I used to be very uncomfortable around trains. Oh, all right, I was down right scared of them. My grandmother was hurt in a derailment back in 1970, and although I wasn’t even born at the time, I remember hearing stories.
When Topeka began celebrating the railroad every year, I would admire the different locomotives from a far. To me they were dangerous, and I wouldn’t even step foot on a stationary train. I regret allowing my fear to control my curiousity.
It wasn’t until I began Cherish Me that really began to fall for these giant beauties. They are so magnificent and proud. About a year ago, the girls and I went to the Kansas Museum of History. One of their permanent displays is what is known as The Holliday. It was the closest I had ever gotten to a train.
Over Memorial Weekend, Little Annie Oakley and I got the chance to ride on one of ATSF’s (Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe)later models, the 3415.
If I remember correctly, I believe the conductor said that the 3415 took its first voyage in 1919, over fifty years after my story takes place. For some reason, I think the experience would be very similar, although 3415 is much larger than The Holliday.
So, when you go into an experience with an eye to research you try to encompass all of your senses.
I can’t say that there was a distinctive smell beyond the normal smell of hot roadways. There may have been a slight charcoal smell, but it was not overwhelming. I’ve given you some visuals of the train itself. Now let’s look at some outside the train while in motion.
puff, Puff, PUFF