With Valley News Live riding the rails and visiting some towns in the area, it got me reminiscing about trains in my childhood.
I’ve always had a fascination with trains.
I think that started as a very young boy getting to see all the model trains my grandfather had.
He took meticulous care of those trains, and it was always a blast seeing him set up a big sprawling track and running the trains.
My love for trains only grew from there.
As a kid growing up in a small town, I would sometimes walk the mile or so to the railroad tracks just to watch the trains go by.
Then, and even now when stopped at a train crossing, I would count the number of cars going by.
I was always a bit disappointed when the tally was a low number.
I got a kick out of seeing trains that had 100 cars…or more.
As I grew a bit older, I used to walk the tracks.
More often than not, this was in the midst of summer on very hot days.
At one point, I had heard you could put your ear to the rail and actually hear a train coming from a very long way away.
So of course I tried that on a few occasions.
Let me tell you, that rail was pretty darn hot after sitting in the sun for hours.
Now, and this is more for my mother than anything else, I would only utilize this method on long straight stretches of track where I could see long distances in both directions.
Wouldn’t you know it…it actually works!
There were a few times when I could put my ear to the rail and hear a train, and it would soon show up.
But the vast majority of the time, I would stand near a crossing and wait for a train to go by.
I can’t properly describe the excitement I felt (and still do to an extent) when the bells starting sounding and the arms dropped down signaling an impending train.
I love trains.
I always have…and always will.
It makes me feel like a kid again when I see them.