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TRAIN - 1958

TRAIN – 1958 On a warm summer evening at North Philadelphia Station the 6:19 on track three, the "Spirit of Saint Louis-Limited" from Penn Station New York, Newark and Trenton bound for Thirtieth Street, Paoli, Lancaster, Harrisburg Altoona, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati Indianapolis and Saint Louis Twenty cars of elegance named Raritan Susquehanna, Shenandoah, Delaware…follow the sleek GG1 that is “Pennsy” power and speed on the north Jersey flats, the rolling Dutch Country the Tidewater regions of the Northeast Corridor prelude to the moaning of the big double diesels in the cool humid evening pulling silver moon-lit coaches over the intricate topography of the ridge and valley province, up the long steep grades, around the narrow horseshoe curves, through the dark fertile clearings the dense upland forests, the ancient terrestrial rhythms of the Allegheny Mountains, and in the silent midnight hours, falling faster and faster from the Appalachian Plateau into the shadowed lowlands of the broad Ohio Country, west through Indiana a caterpillar of light and noise with a rapid steel-clad cadence clacking, clicking, roaring through the dreams of sleeping towns and farms, crossing gracefully-crafted bridges over black ribbons of water, and gathering their speed like earth-bound meteors, drawn by the gravity of the Mississippi River, greet the pearly gray dawn at a hundred miles an hour, bursting through the mists with the early morning sun, their haunting horns blowing, howling at the crossings on the Illinois prairie, the great river just ahead Tonight I’ll lie in bed and listen to the television next door, to the sirens in the neighborhood nearby, but the rhythm of my thoughts will be rocking me to sleep on the bright city of the night, hurtling towards the west, opening up the continent to a boy’s imagination and to railroad station dreams

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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