Running on Time
Whoo-o-o . . . . Who-o-o . . . . Whoo, Whoo-o-o-o . . . . Look out! Here comes a train!
It’s in the mid-thirties, before the electrification of the Pennsy between Paoli and Harrisburg, and the nation is getting back on its feet after the crippling Depression of 1929. The railroads are busy, very busy, hauling freight and passengers.
This train is one of many long-distance passenger trains that passed through or stopped at Lancaster on the way to New York, Chicago, and St. Louis. Such trains as The Golden Arrow, Cincinnati Limited, The St. Louisian, The Red Arrow, The Rainbow, The General, Spirit of St. Louis, Broadway Limited, and many more—all kept the rails glistening brightly.
With her driving rods flashing in a blurry, No. 5379, K-4s is performing her best to keep on time, rapidly pulling the eight heavy steel cars past the rural station. In just a matter of seconds, the open platform observation rushes by, giving only a glimpse of the keystone insignia mounted on the railing identifying the blue ribbon train.
The smoke and dust settle as the locomotive’s 3-chime is heard fading in the distance, blowing for everyone to get out of her way.
Drawing by JA Ruof. See other drawings by JA Ruof here.