Down by the station
Early in the morning
See the little pufferfellies
All in a row
With one son and five grandsons that are train enthusiasts we've sung "Down by the Station" many, many times. We've been to train stations and train museums.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times we've sat beside railroad tracks and watched trains. We actually cheer when we get stopped at a railroad crossing. It doesn't matter to us how long the train is! You know how every family has it's own private lingo. We call railroad crossing gates...dingers. Someone asked me why recently and I explained that our son loved trains even as a toddler and "dingers" is easier to say than "crossing gates!" And, they go...ding, ding, ding!
Anyway, back to the station. I stood there and imagined what it would have been like years ago when traveling by train across America. I could just see the hustle and bustle on the platform. I could hear the chattering of excited travelers; the bangs and bumping as the train was loaded with luggage, crates and barrels; and the hissing of steam from the old engine.
This depot in Hope, Arkansas was built in 1912 by the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad. Most of the old stations along this route are built in the Mediterranean Revival style with gabled red tile roofs. The depot remained in use until 1968 and then sat unused for many years before it was turned over to the town. Hope is the hometown of former President Clinton and to celebrate his presidential election in 1992 the citizens of Hope restored it. One end is a museum and the other is once again a working train station; a stop for Amtrac's Texas Eagle.
In another small town we passed through we even saw tracks going right down the middle of the street. I wondered how that would feel driving right beside a huge locomotive. My grandsons would love that!
In case your worried about me standing on the tracks...don't. This is a spur and the tracks are gated off, so there was no worry about a train coming. I'm not even sure the tracks are used very often. Those rails look pretty bumpy! On the crossing gates in the distance is a red sign that says STOP. The trains on this spur would have to stop for the trains on the main line.
I have a confession. The tracks in the middle kind of blew my mind and I drove down the wrong side of the road. Not very far, just a few feet until I turned into an empty lot to take these pictures. Oops!! Mr. H just shook his head at me. Oh well, as you can see there weren't any cars around and thankfully no policeman!
This trip was one of our courthouse runs. I added four more courthouses to my photography project. I'll be back with some more pictures from the towns we went through.