Trains of My Childhood

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My fascination with trains goes all the way back to my childhood. Watching the old steam trains rolling along the river embedded images in my mind that are just as clear now as they were back then. I lived in coal and coke country in the southwest corner of the state of Pennsylvania. The power of those Pufferbilly Dragons always leaves me in awe.

The Pennsylvania Dragon

Steel wheels keep on turning

Keeping rhythm perfect time

Hauling coke from the ovens

Hauling coal from the mines

*

Down along the winding river

Monongahela was its name

Comes the “Pennsylvania Dragon”

Belching smoke & shooting flames

Engines 29’s a coming

See the light and hear the steam

As she passes Martin crossing

You can hear that whistle scream

Train coming up the track

Whistle blowing at the crossing

Black smoke pouring from her stack

On to Pittsburgh she’ll be rolling

Tomorrow she’ll be coming back

*

Counting coal cars as she passes

Waving to the engineer

100 cars hauling heavy

Red caboose at the rear

*

Now the trains of my childhood

Are all silent lost in time

And those “Pufferbilly Dragons”

Are just memories on my mind

*

Down along the winding river

No more smoke or shooting flames

Just the rumble of the diesel

…but it’s just not quite the same

 

A song I wrote in memory of the beautifully powerful steam trains that used to run the tracks between Pittsburgh and Morgantown, WVA.

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