Railroad Stories: Railroad Industry Was Important

In southern Ohio town, railroad industry was important part of the economy.

| Good Old Days

The railroad industry was an important part of the economy of my southern Ohio hometown. Many people were employed by the train lines, including my neighbor. He made me a wonderful lamp out of part of an engine.

More than watching the trains, was the thrill of riding one. My mother, a good friend, her daughter and I made several trips to West Virginia. What a thrill it was for two preschool girls.

Another special memory for me was when Dwight D. Eisenhower was campaigning for president. His train made a stop in our area, and we were dismissed from school to go see him. How wonderful, that a train could bring a piece of history to us.

Trains became very important to me when I was in high school. My boyfriend lived more than 100 miles away, but his dad was an engineer, so he got free pass¬es to visit me. Later, my class took the train from Ohio to Washington, D.C., and New York City on our senior trip. We had a marvelous time on the train, though I'm not sure the other passengers did.

When I attended college and wanted to go home, I took the train. The trip lasted about three hours, which gave me time to study, relax or dream about my future. Later I took some short excursion train trips, just for sightseeing. One of them included a wonderful meal with fancy tablecloths, candlelight and flowers.

It's been awhile since I've climbed aboard a train, but hardly a day goes by that I don't hear a train whistle coming from the tracks a couple of miles from my home. My attachment to trains goes back to my early childhood, when I stood in the back yard and watched the trains go by every day. I love trains! Now that I'm retired, maybe I'll become a hobo and ride the rails!

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