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TAG : Riding the Rails

Riding the Rails: Transients Were Fed During the Depression Era

As the months of the Depression era continued, more and more of the unemployed men of the country began to ride the rails looking for work or simply to keep moving. Lunchtime became a problem for them and that's when our family began sharing sandwiches and coffee with the "railroad ...

Railroad Stories: Shopping Spree Meant Riding the Rails

Imagine our excitement - shopping on Saturday meant riding the rails! Of course, this was about 1939, and our train, the Doodlebug, had only one car, as I remember.We lived way out in the country and had no transportation. It was a real treat when the whole family got dressed in our Sunday best ...

Railroad Stories: Farm Girl Got Special Gift First Time Riding the Rails

My family moved to a new farm in 1929, where I'm sure the nearby railroad was known as Fortsmith and Western. This was during the Depression and Dust Bowl days. Jobs were scarce and hobos riding the rails were plentiful. I was almost 5 years old, and to watch that big noise maker roll by was ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails on the Dinkey

The Dinkey was a small locomotive that ran between towns hauling freight during the week, in the 1920s. It hauled people on the weekends. That's when Teresa would go to the neighboring towns to shop for eggs, fresh milk and live poultry. Her friends often made the trip with her because it was ...

Railroad Stories: Trip Riding the Rails Was Memorable

Riding the rails on a three-day trip with my husband, his mother and our 4-month-old son 30 years ago made for a very memorable trip.Our son was fussy, so we tried everything to keep him happy. We did not use disposable diapers. We had to heat his bottles and baby food jars using the hot ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails Was Adventure

We were to take a trip to California on the train! In the 1930s, riding the rails across the Unites States was as thrilling to children then as a voyage into outer space might be today. From our home in Detroit, we eagerly looked forward to this exciting adventure.My older brother and I had ...

Railroad Stories: Mishap While Riding the Rails

After spending two weeks in northern Minnesota with my two cousins on their farm, the three of us boarded a train, riding the rails back to my home in Minneapolis. It was the summer of 1941, and I was 8 years old. For some reason, I decided to close the train window. When I did, it slammed ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails Was Free

My father worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad for more than 50 years, so while my sister and I were growing up, we had a pass for riding the rails on any of the trains.When I was 14 and my sister was 12, we boarded the Doodlebug at Eureka, Kan., and went to Emporia, Kan. There, we ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails

In 1937, I left home for Chillicothe, Mo., to attend Chillicothe Business College. I boarded the Chicago Northwestern Railway and rode to Omaha, Neb., where I caught the Missouri Pacific Eagle, and continued riding the rails on to Chillicothe.I traveled that route many times while in college, ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails on the Night Train

I started teaching in September 1944, in a small town in Iowa. At that time, most 19-year-old girls didn't drive, let alone have cars. Weekends were spent riding the rails, traveling 60 miles on the night train to and from my parents' home.The train I caught going west left at 1:02 a.m. Then ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails Changed Woman’s Life

I have always liked trains, and I enjoy riding the rails, whether long or short trips. But the one trip that changed my life was a trip I took not too long ago from Milford, Conn., to Grand Central Station in New York City.In order to get to the train tracks at the station, I had to go up a ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails Experience

As a young child, living in a small Kansas town, my life was good. Then my father took a job with the Ford factory in Flint, Mich. After school let out for the summer, my mama, two sisters and I boarded the train in our small town and headed to Michigan for the summer. The trip took several ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails Was Means of Transportation

In 1940, while teaching in a country school, I had no car, so I had to travel to the teachers' meetings by train. Later that year, I promised four of my students a trip riding the rails if they earned a State Reading Circle certificate. All four of them earned their first train ride ever. It ...

Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails Was Great Fun

Throughout my childhood, I traveled by train from Port Allegany to Williamsport, Pa., which was more than 100 miles. Twice a year, my mom, sisters and I took that trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa. We would go for two weeks around Christmas and two weeks in the summer. Riding the rails was ...

Railroad Stories: Happy Memories of Riding the Rails

Some of the happiest recollections of my childhood involve riding the rails. I grew up in a small railroad town during the Depression years. In those days, things were quite different; cars were definitely a luxury item, and not many people owned them. We walked every-where we went.There was ...