You might also like

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Side trip

Grandma's bus runs a tight schedule on Sunday. Get Hamilton to church by nine, come back to take Emily to work by ten.  Back for Hamilton at noon and back for Emily at five.

I dropped Emily at Heritage Farm on one end of Riverview Road and decided to go north to the little park in Boston. This is the last weekend the Nickel Plate 765 steam engine is running. From the reports I knew the last two weekends had been shoulder to shoulder people, but I wanted to see the behemoth myself.

I parked at the ski resort and started the hike to the station.  I knew all the police on duty, and got a hug from Priscilla, right in the middle of Riverview, as she stopped traffic for me to cross.


  
Oh, the smell of it and the noise of it.  I inhaled deeply of coal and steam.  I didn't need a ticket for that.



I did need a ticket to get past this old man.  Until an old railroad comrade hailed...






I hope you have smelled a coal fired steam engine in your life. The steam billowing, the sunlight shafting through... And the size of it. Massive.  Yes, those wheels are as tall as a man.


The little park in Boston is just across the road.  Pictures in the papers the last two week ends showed the park full of people, jostling for a view of old 765.  Not too bad today.  Then it was time to go  for Hamilton.

As we left the parking lot of his church I asked if he was interested in the long way home; there were two awesome things to look at. Of course he was.


We stopped along Riverview, under the Ohio Turnpike bridge that spans the valley.  I've wanted to do that for some time, too. Hamilton was suitably impressed. "But why are there people down by the tracks?"  They were waiting for the train to pass.  "What train?" I had something else to show him!




The train, back for another run.  Sadly for the folks under the bridge a little south, the Boston station was today's southern terminus; Hamilton and I got there in time to inhale deeply and then watch 765's wheels revolve backwards and start the northbound trip.




Probably all the folks over here on the south, in the little park, didn't know the train would not pass them by. But two little boys playing tag on the sandstone walks made me smile.












19 comments:

  1. I have been on a steam train..and got a sooty face from sitting next to the window. The smell is never forgotten!
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been on a steam train and I have attended the Milton Steam Show which was a noisy, happy event.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like you had a busy but pleasant day! I have smelled the coal from a steam train only once. Such power in those locomotives.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Steam trains once ran into Sydney from Campbeltown before the put in electric line in. I remember as a child riding these trains, the windows opened the seats were very comfortable and I still remember the smell and the wind in my face.
    Merle.........

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been on a train only once not counting commuter trains. One of my summer visits, my parents couldn't be bother to take to to stay with my aunt and uncle in the country so they put me on a plane to the nearest town with an airport and from the plane to the train when there was still passenger service. or maybe it was two different summers. it could be that I took the train from Houston to Tyler where I was picked up by my aunt and uncle. I remember flying once too. my mother often couldn't be bothered to do things for us kids unless it was my brother.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Steam trains are magic. Dirty, noisy, smelly - and magic.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I lived in a coal mining town until I was 7 years old... the trains were fired by coal... and hauled coal from the mines out of the county. I don't know where. I definitely remember the hissing of steam ... and the soot.... and the sounds. I remember my Mom pulling our (probably a Radio Flyer) wagon along the tracks and she, my siblings and myself, picking up coal that had fallen off the coal cars. I've ridden on everything from narrow gauge to Amtrak trains since then... luxury trains in Europe, where they served tea and scones... and very "unpersonal" trains where you were just crammed in.... BUT nothing is like those old trains of the 1940's!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've been on a few steam trains; they are such a cool experience and I do love the smell of the coal indeed (when I grew up, we still had a coal furnace for a bit and I remember watching the coal man delivering our season's coal for the coal basement).

    Sounded like a nice day for you to share part of it with Hamilton. I had to laugh with all the running around you do; I can relate; sometimes it seems like you spend more time in the car than at home :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hari Om
    Oh yes! One of my fondest toddler memories - I'd have been about 20 months, was of riding with Grandad on the West Highland Express from Glasgow to Oban. Etched onto my hard-drive!!! YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Bluebell Railway in Sussex - a wonderful outing.
    Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have seen and smelled a coal fired steam engine or two, but I don't think I've ever seen one as big as that. It's beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My husband loves steam trains -- in fact anything to do with the railways. He's always stopping whenever he sees an old station -- especially those that have not been renovated! The steam trains here are not as huge as those in the States, but they are still mighty impressive -- nothing like seeing one speeding and billowing through the countryside...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've never been on a steam train, but this post makes me feel like it's an experience not to be missed.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my goodness! This looks like so much fun. What a wonderful thing to see. My husband would have loved this too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a fantastic day out, I used to travel to school on a steam train. I can hear the hiss of the steam and smell the smoke right now while I'm reading your blog. The windows had leather straps almost like a belt you could fasten on notches what degree you wanted to open the window to. Joanne you've started me off now on a blog idea. Thanks for a great read.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love trains! Especially the old steam locomotives! The smells. The sounds. We have one that runs regularly at old Fort Edmonton. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like a successful Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Glad to see they still have steam trains over there.

    ReplyDelete