Trains, derailments, and climbing trestles...

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TrainDerailment Two days ago, a mile and a half from our home, a coal train derailed spilling thirty-five aluminum gondolas of coal on the rail bed at the Garrison Chapel Road crossing. Unlike the old steel coal cars, these aluminum cars didn't go off the track and sit on top of each other. They turned into mangled carcasses filling the crossing with something like seven million pounds of coal! Here's a picture of our grandchildren and friends watching the cherrypickers working. When I was an air brakeman/car knocker for Chicago & North Western at their Proviso Yards in the early seventies, working the cherry picker at a derailment was the most coveted job.

About five miles west of the derailment, the coal train had just crossed this viaduct. Imagine the mess if the train had derailed just a few miles earlier!

This trestle is the third highest in the world and we love driving there on a Sunday afternoon to hang out. We took my mother there, recently. She sat in a chair at the side of the road and watched her grandchildren and great grandchildren climb the hill to the top of the viaduct. Then she watched my wife, Mary Lee, climb the steel support she was sitting under...

The trestle is about 150 feet high. Mary Lee got far enough up that none of us were happy with her. But that's my wonderful wife--bless her little heart!

Here's a pic of Mud watching and another of Mary Lee climbing. (TB)