|FTLComm - Tisdale - February 5, 2000|
It seems like they have always been here. But the iron horses that brought our ancestors to this land and hauled its produce away for more then seventy years were black smelly chugging beasts that all seemed to have indigestion and vented gases both noxious and benign.
The first Diesel electric locomotive to pull up in front of our house was a marvel even though we had seen them in movies and on television, having one rumbling in your front yard and blasting a horn rather
into the air
with a whistle was a really big deal. It was 1958 and into early winter. It was a significant event and my father took some chalk and wrote down the date and that the first diesel had drawn a train through out little village.
Oddly enough it was a very long time until another one showed up. Then it seemed almost overnight and there were no more steam locomotives. In the fall of 62 only our passenger train numbers 6 and 7 had steam and they were brown cowlled monsters moved over from
the mainline but by spring of 63 when the snow was gone, so were the real engines.
That summer whole trains of stone cold lifeless engines came through town on their
way to Regina to feed the fires in the newly opened steel plant. There were tears
in our eyes when 610 came in a mixed train one day, her doors open and she was cold.
Clickity clack, clickty clack
As I lie awake and listen
Hear the Whistle Blow
Go bum again
traditional folk railraod song of the late thirties.