Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stationary Train Passenger In White Rock

A TRAVELER in a motionless relaxed pose, with a suitcase by his side, is ready to board a train he can never catch.

The bronze statue is a new feature that stands outside a former train station, and now White Rock Museum, that no longer sells tickets to ride. Reportedly commissioned for $80,000, the work by Denis Kleine is called The Passenger.

The dapper mustached man that seems on the cusp of coming to life enhances the seaside scenery with his realism. He provides an exquisite glimpse into an era when trains were bold without being intimidating and had an aura of practicality as well as romance.

It is ironic that the stationary "passenger" appears at a time when the City is contemplating options it may or may not have to remove and relocate the track run by Great Northern Railway (GN) in the early years. The railway evolved from being the lifeblood of a small Canadian town to being viewed more as a hazard that at this point in history is owned and operated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) in the US.

Trains that pass by now are the swift and silent Amtrak, (that carries passengers from Seattle to Vancouver in Canada), and mile-long frequent freight trains transporting such goods as lumber, hazardous chemicals and dusty coal destined for ports in faraway places.

People have accidentally been injured and killed on these tracks. And since the derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, there has been renewed unease about train routes cutting through heavily populated areas like the border town of White Rock and also nearby Crescent Beach where extraordinarily long strings of boxcars can block access to emergency vehicles for many critical minutes.

The attractive gent with a glint in his eye was unconcerned, however, as perhaps I should have been since everything was perfectly fine for the both of us at that moment and place in time.

While photographing the sculpture, I had a chance encounter with a woman who was polishing one of many train-shaped plaques embedded into the walkway designed to commemorate special occasions or to celebrate a life. I learned she was a mother who tragically lost her daughter, Heather, to cancer. Heather's plaque shone the brightest, thanks to her loving and dedicated mom.

I took my umbrella off the immovable suitcase and wished the world were a safer place. We are all passengers to unknown destinations. Disease, natural disasters, random accidents and man’s stunning inhumanity to man (recent beheadings and burning of a person alive come to mind) make me want to hide under my umbrella. But I keep moving because, unlike the statue, I am lucky that I can ... and I can jump on board whenever anything good arrives.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. I like the statue a lot. Trains have always fascinated me. That's terrible about accidents on train tracks although I wonder how it compares to the loss of life on highways which can be very high.

  2. The statue does indeed look like it could come alive at any moment.

    Moving the tracks sounds like a BIG job but some freight trains do carry extremely dangerous chemicals and it would be another incredible tragedy if an accident occurred like the one in Lac-Mégantic!

  3. I love trains and I love the statue. It reminds me of seeing my dad off to the big city on the train and the excitement of the huge beast. They made a lot of noise in those days.

  4. I like the statue very much. I hadnever thought about the length of time vehicles have to wait before those lengthy trains go by.

  5. Great photos of a very interesting statue. I like your philosophy about keeping moving.

  6. I love the statue of the passenger! I think some accidents with cars and trains could be avoided if drivers were more patient and waited for the train to pass. I never thought until now about emergency vehicles having to wait a long time for a train to pass. Great post and photos.. Enjoy your week ahead!

  7. Wonderfully informative post and creative photography ~ love the sculpture!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  8. What a dapper gentleman - he looks so real!

  9. Interesting sculpture of the train passenger. He looks like he is really looking forward to the train journey.

  10. The Bronze man is so attractive seen from any angle and makes me feel like looking at him for a while. He’d become more impressive with a patina acquired with age but acid rain could corrode him standing always outside, though I hope something is done for it.

    Yesterday and today, we are in the coldest wave this season. The morning temperature was -2.5 degrees C in Tokyo. I hope your nephew’s family is not fed up with the cold, instead enjoying Japan’s winter.


  11. That's a lovely statue and how lovely that they have turned the station into a museum. They did something similar to one near us and I have enjoyed visiting it.

  12. I wish we could jump on board and move out when things are not going well!

    It is too bad about the trains blocking streets for emergency vehicles. A scary thought.

  13. Great post! I've seen similar statues at train station in California. I find them rather comforting.

    Take 25 to Hollister

  14. There is something very appealing about those statues that seem like they're about to move and do something. There are a couple on a park bench near Piccadilly and people just love to be photographed sitting between them!

  15. I missed seeing this post. Another one filled with beauty and eloquence. Yes, we move forward in life (both physically and emotionally) in the face of situations we are powerless to change because that is the very definition of the human spirit.


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