Unsure why it is but I have a newfound love of trains.
My children still tell me that one of their best vacation memories was the trip we took on the Crescent from Atlanta to New York City so many years ago.
The sleeping quarters were cramped to be sure but we never hesitated to laugh over it…then and now.
Living in downtown Woodstock, Georgia, the train tracks were just about in our building’s front entrance. I came to just love when a train would slowly crawl down the tracks.
When I was lucky enough to be relaxing in the park-like atmosphere across the street and a train would blow its whistle, my spirits would rise and excitement grew.
I was like a child. More to the point I became like my grandchildren when they, too, saw a train. Eyes would light up and a broad smile would appear as they pointed to the train! It was the highlight of their day. Maybe, just mine.
The barricades would come down as if shouting “STOP” and “BEWARE”. Bells would ring. Be careful all train lovers. Relax, enjoy, watch and listen.
Whistles would whistle and the conductor would look ahead but once in a great while he would do a bit of a wave to the children who congregated near the barricade. The climax of the experience to be sure since every child would believe that the conductor waves a special hello to them only. Most certainly the children believed this and, perhaps, many adults as well.
Today, the day after Irma sauntered through the Atlanta area, I hear train after train moving through Woodstock. Whistle after whistle. Six so far. They were backed up I suspect in Atlanta and must make up for lost time. The trains and their conductors rested yesterday due to weather conditions.
Exciting day and I wish my Grandchildren could be here listening with me. I find I am the lucky one since we live close to the tracks. There is no ‘wrong side of the tracks’ for me. The closer the better.
For now, I will enjoy. “I hear the train a coming’ round the bend…”* Here comes another train!
I hear that sweet sounding whistle.
*FOLSOM PRISON BLUES by Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash
The Crescent on the Amtrak line runs from Penn Station in New York City to New Orleans making about 33 stops across 13 States with daily departures both ways. Relax…it takes about 30 hours in total. I highly recommend the journey from Atlanta to New York City.
Train travel in Europe is customary. It is sad to think that in the U.S. it is not. Amtrak has been close to closing down many of their routes. In fact, the budget proposal is worrisome. Many routes may be eliminated making cross country passenger rail a thing of the past.