Every time I went on the underground in London, I used to queue up to get a ticket inspector to let me through rather than use the automated gates, which I was terrified of. One day, aged about 13 and after many years of gate-avoidance, I was travelling with my father who got fed up waiting for me and finally asked why I couldn't use the ticket gates like normal people. I explained that if you didn't get the timing just right and run through at exactly the right time you would get cut in half. I'd been told that dozens of people got killed on the underground every year because the gates caught them, and I wasn't brave enough to risk it.
He was horrified by my gruesome childish beliefs. "But that's rubbish! They have sensors and things to stop you getting hurt - who put this nonsense in your head?". "Er - you did, dad." He had spun me this yarn when I was four and instantly forgotten it.
My girlfriend (who's 20 yrs old) didn't realise until the other year that trains have wheels. She'd assumed they were somehow hovering.
When I was a kid I always used to wonder how a train turned to go in the opposite direction. I always believed that there was some huge space where the train could turn around
I used to believe that trains ran along the roofs of houses. I had yet to discover the concept of perspective.
As a child, my mother lived near railroad tracks. She and her siblings would throw pebbles at the passing trains, trying to hit them. One time my mom was the only successful kid, and watched the train continue on it's way. Well, for some reason the train derailed on the corner down the tracks, spilling it's load of nickels everywhere. For years my mom believed she knocked that train over with her pebble.
On subway platforms in NYC, there are these bright orange bars painted near the edge of the platform to warn you to stay back. My mom once told me that if i step on that bar, i'd get run over by the train. So natuarally i rationalized that there was a very small but very dangerous train which would run your foot over if you stepped on this bar.
After seeing Thomas the Tank Engine, I believed that all the locomotives in the world had a face.
I live near the Forth Rail Bridge which has supports that make it look like a Big Dipper roller coaster. When I was younger I used to believe the trains went up and down the humps like a roller coaster and always wondered why they never fell off. When I finally realised my misconception and told my dad, turns out he used to believe the same thing!
i used to think that large trains worked by remote control, because i never saw the drivers. i also thought that subways didn't have tracks and could just slide along like worms in tunnels. growing up in country south australia, this belief lasted a long time, as i had never seen a subway until a trip to sydney when i was 9.
I believed that people riding diesel locomotives (as opposed to steam or electric) were notorious for fighting with each other. I have no idea where this notion came from.
I used to believe that the 'Flying Scotsman' was a guy in a beret and kilt zooming around the sky like a superhero - not just a boring old train. Sam aged 10.
Sam also used to believe that The Beetles were a group of animated cartoon insects that sang.
when i was young, my mother would take us kids to london on the under ground once a year to see farther christmas. i thougth a man would sit in front with a big spade, when we got to the tunnel.
My sister told me that when riding a train if I heard a noise that sounded like a the train's horn it was in fact a creature called a 'Beebarp' getting run over. 'Beebarps' apparently ate children and kept their left over toe nails on necklaces.
I used to believe that trains were full of small horses inside. And those small horses' legs were responsible for the train movement.
When i first moved to London when i was little, My mum told me that all the screeching and scrapping noises the tube train made was people who had got hit by a train's bones grinding on the rails! I stayed well away from the yellow line because i didnt want my bones grinding on the rails for all eternity!
A long time ago I was told that the big brake wheel in the cab of the train was in fact a steering wheel and thought train drivers were pretty clever at keeping their trains on the narrow rails. Then one day I saw tube trains (that still has a big brake wheel) and thought their drivers were even cleverer at being able to steer their trains in the dark!
When I was younger, ok, not that young, when I was a Teenager, I went on the Eurostar from London to Paris and was disappointed to find that most of the journey took place in a dark tunnel. I was expecting portholes in the tunnel so you could see the water and the fish.....
My dad used to be a driver on the old steam trains
Whenever we were waiting at the level crossing gates my dad always told me which direction the train would be coming from, when I enquired how he was always right he said "I can smell em, I can smell em". Of course he was looking at the signals
When I was very young I remember my parents taking me on our first holiday abroad. It was to Italy, and as air travel was expensive then, we went on what was known as "the boat train". They led me to believe (or maybe it was my imagination!)that we took the train down to Dover where it was loaded on a boat and sailed to France- was them offloaded and continued it's journey.
I remember trying to work out how long this boat must have been!!!
When I was a child, I was convinced that there was a certain type of criminal who specialized in pushing people in front of on-coming subway cars. I used to ride the subway with my Mom in NYC quite a bit and she was always warning me not to get too close to the yellow line because someone would "push me into the path of the train" -- I didnt realize that she meant that this might happen accidentally. Rather, I believed that every station had armies of "bad guys" looking to toss people in front of trains as they come into the station and that anyone who got too close to the edge of the platform was going down.