Railroad Stories: Passenger Train Travel Was Exciting

Children loved passenger train travel.


| Good Old Days


My father was a conductor for the Missouri Pacific. I have many precious memories of him and trains. We had a pass, so going to visit my grandparents in Oklahoma was not a problem. Visiting friends or shopping in the city was fairly easy, too. Many years later, the Stream Liner came through Winfield, Kan. My two older children would ride it to Wichita and spend the day, then ride it back home. To us, passenger train travel was exciting.

During World War II, many of us went to the depot to see the troops go through - they made a short stop, and the ladies of various organizations distributed cookies to the soldiers.

I remember the call boy who came around calling my father for work. When my father came in from his run, we would race down the street to meet him. If he had been gone overnight, which he usually was, he always had something for us and our mother. I got my start sewing by making clothes for the doll my father brought me from one of his trips.

In 1915 or 1916, my father brought my mother two pairs of bloomers, which had just become fashionable. Hers were one of the first pairs in our little town. The telegrapher at the depot gave much of the day's news to the locals, such as baseball scores and important events. Watching the trains pull in was a social time; people visited among the passengers and each other. With today's technology, it's hard for the younger generation to comprehend all of this.



I have made 17 round trips to California, watching the sunset from the dome car as we sped across the desert. For many years, I changed trains in Barstow and had a layover around midnight. I would take advantage of the restaurant in the Harvey House - one of the last ones on the Sante Fe line.

I had many rewarding experiences. Being a nurse, I was once asked by the conductor to go to the ladies lounge where a mother and child were. He had already alerted the hospital at Gallup, N.M., to have an ambulance meet the train. I could only offer comfort to them, but it seemed to help. Another time, a mother in the dome car was frantically sewing sequins on a costume her daughter would wear as she competed in a baton-twirling competition in Chicago. She had already won the state competition in California. All of a sudden, the box of sequins slid to the floor. All the passengers quickly dropped to their knees, and in a short time, the mother was back to her sewing. I've often wondered how that youngster did in her competition.







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: June 2-3, 2018
Frederick, MD

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265