Thoughts About Trains

In addition to passenger service, engine 4960 provided freight service on the railroad line through Dayton. We lived right next to the railroad tracks (the bush on the right is in our back yard) so passing freight trains shook everything in the house. Living so close, you became deaf to the noise and it was not unusual for someone to ask if the train had come through yet. My mother had a set of glass shelves which hung on the dining room window. One of the ways to answer the question was to see if any of the trinkets on the shelf had fallen over.

Other people were not quite so complacent about the noise. Once a guest who had spent the night in our guest room, which was on the side next to the tracks, came down to breakfast asking “WHAT was that thing that came through my room in the night?”

As children we left coins on the track or crossed pins, which made scissor shapes when squashed by the wheels. We always waved to the red caboose, regardless of whether anyone was there to wave back..

The track ran uphill going north out of Dayton. In bad weather, when the track was icy, it seemed to take forever for the train to pass our house. It seemed to slip back one foot for every two it gained.

The passenger service ended in 1952, (see here and here for the end of the “Dinky”) but engine 4960 continued a freight run twice a day until newer engines took over in 1966.

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