This is the story I promised from the New York Central System thread on the "Fallen Flags" forum. Roger Hensley posts some absolutely first rate photos of New York Central System(with emphasis on Big 4)power and structures. Our mutual friend "Fitz" posted recently how much he misses the steam era, and I might add that he is not alone in that feeling. I thought I would post some memories I have from childhood about the steam era, in this case Grand Trunk Western specific. If I have related this before, I apologize for the repeat. As a child I lived 1/2 mile east of the Grand Trunk Western RR. on 61st Place. We had the Kedzie Ave streetcars just a 150 feet or so from our house and then there were the car lines on 59th St to the north and 63rd St. to the south. The GTW had a passenger station at 63rd St, Chicago Lawn was the stop. All of the passenger trains stopped there, at least they did when I was kid. At that time frame, the GTW RR had those big U class 4-8-4s,some semi streamlined, pulling the passenger trains. They were a sight to behold! Even more impressive was the evening trains as they were arriving at the Chicago Lawn station since this was in the era of cast iron brake shoes and at night you could see the "flames" flying from the wheels as those brakes shoes brought those heavy passenger trains to a stop. This was well before central air-conditioning was available for the average homeowner. My bed was right next to two large windows in my bedroom and they would be open to catch any cool evening breeze. We also didn't have a T.V. until about 1952 or 53(CRS which). On summer evenings I would lie in my bed and hear the evening passenger train as it arrived at the depot, then start up again after picking up her passengers. I could hear those 4-8-4s chug off into the summers night, whistling for the grade crossings at 71st, 79th, 87th, Kedzie Ave & 95th st. whistling and chugging far.far into the summer's night on her way to South Bend, Toronto and Montreal. It was a comforting symphony of "white noise" that would soothe me to sleep. Add to that the "owl" streetcars on Kedzie Ave, shoosssing to a stop at 61st st, slam,crash as the front door opened to discharge passengers and slam,crash as they closed, the clank, clank of the starting bell, the gear whine as the motorman notched up the controller on the carmine and cream colored streetcar as she trundled by enroute to her end terminus at Marquette Road, just a little over 1/2 mile south of my house. It was a young railfans safe harbor! There were coal yards on 63rd st and 59th st along the EB main of the GTW RR. They were trailing switches on single stub tracks.It was easy work for the switch jobs to shove loads to spot on the stubs. The GTW had those marvelous 0-8-0s working in Elsdon Yard to the north and west of where I lived. I could listen to them switching the coal yards at night. I miss seeing those big Northerns and their luxury passenger trains, the big Mikes that hauled the freights out of Elsdon, and those gutsy 0-8-0s that worked the yard and the industries. Many the night I would be lulled to sleep by those sounds of yesteryear. I can still hear them in my mind!