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PC: Columbus, Railfaning and Modeling

Boomer et al:

I see in your message that you fired on the Panhandle out of Columbus.  Did
you run east or west of Cow Town?  I had a neighbor as a young child that
was an engineer for PRR/PC/Amtrak by the name of Francis (Francy) Lewis, ran
out of Columbus to Indiana till retiring in the late 1970's.  We lived near
the N&W/PC lines north out of town, (Overbrook Drive near Cooke Road I-71
exit)  I can remember watching trains with my father including the Freedom

Afterwards, my family moved to Pataskala, Ohio in 1978.  My playground at
school had a clear view of the Panhandle.  Two plus trains an hour those
days, plus the National Limited if it was late. Often I would be dropped off
"downtown" while my father ran errands, and I would watch trains. (Never did
I go where I should not have and never thought of throwing a rock or
stealing anything either I may add).  The best was when the ribbon rail went
in, a lot of slow trains nose to cabin, and a lot of waves from crews that
rolled though town.

These two items had an impact at me at a young age and thus helped develop
my interests today.  The point being, yes we are "playing with our little
toys", but I doubt that I am lucky enough to have anyone at home playing
"OSHA Inspector" as I type this.  The only other two professions that have
such a following are probably being a cast member on Star-Trek, or a Civil
War soldier.

Last Christmas I had a chance to stand by the Rt 16 bridge (on a public
road) between Cols and Pataskala in a snowstorm and watch an Ohio Central
GP30 and an old SD45(?) heading east.  The memories came flooding
back......the tear jerker was the friendly wave......  Summit tower, the
signals, the traffic, and the other track may be gone, but this is what
railroading was to me. Despite the huge machenery and the miles of track, it
boils down to a wave, the most simple and primal human contact.

Just think Boomer, it could have been your friendly wave from the cab that
sparked it all on a warm spring day in the 1970s....

Thank you sir,

Garrett Rea
Mt Juliet, TN

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