Wednesday, May 4, 2011


While pondering what to write about in my first post for class, I kept coming back to the topic of trains. Everything we discussed about trains fascinated me. I think part of this fascination comes from growing up hearing my grandfather's stories about riding the rails. His favorite story to tell was about being a teenager and leaving Idaho to join his brother in California to go work in the fields. He left Idaho with 3 dimes to his name. The first dime had the misfortune of falling in a crack in a floorboard of the car he was riding in, he spent the remainder of his trip trying to pry out the dime, but never did succeed. I'm not sure what happened to the other two dimeys, but I always remember thinking how tough times must have been and how far we've come.

I also think part of my fascination with trains comes from living near some of the longest train tressels in North America. Driving by them always amazed me because of the amount of time and energy that had to go into building these.

Finally, I spent a lot of time outside of class thinking about what was said about how train transportation was more cost effective. So, I did a little bit of looking on the internet and found it is also now more eco-friendly than any other form of travel and that every freight car can hold approximately three semi loads of cargo. The most informative article I found can be found at:

I think it would be interesting to learn and study more about the culture of those who hopped on trains and learn more about how using trains more could be improve our lives today.


  1. Good stuff - we'll have a chance to talk with Mark Ross on 12 May about riding freights.


  2. Its funny how people used to only travel by train here in the U.S. and now most people have never taken a train in their life. However if you look outward to other countries traveling by train anyway is very common and people don't even own cars. Traveling by travel in the U.S. is a dieing form, however I think some people are trying to restore it.
    As well going off the eco-friendly part, I wonder what increased train travel would do for pollution and other problems that emerge from the large use of fossil fuels.