We continue our walk through the Galveston Railroad Museum.
Old trains have a strong appeal for me--much like old diners. I am drawn to the romantic notion of train travel in a deluxe Pullman coach, much like the idea of a meatloaf and mashed potato dinner in a restored 1950s Paramount diner with polished stainless steel backsplash panels facing a counter with polished stools and a floor with black and white tiles and all this under a curved roof line with neon lights on top and....
But back to trains.
Many of the cars in the Museum do not give rise to the romantic appeal of the comfort of coach travel. These are the work cars, the ones that show the wear of moving freight across the country, all the while battling the elements. And today the battle continues. The aged cars continue to endure the onslaught of salt air in their positions in the Museum's rail yard.
And rust shows the result of the "struggle."
And yet, I see beauty in rust. The colors and forms that rust adds to these cars transforms them into a multi-canvassed gallery.
But you have to look for this beauty.
"I have a penchant for rust. Living on the UK’s South Coast I see it everywhere. The damp salt air eats at things. Where metal features in Victorian sash windows russet tears appear. Most of the buildings here weep this form of auburn blood
"For nine consecutive weekends the Scouts and other volunteers spent more than 500 hours removing the rust and stripping the caboose to bare metal, applying rust inhibitors, then repainting it to its original Santa Fe “Mineral Brown” color.
"Once the train was stopped, the flagman would descend from the caboose and walk back to a safe distance with lanterns, flags and other warning devices to stop any approaching trains.
"The caboose also served as an office for the conductor. Here he kept records and handled business from a table or desk.