That's me, driving old Number 12 long, long ago

It's true.  I'm a train kind of guy.  Not a train "nut" exactly.  I don't listen to railroad sound effects while sitting around the dinner table. But I do find trains fascinating. 

Not diesels though.  While big and powerful, they lack art

You can't say that about steam.

When I was a kid growing up in the northern California mountains, I remember those big locomotives coupled together chugging for all they were worth up the grade from the Sacramento River canyon.  We had to cross the train tracks to get home after school, and lots of times we'd have to wait for a train to go by. 

The noise and clatter and whistles and bells and giant wheels and power and steam thundered with absolute magic!  And when the engineer or fireman leaned out of the cab and waved to us far below...well, that was something.

So, when I wrote A Ride in the Crummy, it was like coming home again. 

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