LoOk Margo! Toot! Toot!
Trips to the interior of Australia are fun, especially when we’re approaching a road sign like this. It requires a high-pitched toot toot to be piped across the cabin as we pass it… and Margo just absolutely LOVES IT when I do it!
It’s a simple game, in the vain of Punch Buggy, y’know, see a Volkswagen Beetle on the road and punch the person beside you on the arm before they punch you?
Well, this is Toot Toot Train, see this sign, make a toot!
It’s all part of keeping a long trip interesting.
The big, brown, flat land we live in has thousands of kilometres of straight road and highway. A little weirdness along the way breaks up the journey… and helps make Margo’s eyes roll at each toot.
Signs like these are relatively rare in the outback but, when a highway and a major rail line runs parallel to each other, they may pop-up every few hundred kilometres. A yellow sign like this stands out against the barren landscape.
The irony is: we’ve never seen a train like this one, not a functioning one anyway. Steam trains have long since gone but the symbol has carried on. It’s a bit like the speed-camera symbol we see on the roads:
I looked it up – THAT’S A CAMERA!!!
I looked it up – THAT’S NOT WIFI!!!
Modern cameras look more like a phone. THEY have wifi, a good battery will give 24 hours of it. Wifi is inside them and I know that but the symbol I see doesn’t relate to a camera or wifi.
So what’s the deal?
This post is about toot toot train, not a study of outdated sign symbols.
The weirdness of driving all the way across the country and then settling in Mandurah is that two of these (steam) train signs exist in our town and there’s no rail line to speak of!
Each time we cross the bridge into town, there’s one toot toot heard and one set of rolling eyes. When we head back out of it, they happen again.
“Where’s the railway here?” She asks in withering frustration.
“How the hell do I know? You were the one who spent holidays in Mandurah. The rail must’ve come through here at sometime in the past and they’ve pulled it up later, leaving the signs behind as a reminder.”
“The museum is right here. Maybe there’s a rail-nut who runs it and wanted to keep the signs kept as a memorial to the railway that USED to be here.”
“There was never a railway here!” She shouts.
And now I need to work out why there are train signs in a town that has never had trains. In the meantime, there is always time for toot toot, one more smile and one more grimace! Hee! Hee!