Toot Tooooooot

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Jul 02, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Sunday, June 20, 2010

I  love the sound of a train whistle. It sounds so mournful and lonely, yet it brings back wonderful childhood memories of taking the train from Minneapolis to visit my grandparents in the little town of Greene, Iowa. I probably only did that a few times, but it left a definite impression on me and I still associate train travel with one of comfort and anticipation. What was especially exciting, at that time, was bringing the train back to Minneapolis from Greene. Greene was a very small farming town, but it did have a “working depot” of sorts - and the train did go through, although it only stopped if it had to drop someone off or pick up a passenger. The engineer didn’t know ahead of time when someone wanted to be picked up, the way they do today. The train had to be flagged down. The northbound train came through Greene very late at night, and when we got to the depot, Grampa had to light the kerosene lamp from the depot building. Then he had to stand by the tracks and wave the lantern when he saw the lights of the train coming, so the engineer would know he had to stop for a passenger. One time, the train was coming and Grampa couldn‘t get the lantern to light!  But he finally got it lit…and just in time. What an adventure. The train stopped going through Greene many many years ago. I think it’s sad that we’ve lost so much of our country’s rail service.  We've even gone through many small towns already on this route where the train doesn't stop at all because they no longer have train service.
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