Train Fever has hit my town and I’ve caught it. A replica of the steam engine that took Abraham Lincoln to Hanover Junction (York County, PA) on his way to Gettysburg to make the Gettysburg Address has rolled into town. Ten years in the making, the steam engine is going to be offering “history rides” along the Heritage Rail Trail. I live in a small rural PA town, and not much as changed in the landscape along the trail. Train riders will see much of the same view as those saw 150 years ago when they road along the same tracks.
Thing is, I didn’t think I cared much about trains in general. I lived in Manhattan for nine years and rode the subways daily. I commuted from Montclair, NJ to NYC on The Erie Lackawanna Railroad and later, the newer NJ Transit trains. But when news that Engine #17 was on its way to town, I felt excited.
I headed on over to the depot and joined the crowd that had gathered. I was there all but ten minutes when the local TV station crew approached me and asked if I wouldn’t mind saying a few things on-camera. Why not? I must have seemed enthusiastic indeed for when the segment aired on the 6 O’clock news, it said ROBIN SPIELBERG – TRAIN ENTHUSIAST on the screen.
My husband and I rode our bikes along the Rail Trail this weekend and caught the train in action. The ball bearings were too hot for the train to get to Hanover Junction; it stopped in Glen Rock next to the Glen Rock Mill Inn which was established in 1837. There was a kid in Civil War uniform playing the FIFE. There were Civil War re-enactors in costume.
I am working on new songs for the piano, but whenever I sit down to compose, fife music is in my head. I started writing a song about trains that I am sure no one will ever want to hear. It even has a train whistle part. Someone, make it stop.
I guess I’m enthused. Are you? http://www.steamintohistory.com