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the day the train came to town

Maybe you remember that time last summer when we drove many hours to see a train? We weren’t the only ones who made seeing that giant steam engine a spectator event.

Mexia, Texas
photographed 8.15.2021

steam + heat

My dad was a Train Guy. He was so much a Train Guy that he had a favorite locomotive, the one called Big Boy, a behemoth built by Union Pacific. It was in fact the largest steam locomotive ever build, weighing in at around 560 tons. He used to talk about this locomotive a lot.

So when we found out that Big Boy was out on tour this summer, we decided to go see it. For my dad. It was a six-hour drive from home to a place where we could intersect the route, so off we went. We first saw the train roll through a small town – it took less than a minute for it to pass us, all steam and noise and rumbling tracks. From there, we trailed it to Mexia, where it had a scheduled 45-minute stop. There were crowds on both sides of the tracks – seeing giant locomotive was a surprisingly popular afternoon activity.

So, yes, if you’re doing the math you’ll notice that we drove a total of 12 hours to see the train for 45 minutes and 42 seconds. It was worth it, though, because it gave us a chance to remember my dad and his love of trains.

Mexia, Texas
photographed 8.15.2021

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