4/23/2013

Trains & Planes


It seems that most small towns have train tracks running through them.  Most of those tracks' purposes were to transport supplies ( and people) to and from the towns.  Since the Small Town is a fairly young town (only 94 years old), the tracks all lead through the aluminum plants.

As far as I know, there has never been a train depot in the Small Town, which to me means that the only purpose of the trains was to carry supplies in and out of the plants.  The tracks run from plant to plant.  And, of course, supplies are carried in and out of the plants.

Every now & then, I hear the faint whistle of a distant train.  Since the aluminum plnat has dwindled down to 2 sites and the activity level at both of them is considerable less than it was in 1919 (or even the 1970's), some of the tracks have been paved over.

There is one train trestle in the Small Town. Growing up, this was the "dividing line" between the white part of town and the black part of town.  (For more on this, come back on Thursday.)  I can remember Mama telling us to hold our breath and make a wish when we drove under the trestle when a train was on it.

Crossing any tracks on a bike was a big deal---I just didn't do it.  It was a whole different world on the other side of the tracks.  When I started driving, it was still rare to cross the tracks.  I drove under the trestle many times.  That was how we went to the grocery store & the shopping center.  I may have ridden my bike under it once...just to see what it was like.  But, it was only done once because of the guilt I felt by doing something I knew my daddy wouldn't have been happy with.  (If you look just to the left of the trestle, there is a walk-through.)

We may not have many trains, but we do have quite a few planes.  Our town is home to the big city's airport.  A teacher once made the comment that it's like someone owning the yard, but someone else owning the house.  The airport is very, very close to where I live.  Thankfully, our house isn't in the flight path, so we don't hear the planes very often.  We actually hear Air Force Jets more often than passenger/cargo planes.  The airport are also houses a Air National Guard Refueling Unit and a training and education center for the Air National Guard.

The airport was originally in the west part of the big city, which in the past few years has seen a huge growth.  If they hadn't decided to build the airport in the Small Town, there's no telling how differently it and the west side of the big city would look now.

5 comments:

  1. I think we only have one train track left in our city now. Most have been removed or paved over and turned into a bike trail. The one still left is used for a recreational train ride for visitors.

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  2. ..and they cut off traffic at the most inopportune times. It never fails ours runs through town....as school turns out.

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  3. Our small town (village actually) doesn't have a train track. And the nearby larger town (smaller city) has converted unused train tracks to bike trails ... our county has at least 200 miles of bike trails.

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  4. I like the comment your friend made, about one person owning the house and another owning the yard. And the Air Guard there? Is there a lot of air traffic noise?

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  5. Not uncommon for the train tracks to define neighborhoods and cultures. Interesting post. Thank you. xoA

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