Saturday, March 9, 2013

Where I Run: Norfolk Southern Railroad

The railroad line across the fields from my house is a major north-south regional line linking Harrisburg, PA to Hagerstown, MD and thence to points south.

Most lines have mile markers along them.  This one is of note because the newer marker (the 60 sign on a tall post) still has the old marker (the white pyramid) immediately adjacent.

Loaction: from northbound U.S. Rt 11 about 3 miles north of Greencastle, PA, turn right onto the Clay Hill Road.  Go about 1/2 mile; pass under the railroad overpass; immediately turn right onto Friendship Village Road and pull off on the right.  Walk over towards the tracks and the grain elevators beyond.  The mile marker is easily seen, close to the RR overpass and beside the grain elevators.

Closer up for more detail.  The old "60" mark is still faintly visible on the white iron post:

But the real interesting thing to me per the photo below is the detail on the top of the old white marker: an arrow pointing towards the tracks.  The post is made of iron and is about 4' tall.  Undoubtedly the newer post is "better" (i.e., easier to see, longer lasting, cheaper, whatever) but it just doesn't have the charm of the old post.

Back in the day craftspeople did aesthetic things--art, if you will--to enhance otherwise functional objects.  Just because it was pleasing to the eye and soul...or just because.  It's pretty much a lost concept now with the total focus of business strictly on the bottom line.

[all photos by Gary]

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