National Train Day 2020 – #SoCS

How many things can we do on a Saturday? Well, it is National Train Day, Linda G. Hill has given us a Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, and the virtual bar at No Facilities remains open, so… Let’s see what Linda gave us:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘cave.’ Use it as a noun or a verb. Enjoy!”

I think we can work with that.

“Cheryl, when Dan gets here, set him up quick, I’m sure he’s depressed about spending National Train Day in isolation. I’ve got the tab today.”

“Aww, aren’t you kind, David? I was wondering why you were early. Can I start you with your usual?”


“I’ll be right back. Oh, I think I see Dan on his way in.”

“Hey guys. Did you start without me?”

“I got here a little early, Dan. I wanted to be here to cheer you up.”

“Cheer me up? Why do I need cheering up?”

“I figured, between Congress and Corona, you’ve caved to the notion that there will be no National Train Day this year.”

“Au contraire do not despair. National Train Day lives!”

“Dan, David ordered a cold Corona for you upon arrival. David, here’s your John Howell’s special.”

“Complete with cherries. Thank you, Cheryl.”

“And, because you were so concerned about our train-junky friend, this round is on the house.”

“Thanks Cheryl. Dan, cheers.”

“Cheers, David.”

“Now, tell me, how are you managing to celebrate National Train Day?”

“Well, as you might remember, my original plan was to ride the Hartford Line up to Springfield, down to New Haven and back to Windsor Locks.”

“Please tell me you didn’t don a mask and a bottle of Lysol and make that trip.”

“No, I’d be self-quarantining in the garage for the next fourteen days if I had done that.”

“Perhaps in a cave, Dan. I’m not sure your wife would want you contaminating her car. You boys want any food today?”

“Cheryl, since you bought us the drinks, I’ll spring for a plate of twenty wings. Par…”

“Parmesan Peppercorn for Dan and Blue Cheese for you. I’m Cheryl, not Skippy”

“So, Dan. No train ride, what did you do?”

“I drove up on the east side of the bridge across the Connecticut River to get some photos.”

“Did you get some nice ones?”

“Not exactly. They’re still working on that bridge, and I was there for a northbound train, which runs backward, so I wasn’t able to see the loco coming through the truss bridge.”

“That’s too bad. But I know you, you did get some pictures.”

“I did, but there’s more.”

“Now you sound like the RonCo guy on TV. Let me guess, if I order now, you’ll send me two sets of prints.”

“No, nothing like that. The ‘more’ is actually a bad news / good news thing.”

“Come again…”

“Well, unfortunately, the eagle nest along the Windsor Locks Canal failed.”

“No eaglets?”

“Not this year. Hopefully, they’ll try again next year.”

“I still don’t see how this plays into Train Day.”

“Since the nest failed, they opened the lower end of the canal trail early this year.”

“You should work for the government. Can I have some details, please?”

“The AMTRAK trestle over the Connecticut River and the canal is located inside the area they close to protect the eagles. Since the trail was open, I walked up to the trestle.”

“I suppose you just happened to be there as the train was rumbling overhead.”

“I was. I timed it pretty well.”

“Did you get video or some still photos?”


“How did you manage that?”

“Well, I only got twenty-three seconds of video before the image went wonky, but I did catch it popping its nose through the truss bridge span.”

“I’ll have to watch that.”

“And, just as I was walking back to the entrance, the AMTRAK train was heading north.”

“So, you have lots to celebrate.”

“I do!”

“And here’s an order of virus-free barbecue wings to celebrate with. You boys need another round?”

“That sounds like a great idea, Cheryl.”

“I figured as much. Dan, here’s a cold Corona and a fresh hunk of lime. David, here’s a splash.”

“Sweet. Thanks Cheryl, and thank you, David.”

“Here’s hoping we all stay healthy and that you get to ride that train for 2021.”

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I’m off to the Delta Pearl.


    • I couldn’t forget you. I was hoping you would chime in. I think you would enjoy seeing these trains roll overhead.

      Do you know what loco the CT Rail train is? We leased the cars from Mass, where they had been mothballed.


