Friday, June 13, 2014

Pampa Takes a Train Ride: WooooWoooo!

That's me getting off (and on) the train. The man poses in his sleep.
Norfolk Southern's safety people invited me to be one of a pretty good sized group to ride their instructional train from Roanoke to Lynchburg this morning and I ain't one to refuse a train ride to anywhere, boys and girls.

We all had to pay for the ride by listening to talks and videos along the way--all having to do with the fact that a train will kill you if you try to stop it with your body, your car or even your house. We got video evidence.

This is part of a fairly massive cross-state (and probably cross NS) tour that brings in government people, first responders, cops and even real estate professionals to hear the message.

It's also, as I mentioned, an opportunity to ride a train, something Roanoke has been bereft of for some time ... but we are hoping that will end soon, if the Republicans in the General Assembly can get their collective head out of their collective ass.

The ride between Roanoke and Lynchburg is anything but picturesque, but it's a train, it clatters and woooo-woooos and shakes (try peeing in a pottie nearly full and with a hidden flusher) and reminds us of romantic imaginings. The cars we were riding in were from the 1940s and were made of materials that had nothing to do with plastic. I was especially taken with the heavy glass light fixtures and the art deco everywhere. Simply beautiful industrial design that is damn near bomb proof.

I also got to see a few of my buddies and colleagues among the gathered: B.T. and his dad Bev Fitzpatrick (who directs the Virginia Museum of Transportation) as well as colleagues Bonnie Cranmer and Anne Piedmont, whose dad was once with Norfolk & Western PR.

I met Roanoke Times photographer Erica Yoon, a delightful young woman who interned there a few years ago and was hired relatively recently. The Times has undergone severe cuts in the photo staff and for the first time in my understanding, has no photo department head.

Your carriage awaits, sir.
Welcome to the train, boys and girls.
I could cook here.
View of the Taubman Museum of art.
A train cab within the train.
Bev and B.T. Fitzpatrick. Hams.
Pals Bonnie Cranmer, Anne Piedmont (whose dad worked for N&W).
My favorite inside view. She was lovely.
Passengers ready to go.
Photo-journalist Erica Yoon interviews a passenger.
I really dig these light fixtures.
This old boy greeted us at the Lynchburg rail yard.

No comments:

Post a Comment