Saturday, March 04, 2006


I never tire of watching the coal trains travel back and forth, many times during the day, heading east loaded with coal and later heading west empty. Railroad cars loaded with the blackest coal, stretching as far as the eye can see.

There are many strange things I come upon in my photographic quest, including chairs perfectly lined up in front of a rusting hulk of metal. When I stopped on top of the Harley Road bridge to capture yet another shot of the coal train there was a figure in the distance, someone walking their dog maybe. As the figure got closer the realization came to me that this was a man and a very young child. This is miles from anything that could be considered a town. There is a pod of half million dollar home nearby and farmhouses spotting the landscape at distances, but the fact remains that it's a very long walk from any of those locations and it's extremely cold here today.

It seemed more than odd to me that anyone would choose to stroll along rural railroad tracks for enjoyment. As they approached voices lifted up from the scene below, they were singing songs. Perhaps it was the lighthearted song that kept me from grabbing my cellphone and dialing 9-1-1 just to report this strange scene. I'm still not quite comfortable with my decision.


Floridacracker said...

Funny to think that the coal in that picture may be the coal I see while stopped at a railroad crossing down here.

pablo said...

What little child isn't interested in trains? And the oldtimer may have had a past in the industry. Doesn't seem that odd to me to see them there.

When we lived in St. Louis, we had a train track not 200 feet behind our house. Several times a day long, heavy, loaded trains thundered past, but, as you can imagine, we got used to them and barely heard them, even though visitors were shaken out of their chairs.

Zanne said...

Florida - This coal originates from the mines in southern Illinois and travels on into a power plant in Indiana I believe. I'd love to think that it travels all the way to your railroad crossing in Florida.

Pablo - I guess that's the sad part that I even had that though. I'm not the one to ever think "suspicion" and was surprised when those thoughts entered my mind.

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