I took a high speed train with the National Rail System from London into the County of Devon. The train delivered me to Totnes, a town near the southern coast. But I needed to get to Buckfastleigh, a town a bit north of Totnes, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. To get there, I took a steam train on the South Devon Railway. It’s a lazy and rumbling 15 minute ride to Buckfastleigh, with the requisite whistle blowing and large puffs of steam floating by the windows. Enthusiasts and families come to ride the train for a trip back in time or just for the fun of it. Most of the staff are volunteers and obviously enjoy spending time with the trains and the passengers that roll through.
I took the train again yesterday on a day trip to Totnes. On the last leg of the ride, the conductor slowed the engine to a crawl and announced that we were approaching a spot where knomes come out to see us. He told us to keep a careful watch out of the left window because they’re hard to spot. There was a bank close to the window with more than a dozen gnome statuettes perched across it (see horribly blurry pic below). So funny! Do I have to tell you, I really like these people!