I met a train conductor once. An actual, real life conductor. He didn’t necessarily fill my preconceived notions of what a conductor should look like, which are honestly, completely colored by reading one million and one Thomas the Train books.
It struck me as funny at the time that trains are fascinating to little boys and that railcars play a huge role in the movement of goods in this country. Yet, not many people grow up to work on the railroad anymore. Or if they do, I certainly have not met many of them. Perhaps I need to get out and about more.
I often wonder what goes through my son’s head when he sees a train. There’s the obvious expression of sheer joy and amazement. Does he want to grow up and conduct a train? Does he just want to ride one? Is he wondering what they are carrying? Is he looking for gold dust? (Did you catch that Thomas the Train reference?)
I remember driving along I-84 when I was little and counting the number of railcars that we’d pass on the track. I forget how many railcars equated to a mile, but it was a lot.
So, I don’t know what it is about trains that fascinates my son, but every time we visit Stone Mountain, I indulge him in the 5-mile slow-moving train ride around the mountain. He loves it! The rest of us groan a little, but it is a good chance to sit down and rest for 20 minutes before we head off on our next adventure through the park. And seeing him happy…well, that just makes my heart melt a little.
P.S. Thanks to our friend, Todd, for taking these pictures with his phone. Precious memories!