Novelist Rita Mae Brown on the Peculiar Pleasures of Train Travel

February 11, 2015 7:12 PM

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Novelist Rita Mae Brown on the Peculiar Pleasures of Train Travel

WHILE PITCHING HAY in the summer or cracking ice in the horses’ water troughs as snow twirls down later in the year, I can often hear the whistle of the train as it comes around Afton Mountain, near my farm in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m not normally one to spin through the turnstiles of nostalgia, but I can’t help it when that sound takes me back.

I love trains. When I was growing up in southern Pennsylvania, along the Mason-Dixon Line, my parents would take me to the town’s tidy Victorian train station after church on Sundays. First, I’d hear the rattle on the rails just before the big engine appeared and steam billowed out from the wheels w...

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