Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Of Trains

The links between New York City and the far east end of Long Island are about 175 years old.  Serious history.  The North Fork had a huge train yard at the far end of it in Greenport and trains would be loaded on ships or barges for the trip across Long Island Sound to Connecticut.  In turn, everything from whale oil to oysters, potatoes to cabbages were shipped to New York.  The Long Island Railroad's "main line" ends here but it is a shell of its former glory with just a few passenger trains a day making the two hour trip to Penn Station.

Most of us have family influenced by the railroads.  One might have to go back a few generations to find it, but someone traveled to somewhere on it to start a new life or escape an old one.  Some celebrate railroads with nostalgia - railroad enthusiasts abound and perhaps there is no more ubiquitous symbol of Christmas morning than setting up a new train set around the tree, conductor cap firmly in place, tiny fingers on the rheostat - engine at the ready.   All Aboard.

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