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The Passing of an Era Long Gone But not Forgotten

Main Street station was always somewhere
special in my past.
Not like today where diesel trains
go whizzing by too fast.
Great Grandad took me there to pass
a Sunday afternoon.
To wait and watch for the big steam train,
and eat ice cream with a wooden spoon.

How I'd fidget with impatience
'til the train came into view.
The shrieking whistle on the breeze
let out a screech or two.
The smoke stack belching plumes of smoke
that lingered overhead,
as it slowed it's journey on the rails
of the rocky railroad bed.

People gathered on the platform,
tickets in their hand.
Some waiting for a loved one,
or a journey they had planned.
Excitement mounting as the engines'
wheels rolling ceased
and hissed a sigh of discharged steam
from somewhere underneath.

The porter by the baggage car
exchanging trunks and mail.
The din of voices intermixed,
controled confusion,a joyful wail.
Hugs and kisses,tears and sighs,
warm embraces and sad goodbyes.
The waving hands as if in accord,
when conducters' voice cried " ALL ABOARD"

The great iron wheels spun once or twice
as steel on steel would grind.
Smoke huffing and belching up from the smokestack
as it jolted the cars that were coupled behind.
The clang of the bell announced it's departure,
those left on the platform stood waving ,resigned,
As the mighty steam engine chugged off,soon forgotten,
replaced by a new one, of a different design.

Now the romantic era of steam trains has ended,
and bullet trains scream over tracks they once rode,
but lodged in my mem'ry I still hear their whistles,
remem'bring the sight they once were to behold.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Oct 2012
About this poem:
The last time I saw a Steam Engine in regular service,other than in a museum or brought out of mothballs for a special occassion,was in 1956 as it stopped to exchange passengers at Main Street Station.The year after Great Grandad left on the final journey.I miss them both.

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Comments (8)

Beautiful memories. Thank you for allowing us to share them with you.
Hi Snowy,

A great write mate, full of nostalgia and fond memories. thumbs up cheers
Bob what a remembering that fills moments of days gone by but shall never be forgotten.

thanks for sharing.
happy place
> CloudySky: Thank you for dropping by and listening to an old man reminisce about boyhood memories.
> Macduff : Your comment as always, is most appreciated.
> Windy: as too is yours my friend.

I was pleasantly surprised when I moved from Ontario to Manitoba to find a group of old railroad enthusiasts that jointly own and care for an old steam train.They call it
" The Praire Dog " It is a gleaming well polished engine with a hopper car filled with firewood , and one vintage passenger car.It makes a weekly 30 mile trip from Winnipeg to a farmers market in a small community outside the city.People from the city terminal, pay a small fare to ride on it to the market and then return to the city.When it is parked at the market, folks are welcome to crawl all through it for no cost.The fire beneath the boiler is well stoked and the cord for the whistle is out of reach of the children. At least the little chidren. Hee Hee !!
Toot Toot ! ALL ABOARD ! teddybear
Snowytop - what a great 'Toot' from the past you have written. I've visited steam engine 'stations' one in the lake district in the UK while on holidays, another in Zimbabwe!laugh
Funnily enough though, the emotionally charged imagery of people saying hello and goodbye is one of the strongest images I have of airports these days! I always get a lump in my throat at arrivals and at the security point where people are saying goodbye it's so such a hard thing to do - say goodbye to loved ones.
I really enjoyed your poem sir.

thumbs up purple heart purple heart
kiss heart wings

I'm glad you enjoyed the poem Ladybee.
The arrivals and joyful greetings that accompanied them were always heartwarming,but the departures always were sad to watch.
Back in the day,you at least knew with some certainty they would arrive safely at their destination.
Departures,especially at airports,and particularly of oversea flights now a days can bring additional concern and worry to accompany the heaviness of heart of seeing a loved one going to places afar. handshake
What a trip down memory lane snowytop, here in the North of England we can still take a trip on steam powered trains - the old locomotives lovingly restored and used used to carry tourists and steam train enthusiasts through some beautiful countryside.

For those of us of a certain age, these old trains really do bring back such wonderful memories, but they are also a treat for the much younger generations for whom steam trains are a real look at life before steam was replaced by diesel and electrification.

A fine write

Bill wine
As the mighty steam engine chugged off,soon forgotten,
replaced by a new one, of a different design.

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