    • Thanks Judy. Maddie and I just got back from a brisk walk. At least I got to wear my Steelers knit hat one more time. I think I’ll be saying no to sitting. Especially if the wind keeps up.

      Happy Mother’s Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great train journey. Also beautiful tour of the sunrise @ Pittsburgh where the Ohio begins via “Delta Pearl.” Worth racing a train and braving the cold. Now I’ll think of these when I cross the Brent Spence bridge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been across that bridge! I love bridges, and the ones crossing the Ohio are special. Most of them were made from local steel and stand as a source of pride as well as amazing function.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful that they are protecting the eagle’s nest! And how wonderful are your pictures! I just love bridges and small waterways. They even put a bench out for visitors to watch it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The benches are a new addition, Pam. They’re part of the Montgomery Mill renovation. This wasn’t what I was planning, but it was a very nice walk and I did enjoy watching the train rumble overhead.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dan. How are you? Lovely post. I loved the color of that red locomotive and the Coming Around the Bend image. How long did you stood there to get that shot? Or in other words what’s the frequency of train passing through that bridge? Trains are lifeline here in India, as you already know. So, here in Mumbai the suburban train tracks have a frequency of 3 minutes, give or take. We have dedicated tracks for freight trains but sometimes due to human error, or signal issue there are unwanted collissions. Due to COVID-19, most train travel has come to halt. Millions in India travel through train and now the government is facing a monumental task of how to make that happen without more infections. So far, they are absolutely clueless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s good to see you Sharukh! Fortunately, I knew that the trestle is about a mile up the path, so I timed my walk to match the schedule. I think this train runs 12 times per day, in each direction, but they all aren’t the pretty red CT Rail trains. AMTRAK trains run the same route, and they will honor CT Rail tickets, so you have to check the schedule and make sure the train has a CT Rail number.

      Further south, in New Haven, CT, the Hartford Line connects with Metro North trains heading into New York City. That’s the busiest railroad in the US, and those trains run every half-hour during peak times but less frequently during off-peak times. Some inner city subways run more frequently, but I’m not sure we have any trains that run at less than 10 minute intervals.

      I read about your trains being shut down. I can’t imagine that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That film clip was great! And they protected the eagle’s nest…..that is so wonderful! Earlier this year (pre-Corona), we stumbled upon a wonderful model train museum in this little AL town we always go to–but hadn’t a clue about the museum. I’m waiting for the right prompt to post them. I kept thinking, “Dan would love this.” I’ve not seen the (real) trains running in town in quite a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love train museums and model train museums. I visit as many as I can during normal times.

      For the past 10-12 years, the southern 2 miles of the path (including the part under the bridge) has been closed because the eagles have had babies. It is sad when they don’t. Their nest is so close to the trail, that the experts fear people visiting (in hopes to see them) will scare them away.


  5. Very cool photos.

    They remind me of the trestle in Chaska MN over the Minnesota river. It was a swing bridge that pivoted around a center pier in the river. The bridge was so well balanced that it designed to be swung by hand using a “key”, essentially a crank. Back then all bridges on the Minnesota and Mississippi were legally mandated to be swing bridges. Ironically, the Minnesota River rarely runs more than a few feet deep. Forcing the railroads to build swing bridges spoke to the power of the barge companies.

    Sadly, a flood in the early 90’s undermined the center pier and the bridge had to be destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is sad.

      There are the remnants of two swing bridges over the Windsor Locks Canal, in the area of the Montgomery Building. We have at least one active swing bridge over the CT River, farther south. If you want to see it, check out Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” – it was filmed in Middletown, CT and they’re dancing on that bridge.


  6. I loved the picture of the canal trail with the trestle in the background. I could actually picture myself walking along that trail.

    … and the short video? The best part was the hoot of the whistle. I love train whistles 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was happy to capture the whistle. When the train crosses the streets in our town, we can hear that from our house. The canal is a wonderful place to walk, and that section is one where the path separating the river and the canal is very narrow. It’s remarkable feeling walking through there.


