Saturday, March 05, 2011

Railroad on Track

A friend of mine who lives up in Allen Park, Michigan but is very, very interested in the history of the area where I live sent me a piece today to read.

I glanced through some of it -more than he probably thought I would read -and because a lot of it was pretty technical stuff about a local railroad company revising and revamping some old railroad lines that run fairly close to my home, much of what I read had me pretty well lost. I have to admit that up front because I sure don't want anyone coming to me and asking me to explain any of what this article is all about cause much of it is totally over my head.

I did get the basic gist of it though. There were a lot of maps on the piece showing how the current railroad trackage -or just the old railroad grade I should say I guess -ran/runs through the 20 miles that their new plan will cover as well as other maps showing their proposed new trackage they plan to implement.

I can figure out enough of what this article says to also see where it's going to light a lot of fires under a lot of folks in the area because this railroad line proposal is going to lead straight to another proposed item in this region that has many people having very bad vibes about it coming in here and that's a new landfill that a company has been trying to put into place for several years now.

I'll not go into my feelings and ideas about the landfill ideas because some elements in this region are just liable to misinterpret what I say and come attack my, my kids, grandkids, the house, etc., etc. (Yeah, some of those folks do get a tiny bit radical about landfills ya know.)

But anyway, back to the article and my trying to interpret the words as well as the maps they had drawn there. Geez, although I generally have a fairly decent sense of direction, trying to figure out some of those maps had me thinking maybe I need to use a Garmin GPS to see where the heck they are in relation to where I live and where the end of the railroad line will be too!

Much as many folks don't want to see this come about because for openers, it will take away the "rails to trails" area in much of the region where the Railroad will be reopening up lines, I do think this might be a way to start getting a bit more industry -and then perhaps some much needed jobs too -in this region of the state.

Looking at one segment of the map, I thought about a piece I found several years back in the old issues of the local newspaper -a piece written by a guy riding on the train from up around West Decatur, PA down to I believe Lock Haven or Williamsport - and in that piece, he described the overview of the Red Moshannon and the little coal mining town of Peale as he watched out the train car's windows. The piece was written in the winter time and it was snowing, heavily, during his ride but it was so cool to read his description of the mountainside, the Peale tunnel, the little houses that at one time dotted along the banks of the Red Mo Creek there too.

Just sounded to me like a train ride I'd love to be able to take someday -if/when this railroad line does manage to get put in and running.

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