For a long time now, I haven’t felt a need to go back to my home town in the Netherlands, by which I mean the town where I was born and grew up in. It’s nearly thirty years ago that I left, and because I no longer have any family living there, there actually is no need to go back. In that sense, it’s no longer my home town.
This week, one of my childhood friends, who obviously grew up in the same town, and whom I still consider to be one of my best friends, sent me a message. It was a short news item in which a new train service was announced. This train service will run through the town, as it did many decades ago, before I was even born. The old train station was neglected for many years after the service was terminated, until it could no longer be maintained. It got demolished and was replaced with residential buildings. At another location, a new station building was erected, and this is now the home of a touristic train service.
But it seems it will get a new purpose, to service passengers traveling from and to some major cities. No longer will the last (or first) leg be a tedious ride by bus, but tourists and commuters will be able to enjoy the train for the entire trip.
It may sound strange, but I feel it’s a good reason to visit my home town once again. Sure, it’s a few years off, but it’s something to look forward to. The whole thing brought back memories of my time in uni, traveling by bus, by train, then another train, then another train, and another bus to get from home to campus. I remembered one of the stations where we had to change train services as nothing more than a bus stop, and the biting cold we had to endure in winter as we waited for the connecting train.
This is still the situation for travelers on that particular route, and it’s a strange idea that this will no longer be the case in 3-5 years time. Again, I look forward to that experience. Maybe I can get my friend to travel with me, and we can reminisce about our shared history.