Trains were so dirty on the outside. All the steam made everything wet and it all stuck to the sides of the engines and cars like a fine mist of the muddiest glue and Madeline had to be careful not to touch anything or she would surely get black soot all over her neat, cream colored gloves. Luckily, it wasn't difficult to stay away from the grime, there was usually a conductor there to help so she didn't need to worry about those things. This time was no different.
Once inside her compartment, she closed the door and watched out the window as people ran past or pushed their luggage here or there hurriedly, the whistle on the train sounding. She had been on trains many times before, but this was the first time she had ever wondered where the whistle actually came from. And why was there so much steam? Coming up with answers on her own only proved entertaining for a little while, but curiosity got the better of her and she opened her compartment door to find the conductor. He called her "Miss," and took her toward the front of the train, leaving her in a spot while, she supposed, he went to ask if she could have a look.