March 22, 2017

NO ONE LOVES THE SOUND OF CARS:

A freight train sings me an iron lullaby : The screech of the rails, the blast of the horn say all is well. (Robert Klose, MARCH 22, 2017, CS Monitor)

Winter nights in rural Maine are marked by a dense silence, reinforced by the snow-laden landscape. As someone who grew up in a city, I am acutely aware of this and sometimes find myself straining, as I lie in bed, for evidence of civilization beyond the walls of my house. Every so often I receive it - the passing rumble of the freight train.

The railroad tracks lie not 500 feet from my front door. I drive or walk over them every day, and when I do, I often take time to glance down their length, to where the shining rails coalesce and disappear into the woods in the distance. I may even get to see the train itself. I watch as it approaches, slowly and inexorably, its boxcars swaying on straining sleepers. As I sit in my idling car before the blinking warning lights, I have a front-row seat to one of industrial America's great shows as the behemoth clanks and squeals past me, its engineer ensconced high up in the black diesel locomotive like a pasha. 

Seeing the train by day is always a treat, but hearing it in the dead of night is comforting. 


Nothing beats the sound of the trains running along the Connecticut River.

Posted by at March 22, 2017 7:05 AM

  

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