The trains that roar through Castle Rock are beautiful (and noisy) things. Some Castle Rock residents want to move the tracks to the west side of I-25 (for obvious safety reasons). I am against this as I believe that the Train is a necessary component to our small town lifestyle and I personally love it! Without the Train we wouldn’t have small town traffic jams, moving buildings, rattling windows, loss of sleep and necessary pauses in conversation to ponder the little pleasures in life. The Train is so interwoven into our lives in Historic Castle Rock, that we sometimes take it for granted. Not me.
I used to live right next to the train tracks…and I mean within 50 feet of the tracks. The house was built in the early 1900’s and the foundation was actually made out of old railroad ties. While the tracks on the west side of town are for the trains traveling south with cars full of coal, the tracks that run through downtown Castle Rock (right behind my old home) are for northbound trains that are usually empty. Well, it stands to reason that empty trains go faster than full trains.
There was this conductor that I had aptly named the ‘Blowhard’. Never met the guy (could have been a girl for all I know). Anyway, most nights this conductor worked the very early morning shift…about 1:00 am. This Train woke me up even before reaching town. Blowhard would start laying on his horn at about the Plum Creek area south of Castle Rock and would continue laying on it as he (or she) roared through Town doing at least 55 miles an hour. The ground would literally move when this train came through.
Eventually, my boys and I started sleeping through this commotion.
One night, I woke up to the sound of things falling and breaking downstairs in the house. My children were with me so I immediately was transported into ‘mother bear’ mode. I grabbed the baseball bat that I had under my bed and came barreling downstairs screaming some nonsense like ‘I’m going to get you whoever you are!’ My boys came out of their rooms and stared at their wide-eyed disheveled Mother as I cruised through the room with my baseball bat trying to figure out what happened.
I finally noticed that some shelves in my entertainment center had fallen causing a few glass collectables to break. We all stood there for a while and listened to the fading train whistle and realized that the Blowhard had come through town and we had slept through it (well, most of it). I could just picture Blowhard laughing maniacally as he blew by our house.
The bad thing is that I lost a few possessions…the good thing is that my young boys couldn’t sleep in that house anymore without sleeping in my bed with me. Sometimes the good stuff in life comes from unexpected sources. Like I said, I love that train.