Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Train Spotting

I LOVE trains.  My neighbor to the north is the Canadian National Railway and still, after all these years, I get excited when I hear that far off whistle and feel the powerful rumbling.  

When my family first moved here in 1969, at the first sound of a diesel engine we would stop what we  were doing and run for the tracks.  At that time it was the Soo Line Railway and they had the friendliest engineers who would always reward our efforts with a toot on the horn.  The conductor on the caboose would follow with a wave and salute. 
Once each year we were treated to something extraordinary.  A group of retired railroad employees had purchased an old steam engine and restored it, along with several vintage passenger cars.  Their annual outing consisted of a run right past Bon Bon Pond.   The sights and sounds of a steamer are beyond words and something everyone should experience.

Today, the wonderful Soo has sold out, the cabooses-with their conductors-are gone, and the Canadians aren’t nearly as neighborly, but it’s still a thrill to watch these magnificent monoliths, mementos of the day when the American West was wild and rail was king.

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