Tunnel and Tracks

Basil and I (and sometimes, Mr. Diarist) occasionally ride past this abandoned passageway, which goes under the train tracks that run from western Pennsylvania to Philadelphia.

Disused now, and neglected, it has provided an opportunity for some to use up a lot of spray paint — and passersby can still cross the tracks beneath them, even if there is no longer an operating station in the immediate vicinity.

This area was once heavily industrialized, and is now near a terminal point for a regional rail line.  The tracks have a double rail here, so that trains can be shunted off the main line and moved elsewhere.

A train can be reversed this way, too, by pulling it off the main track, down a central one, and then re-routing it on the other side so that it can return to its original starting point.

The mechanism is very simple — jut a series of levered joints.

This building has been spruced up a bit, and is now an office, but I suspect from its size and location that it was once a depot.

Down the road, a traditional red caboose has been preserved.  It was once an ice cream shop, but, sadly, isn’t in use any longer, except as scenery.

If I recall correctly, these were little homes on wheels for conductors and porters. Those jobs have changed considerably, and, in any case, anyone working on our surburban rail lines is probably sleeping at home.

An old-time water tower sits behind and above the caboose; there’s not much call for these any more, either.

Nor for this railroad crossing sign, of a sort that once was ubiquitous.

Basil and I frequently travel on trains; I think we’d rather like to travel the country — any country! — in a nicely  kitted-out little red caboose, popping out to cycle and explore along the way.

Ice cream optional — but preferred, of course.

2 replies on “Tunnel and Tracks”

Such a great caboose, Saul! It must have made a great destination for ice cream — too bad someone doesn’t give it another shot, and put it back into commission again, even if only for frozen treats.

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