Posted on 12/21/2010 10:15:00 AM
by Ken Bartels, Sr. Vice President
Trains...waiting and wondering
So even if you are a regular user of the Robert Palmer Drive underpass, if you live in Elmhurst you will at some point be stopped by a train, or trains. In fact, sometimes the trains will stop right along with you!
I have found over the years that there are a few things to do while you are waiting at the flashing and ringing gate to help pass the time. They don’t even include telephoning or texting…or talking (to others or yourself!)
I will count the rail cars that have graffiti on them, whether it is attractive or creative graffiti. Lately, the average is about 50%. I find that amazing. After all, the rail cars sit in a freight yard or business before heading out to their destinations. This graffiti, however well it’s done, takes some time to do. When does this happen? Where is security? Half the train has it. Lots of spray paint expenses for someone too.
Another thing I’ll do is wager to myself whether the train will get through the crossing before the next train comes along. Personally, if a second one comes along right away, that’s my cue to find a way to get to the underpass. One train is enough.
I also like to look at the engine names on the commuter trains. Mostly city and town names but a few others as well. In all my time in Elmhurst, I have only seen the “Elmhurst engine” three times. For awhile, I wasn’t sure we even had one. I smile when I do see it though.
Please understand that I don’t mind the trains most of the time. They represent commerce and business and have been a part of our City for a very long time. Yes, sometimes they can be annoying and it does often seem that they can sense when you are in a hurry or just too far away from the underpass and immediately appear from either direction. Magically appearing trains just like in Harry Potter books and movies!
But, the next time you are sitting there watching the rail cars go by, ponder all the work and effort that went into that graffiti. Remember, my average is 50%. See you through the gaps.