  7. Happy Train Day, Dan. The photos and the video were great. I enjoyed both the sound of the train and the river. You must have done some fancy work between getting the video and the stills. Have a great day. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So you had a happy Train Day after all. Love the video and that train whistle was the perfect touch. Love hearing train whistles! Glad the eagle’s nest has been protected. The benches are a wonderful addition to the trails.

    It was 30 degrees here this morning. Plenty of sunshine, but no warmth from it. Wind would blow your socks off! Good luck explaining to Maddie that today is not a good day to sit outside. THEN good luck explaining to the Editor your conversation with Maddie and why the two of you are going to sit outside for a while… the cold….. in the wind! Lol.

    A very happy Mother’s Day to the Editor.

    Stay well and keep safe.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha – Ginger, you are, I think the word is prescient. The Editor and I agreed that it was too cold and too windy to take Maddie for a walk. 10 Minutes later, I was explaining that we were in fact going for “a short walk” because Maddie had won that argument. It’s sunny out there, the wind is howling, but I bet I end up on Maddie’s porch.

      I, too, love train whistles and I was so happy it honked its horn while rounding that bend.

      Mother’s Day will be quiet this year. I hope mothers across the country can find peace in the fact that there’s no big celebration.


  9. Dan, I’m pos-i-lutely giddy over the photos of the train and the old trestle bridge! OMG. The post and the other photos are terrific too, but you really got me with those. Great use of the “Cave” prompt. The video is fabulous too. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Train Day, Dan! It’s Happy Wash and Pay-the-Bills Day here, but I salute your loves of all things choo-choo. Love the train bridge and it appears that at least they will not close your bike and train viewing trail this year. Hope you are having a wonderful Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Under normal circumstances, I’m not that into trains. But your enthusiasm is contagious! Great job with the photos! I felt the excitement and anticipation. I hope next year the eagle nest is successful and you get to ride. Happy Train Day weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Belated Happy Train Day! That path looks like a great place to walk or bike ride… and to be doing that when a train passes: be still my heart! I’m curious, what is a “failed” eagle nest? Such an odd word. Did it collapse… was there a breeding pair but no eaglets… the eagles decided to hatch their brood elsewhere?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a wonderful place to walk, Janis. For about 4 miles, you can see the water on both sides of the path. It’s kind of magical. I’ve been on the trial with our daughter on bikes, when we’ve heard the train whistle and peddled like crazy to try to get to the trestle in time to see the train. This time, I checked the schedule.

      I don’t know exactly why they use the word “failed,” but I think it means the pair failed to create an eaglet. I don’t know why that didn’t happen either. Apparently, they thought there was going to be babies, because they put the signs up. The nest is still there, and you can see the eagles overhead in the area (always from my car when I’m on the bridge or otherwise unable to stop).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Since you read this blog post, Ally, I’ll send you another one tomorrow. Just pay shipping and handling ;-)

      I think the obvious age of the trestle creates that nostalgic feeling. That plus being next to the river.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I loved the video and hearing the train’s whistle as it approached the bridge! I also loved the reflection of the bridge and that bench for train spotting.

    I had a reminder to post for National Train Day but got so excited in my plans to go see Baby Girl and the boys to celebrate Mother’s Day and our birthdays that I didn’t get anything ready in time. Maybe next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It was pretty weather for the train video :)
    I really do hope next year’s train post includes a merry jaunt in a train for you, and that all your blog passengers are happy and healthy!
    I just found out Moo’s friend Kitty has a bald eagle nest on her lot, but they’ve never seen an eagle. I’d meant to see if they ever return, or what the pattern is, but I just think they’re so neat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a beautiful day to be walking on the canal. I loved watching the train go by above me. I feel bad these eagle were unsuccessful in breeding. I’m usually grumpy about the canal being closed, but I’d be ok with that, for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. […] During the week of May 4, 2020, I had planned to ride CT Rail’s Hartford Line north from our town to Springfield, Massachusetts. That ride would carry me across the Warehouse Point railroad bridge – an iron bridge originally built in 1866. I was planning to write about that ride for National Train Day on May 9, 2020. Instead, I walked under the bridge where it crosses the Windsor Locks Canal. I took pictures and a short video of the train as it rolled above me and I used that for my Train Day post. […]


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