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The Pros And Cons Of Living In "Shining Time Station"

The kids’ TV show about trains had a lot going for it. Like mini-Ringo Starr!

1. Remember Shining Time Station?


This kids’ TV show aired on PBS in the ’90s and featured the railroad tales of Thomas the Tank Engine along with the stories of the people of Shining Time Station — a group of kids, station owner Stacy (aka Frenchy from Grease), the magical Mr. Conductor, Schemer (a greedy, sleazy grown-up), handyman Billy Twofeathers, and The Jukebox Band.

It sounds cool…but there are some downsides…

2. Pro: You get to hang out with a miniature Ringo who appears in a cloud of magical gold dust.

3. Con: You also have to hang out with this creep named Schemer who is pretty much the same as Saul on Breaking Bad.

4. Pro: There’s not a ton of adult supervision in Shining Time Station. The kids kind of show up and join the grown-ups with whatever they’re doing.

5. Con: Your parents are okay with you spending all your spare time in a train station?

6. Pro: It’s barely a train station and maybe like two people a year pass through there, so you kind of have the run of the place.

7. Con: They might make you clean it.

8. Pro: Mini-Ringo gets replaced by an equally cool new mini-man, George Carlin.

9. Con: If you are a train, you will spend most of your time battling an identity crisis over why you’re not as good as an electric train.

10. Pro: The station has phones. Yay, phones!

11. Con: One of them is really old, so good luck figuring out how to work it.

12. Pro: There was an “arcade.”

13. Con: Schemer, the arcade owner, was just out to get your money. He just loooooved collecting those nickels.

14. Pro: There was this cool, live band inside the jukebox that would play punched-up versions of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” They also pretty much called all the bullshit that went on in the station.

15. Con: They only got paid a nickel per song. Which, once divided among the five of them, and with the cut taken by their agent, amounted to nearly nothing.

16. And to end with one lasting pro: If you don’t like it, you can leave. They got trains and stuff.

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