Ok, this is kind of cheating to post this on my train site, but it is a great essay and really brings back the memory of trains from my youth, and my feeling for them now. A great way to head into the NRMA convention in Atlanta.
Then, sometime around midnight, I would hear it. The whistle came first, a warning, followed by a distant roar, and then a bump, bump, bumping, as a hundred boxcars lurched past some distant crossing. They were probably just hauling pig iron, but in my mind they were taking people to places I wanted to be. A braver boy would have run it down and flung himself aboard.