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April 24, 2015 / Gregory Williams


“Trains”, I said! locomotive

Dad had just stated with no uncertainty that if me and my brothers were going to get him anything for his birthday it should be HO scale model trains and accessories.

Fair enough. Dad’s retired now, and I remember as kid he was always keen to build a model rail road. Working as much as he did it’s no wonder it was never built, but we did have a few boxes of trains and track and accessories that had been around since my brothers were little, and even though it was a pain to keep the track together on shag carpet, I ran a good many model rail roads as a kid.

I mean, trains. Where I grew up there were trains everywhere, and rail road crossings. For freight trains everyone would just calmly put their cars in park, roll down the windows, and start smoking. Usually the line of cars would pass after twenty minutes or so. Sometimes it would just stop, and then start to run in reverse. It was times like these that things often got tense. Angry men would get into fist fights before the gates just to blow off steam.

Passenger trains were much faster, but Amtrak’s were the longest. The South Shore was more frequent but shorter, and Metra and the L you only got to see or ride, in Illinois.

So we got Dad enough gear to get his rail road up and running, and he’s called a few times to talk trains. Since it was also such a lovely day this past Sunday, where we live, we took the toddler back to the Northwest Railway Museum, except this time it was open and we caught the 3:15 “out to the falls and back”, the last ride of the day, just a small portion of the ride described here.

locomotive steam engine


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