When I go to Vermont, I’ve often found myself driving through the small town of Enosburg Falls. It’s a quaint little town (of course there are no big cities in Vermont) and I often stop at the ice cream shop for a maple creamy – ice cream made with maple syrup. As I drive through the town I can see the old railroad crossings that shows that the railroad, the old Central Vermont, meandered through Enosburg Falls. Of course the tracks have long since disappeared and now the old right-of-way is a hiking and bike trail.


As I’ve driven through the town I’ve often wondered what it was like back in the golden days of railroading when steam locomotives came through. Imagine my delight when I found this picture of a CV steam locomotive in Enosburg Falls. It’s exactly like I pictured it, almost a Norman Rockwall kind of picture!


While I often wish that I grew up in that time, I’m happy I didn’t. In 1962 my appendix burst as a child and I was only saved through modern medicine. Not sure that I would’ve survived in 1935!

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Now here was a train! We were coming back from Staples, Minnesota in December 1979 on our way to Grand Forks on a cold snowy day with a full consist. In fact, we were called a mixed train. You can see a flat car or two with stacked lumber, tanker cars and boxcars with lots of other commodities. No ubiquitous train with just containers.


A trainmaster once told me many years ago that a boxcar had been put on a siding and forgot about. When they opened it 25 years later they were surprised to find it was full of 1949 Ford sedans. Believe it or not that’s how they shipped cars back in the day.


I know that container trains pay the rent but boy oh boy I just wish we could see some boxcars now and then. Maybe with a Herbie painted or drawn on the side. For those of you that don’t know what a Herbie is, let me know and I will see if I can find a picture of one and post it.

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Lately I’ve been watching Mighty Trains on the Smithsonian channel and they’ve featured primarily high-speed trains in Italy, Switzerland and Spain. There are no trains featured from the United States although there has been a train called the Rocky Mountaineer that runs through the Rocky Mountains in Canada that has been on the show.

Interestingly enough, the most recent show featured the high-speed trains running between Barcelona and Madrid in Spain. It’s 386 miles between the two cities and the train makes the trip in about 2 ½ hours. The Texas Central Railway, which is trying to build a high-speed line between Dallas and Houston, plans to use the Spanish company that operates Spain’s high-speed lines. But will Texas Central be built?

Since the COVID crisis began, many companies have laid off significant portions of their workforce and Texas Central has been no different. One of the last updates I received from Texas Central was that it was laying off most of its personnel because of the pandemic. In going to the Texas Central website, there are no new updates that I could find.

Originally, the plan was for the train to begin operations in 2026. The trip to Houston from Dallas would take 90 minutes, a considerable improvement over driving or flying. I hate driving on Interstate 45 to Houston because it is a nightmare of traffic and dangerous to boot!

Let’s hope Texas Central rebounds after we get through COVID. And that a future (way in the future) Mighty Trains episode features Texas bullet trains! It will have to be Texas because what I’m hearing is that the California high-speed rail system is dead and will not be built.

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