The Canal Line in Avon - Mid 50s
Memories by Mark Lander
Page created by Craig S. O'Connell
I just discovered your website and it reminded me of the years I lived in Avon (mid '50s) The floods of '55 had shut down the line until perhaps the spring of '56. I remember the day that the first train, probably a work train, came through Avon in the spring. I was attending Towpath Jr. High, right next to the tracks and, as I recall, it was a significant moment. That fall, a friend and I hiked the tracks from Avon center to the Farmington River Bridge. As I recall, we might have even ventured out onto the bridge. In the spring of '57, we decided to go camping "down the tracks" and found a convenient site south of Thompson Rd. We spent quite a few nights there over the next year or so. Four freights a day: two way freights, probably using Alcos and two through freights, pulled by larger EMDs. That was about the time that the song "The Wayward Wind" was popular. There was something kind of neat about lying in our tent twenty feet from the tracks at night or in the early morning and hearing the air horn of an approaching freight. I suppose we were trespassing but the few people we ever saw never said anything.
More recently, I have biked the rail trail and passed by all the things I remembered from sixty years ago.
I seem to recall a coaling tower, years out of use, just north of Rt 44 in Avon. Is my memory faulty or was there such a thing there at that time?
...from Mark Lander, October 2017
All text on this page courtesy of Mark Lander / Edited by Craig S. O'Connell
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