Every schoolboy at some stage in his life wants to be an engine driver.... and?
Every schoolboy at some stage in his life wants to be an engine driver.... and it seems that Pope John Paul the Second is no excepting. On Thursday (8 November), he got his chance.
SYNOPSIS: Vatican station...a little used terminus, but one which deals only with the most exclusive of passengers. In a gesture to mark Italy's National Day of the Railwaymen, Pope John Paul waited for his big moment. No system is perfect and although the Holy Father showed no signs of impatience, his train arrived late...one minute late.
It was only the third time a reigning Pope had gone by train. The last time was seventeen years ago when Pope John used one, and before him, Pope Plus at the end of the last century.
It isn't every passenger that gets to drive Rome's famous Harlequin train... but just this once an exception was made. Watched closely by the train driver, the Pope pulled out of the station.
The journey was a short one, with the train making a wide sweep around Rome.
His dream fulfilled, the Pope had to return to work -- celebrating a mass for five thousand railway workers and their families.