Still Learning To See


It is easy for me to be nostalgic about railroads. Like many my age, I grew up in a time and place where they were part of everyday life. while I never rode a passenger train, I well remember smoke belching steam locomotives, the sound of distant train whistles, waiting “forever” for long freight trains to pass a crossing and many happy hours of playing with my brother near the tracks. My  6th grade teacher was a rail buff who infected me with his enthusiasm.

On our recent visit to Shelburne Museum I enjoyed seeing an old steam engine, a Pullman passenger car and a historic rail station. They connect me with my childhood and, who knows, might one day serve us as a model and become a part of our future. Regardless, it was a pleasant hour of memories and small photographic details.

Locomotive 220, built in 1915, was the last coal-burning ten-wheeler in Vermont. Up to its being retired in 1956 it carried both freight and passengers including, at times,  four US Presidents (Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt and Eisenhower). The station was moved to the museum from the nearby village of Shelburne.

This entry was published on August 31, 2014 at 9:41 am. It’s filed under John Snell, Photograph, Summer, Vermont and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Memories

  1. I’ve always loved trains as well, John–one went by close to our house, and the sound has stayed with me (and now another goes past my present home!). My grandfather came to America from Switzerland, where he had been a conductor on the railroad. He continued that job in West Virginia, and my father recalled the honor of being allowed to ride on the train with his dad. I highly recommend the sleeper car 2 day ride from MI to Seattle–such a joy compared to flying! 🙂

  2. Bob Fromm on said:

    John, I too have great affinity & nostalgia with train, I luv the sound of a train whistle in the darkness.

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