Saturday, August 18, 2012


I recently found myself at one of Chicago Transit Authority’s main stations where several train lines meet (the Howard station where the Red, Purple, and Yellow lines do their thing together). 

As I waited for the Purple train, I found myself mesmerized by the maze of train tracks that lay before me. I had to get a photo of it.

Ever since I was a little bitty kid, I’ve been interested in (obsessed by) train tracks. Whenever I’ve seen multiple tracks crossing and switching together, I’ve found myself studying how the wheels of a train will go from “this” rail to “that” rail. It’s just about the most fascinating thing to me. 

I can vividly remember when this interest began. I was three years old and somehow my dad and I ended up on a foot-bridge overlooking the Fort Worth Train Yard where myriads of lines converged and where hundreds of trains cars separated and re-grouped. 

I can still see the box cars as they negotiated the tangle of tracks and rumbled underneath our feet to be joined with an awaiting train. 

I was spellbound. It's one of my earliest and most vivid memories.

So, when I saw this multitude of spaghetti tracks, I was once again transfixed and captivated. I mean, just look at these tracks – -

How could you not be impressed with such complex, well-thought and creative engineering?

When I saw this, I instantly wished I had been so fortunate as my dad; to have had a little son who would find such things as these tracks so enthralling; someone I could share this train yard with. 

Then, I realized that this little boy did exist. 

He was right there with me, awestruck and thrilled by these train tracks – he was just fifty years older. 

We enjoyed the train ride together. As we passed over the incredibly complex switch-tracks, the little boy begged me to snap a photo of them. 

And I did. 


At 3:40 PM , Blogger Sadie J said...

The kids and I took the train to Chicago a few years back. All of the converging tracks amazed me. I don't know how they keep it all straight!

At 9:15 AM , Blogger Barb said...

Don't know that I'm obsessed with trains but I do miss hearing the sound of the trains in the distance when we lived in Fla, wondering where they were going to or coming from. Also stayed in Pittsburg for a weekend and at night when it was quiet you could hear the trains braking as they came into the yard. It was actually quite soothing.


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