13 May 2012
The Roanoke Times

It used to be a downtown sound, that loud baritone belch, ricocheting off brick buildings while steam and smoke and dust drifted lazily from the Roanoke rail yard.

It quieted, though, as trains modernized and noise ordinances took hold, but downtown residents and late commuters heard those train whistles again Friday, for the first time in 18 years.

Mostly gray-haired folks found their way to the train tracks behind the Virginia Museum of Transportation to watch as ruddy-faced men in denim overalls tugged on ropes, channeling steam from the No. 17 locomotive and up through a series of whistles. A smattering of children watched, too, their hands clamped tight over their ears.

A passing train — a modern cousin of No. 17 — let out an appreciative toot. The engineer leaned out of his window and waved.

Read the rest of the story at The Roanoke Times.
posted by Chase at 4:50 PM |