The Station Master’s Hound

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A friendly looking dog stands guarding a piece of luggage on a small railway platform, with a ticket booth in the background and a small town in the distance

My relationship with trains is one of love and hate. Though hate might be too strong a word; Tedium would be more appropriate. I love the promise of the rails and the long journeys they facilitate, but I do not much enjoy the strict discipline of the track. Having said that train stations are endlessly fascinating, those nodes of activity that make the rails work, where all the important things happen, the thinking, the planning, the decisions, the stories.

When I saw train station as a topic, my first thought was to draw the interiors of a magnificent train station, part Victoria Terminus in Bombay, part over-wrought mall in Dubai, but with a respectful ancientness and grand vaulted ceilings. However, that image would tell no story, other than to marvel at the scale of it all. During my not too frequent train journeys, I have found that it doesn’t take much to make a railway station. A block of concrete and a sign often suffices. So I drew that sort of station, a small one, in a small town seen in the distance, a hundred stories between its old ticket booth and its iron arches. And surely the station master would have a very intelligent dog.

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