Quick glances to the left. To the right. Strangers eye each other furtively on the packed platform. A passenger, a train: the theatre where the most expected, and sometimes the most unexpected, scenes of everyday life play themselves out. Before the train’s departure or the frenzy of arrival of the latest express, the atmosphere on the platform has enticed you to dreams of evasion.
Brought back down to earth by piercing headlights. Passengers step down from their TGVs, regional trains or suburban trains. In Milan, Paris, Moscow, New York or Melbourne, the ritual is the same: first, silence in the depths of a vehicle that offers a well-earned space for rest.
Then, movement. The arriving train displaces the air. Lost glances come back into focus. Some search for each other while others embrace, or pick up the pace. Heartfelt reunions after long hours of waiting, the affirmation of a first meeting - or a new story begun in the sweet silence of the carriages.
On the opposite platform, the carriages are ready to receive their guests. A romantic weekend at high speed, or a rural escapade marked out by the rhythm of the clattering tracks as lovers succumb to the pleasures of the journey before leaping into the metro or the waiting tram.
Many of those waiting for their loved ones on the platform will set them free the next day, unhappy but drawn away by the return journey. Last caresses; a final fleeting tenderness as butterfly kisses brush the walls of the parting carriages.
Lovers leave behind the haze of the red lights as they draw away in the night. They will travel together in comfort, perhaps to find each other again on the platform. There’s something in the air. Love is in the train and there’s no doubt about it.
To all those dreaming of love on its trains, Alstom wishes a happy Valentine’s Day.
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