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Recollections of a Country Railway Station

S. Blumenthal, Assistant Engineer, Canadian Pacific Railway, Montreal

In the storehouse of my mem’ry
The picture still remains,
Of the weatherbeaten station
Where we used to meet the trains.

Upon the wooden platform,
In sunshine or in rain,
The village folks would gather
To meet the evening train.

They’d congregate in little groups
To argue and debate,
Discussing crops and politics,
Or why the train was late.

Then, like thunder in the distance,
`Twould cross the iron bridge
And soon we’d see the engine,
As it came around the ridge.

`Twould rush into the station
In clouds of smoke and steam
And with mighty din and clatter
The brakes would grind and scream.

There, like a panting greyhound,
For a moment it would stand,
The conductor calling “All aboard”,
With watch held in his hand.

Then, puffing sparks and cinders
Like a fire-eating steed,
It faded in the distance
As it slowly gathered speed.

And when it disappeared from view
And all again was still,
I felt a sense of emptiness
That nothing seemed to fill.

Those mem’ries are still vivid.
And fragrant as the spring,
Romance and fascination
The railway used to bring.

It drew me like a magnet,
Each night I’d dream and plan
That when I grew to manhood
I’d be a railway man.

Source: Canadian Railway and Marine World, February 1931.