12.29.15: History Of Trains, Thomas The Imperialist Tank Engine, & Letters Of Note

Dec 29, 2015

When the cold winds blow and the snow falls, there’s no more romantic and carefree way to travel than a train. Today air and interstate travel have turned these engines of American mobility into expensive relics. On today’s show, we’ll pen a love letter to riding the rails.

And the old world charm continues with the particular intimacy of handwritten letters. From the Queen’s scone recipe, to life-saving encouragement from a punk rock icon, we’ll talk to a collector of correspondence deserving a wider audience.

Listen to the full show.

Tom Zoellner: Train

Tom Zoellner recounts his experiences riding the rails in exotic locales such as Russia, China, India, Peru and Spain. We'll discuss the romance of trains and his book, Train: Riding the Rails that Created the Modern World.

Thomas The Imperialist Tank Engine

Jessica Roake talks to producer Taylor Quimby about her in-depth look at the beloved children's hero Thomas The Tank Engine and finds some not-so-subtle imperialist undertones in the popular television show.

Letters of Note

Shaun Usher discusses his book, Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience.

A Poet & A Typewriter

The story of a poet with a typewriter and a simple business model: Name a price. Pick a subject. Get a poem. Producer Joseph Ulrich brings us the story.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.