Railroad Tracks in Grand Rapids

RR Over Grand River I

In the evening, especially when we have windows open at night, I often hear the wail of a train sounding its horn. There’s something mournful and romantic and timeless about the sound for me. It’s modern transportation, and yet it sounds like a bygone age.

Part of the nostalgia also is the beat up, rusting, dried out look of RR tracks and bridges in most parts of North America. Most of the new money goes into roads for cars and trucks, and RR tracks are repaired even more grudgingly than are roads.

So this week’s images are a tribute to railroads and trains. I suppose it’s also an implicit tribute to the time when the “rust belt” in the Midwest was the cutting edge of modern manufacturing. These tracks are in part of the old warehouse and manufacturing district southwest of downtown Grand Rapids. Most of that area has a few small businesses left, and junk yards and recycling plants.

I a couple of the images you can catch a glimpse of “Punk Island,” so-called supposedly because down and out punk rockers once squatted there during the summer months. Also known as Jackson Island, last remaining interurban island in the Grand Rapids portion of the Grand River.

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