I have often dreamt of travelling in the Ghan, but I didn't know what they mean until now!
Very nice stamps and theme.

VioletSky said...

I like the shape of the Finnish train stamps (and what an ingeniously simple idea to name train stations after the destination)
My tale of travelling the Ghan ended badly as I was in Australia during unprecedented rain storms and the thing had to turn back to Adelaide because of severe flooding. I should have saved my money and just stayed in Melbourne had I known how bad the flooding would get!

FinnBadger said...

Finnish stamps are fantastic for their shape variety. Thanks for sharing this one.