Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Rumble and the Roar

 "Oh listen to the jingle
The rumble and the roar"

This weekend the "Wabash Cannonball," an antique steam locomotive was taken out of "moth balls" hooked to some old passenger cars and taken down the old Wabash Railroad tracks from Eastern Indiana to Lafayette, Indiana.  It made two round trips.  It went within 2 blocks of my home, so of course I had to walk to the tracks both days and see it pass by.

You see, for me this is more than just nostalgia.  Way back in the early 1950's, the Wabash Railroad was a main transportation artery across central Indiana.  Passenger trains stopped in my town.  Once a year, during "teacher's institute" when my mom was gone to meetings for teachers, and there was no school, my Gran would take my brother and I and board the train here in town and we would ride all the way to Detroit to visit my aunt and uncle for the weekend.  We wore our best duds, which Mom insisted on, and we were on our very best behavior.  About 4 hours after leaving town, we arrived in downtown Detroit and were met at the station by the relatives.  On the following Sunday evening, we boarded the train for the ride home.  Our town had no taxi service, and city buses were also a thing of the past, so Dad was elected to pick us up at the station and take us home.  It was uncommonly late for us to be out; at least past 11:00 PM when we arrived.

So, you see, seeing this train brought back very pleasant memories for me.  Maybe this is why traveling on Amtrak still holds a place in my heart over flying or even driving.

Yesterday there were very few people lining the tracks through town as the train went by, but today there were scads of people cheering, and photographing as this piece of history came to life once again.



Anvilcloud said...

This town had two lines at one time. The N-S freight line was running when we came to this place in 2005 but shut down several years later, and the track has now been pulled up.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What a wonderful sight and if were in the area, I can guarantee that Grenville and I would be among those folks turning out to see the train!