Monday, May 3, 2010

A Train Runs Through It

In case you're not a movie buff, the title of this post is a take-off on the movie title, "A River Runs Through It." There's no story line about this train so that's where the similarity ends. Railroads bisect Houston, and the highways that have grown up around those tracks, are built above and over the tracks. Where there is no highway to circumvent the tracks, you will see scenes like the one above in our neighborhood. About three years ago, this area was designated a "quiet zone" which means that the Engineer is not supposed to blow the train horn at crossings, but sometimes you hear that familiar sound. It is much quieter than it used to be, especially at night when the train horns sounded long and loud throughout the night. Hank Williams, Sr. wrote about the train and his lonely heart..."Hear that lonesome whippoorwill; he sounds too blue to fly. The midnight train is whining low. I'm so lonesome, I could cry."
Now, the horns only sound occasionally, probably warning that someone or something is nearing the crossing that should not be there. There were once many small railways in Houston, built to transport cotton and goods that came into the ship channel. All of them gone and mostly forgotten now. Passed into history. For those who still follow the lure of the train, check out:

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