Chasing Trains

There’s just something mesmerizing about that low rumble and faint whistle in the distance. What kid doesn’t eagerly wait for that engine to pass, hoping to catch sight of the engineer waving back as he rolls by on the rails? In fact, even as adults we still find it fascinating and exciting.

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A few weeks ago, we traveled out to Perry to set up a booth at the Peaches to Beaches yard sale. On the way, we stopped in Juliette to eat at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Yes, the same one featured in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”. It was a cute little town right beside the railroad tracks. We wandered around, and I took lots of photos. Many were of the cats that hang out on the porch of the Whistle Stop. I also got a few of the tracks and the corn mill between the tracks and the water. Unfortunately, these were among the pictures I lost. However, I now have an excuse to go back out there soon.

On the way home, we drove back out to Juliette. I wanted to wait for a train to go by and get some good pictures. We waited and waited, but no train came by. On the way out of Juliette, we took a wrong turn. Or maybe it was a right turn, because as we circled back around, we saw it…the train!

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Now, my husband’s grandfather was quite the train hobbyist. He built models, and he even had a train car that he and Grandma rode down the railroad tracks with a club they were in. He also helped open and run the train museum in East Point. His father also worked for the railroad. So, as you can imagine, my husband’s childhood was filled with trains.

I have my history with trains as well. I grew up with my grandmother’s stories of her father who worked for the railroad out in Montana.

So, with our shared fascination with trains, it only makes sense that we would decide to take off and chase this one. What fun! He drove and followed the tracks, and I kept my eye out for the train. The goal was to get ahead of it and watch it at a crossing. Did we succeed? Indeed we did! We headed it off and made it to a railroad crossing on a backroad in the middle of nowhere. We pulled off the side of the road and eagerly awaited.

Just as I was beginning to get antsy and believe we had missed the train, the lights came on, the bell sounded, and the crossing arm lowered.

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The train came rumbling around in just a few minutes. And to our delight, the engineer waved as he went by. Our daughter watched as she stood in the middle of the road in front of the crossing arm, and I took as many pictures as I could get. And these were not lost! They were safe on my SD card, so you get to enjoy the fruits of our Great Locomotive Chase (a movie we are most familiar with by the way).

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