Right Place, Wrong Time
Sometimes it's not hard to imagine the way things were as we stand in the presence of what remains. It's an uneasy feeling: to know that everything is set and right - but for the timing. The location is right: the corn grows in the fields as it seemingly always has, warm summer days roll across the lands and in the distance, the Erie Railroad RX Round Lake Interlocking stands against the sky. The only thing wrong is the year on the calendar. Right place, wrong time.
Standing above these cornfields of a late summer in Indiana, near the town of Laketon, rise these remains of the RX Round Lake Interlocking. It's the haunt of old passenger trains like the Lake Cities and Phoebe Snow, the place where 20 cylinder SD45s hauled piggybacks with supporting E8s that were kicked down from passenger service when that ended. Instead of an east-west mainline beneath the great signals there are only weeds, trees, and a familiar empty feeling.
It's not just the tracks and trains that are gone here. Gone too, a UPS preferred New York - Chicago connection, small daily things like friendly waves of a crew and the "always there" presence of another train rumbling by somewhere in the night. The crew changes, the passengers - all of it just gone. This forgotten NY-CHI connection recedes daily into the Indiana farmlands.
Perhaps that is what makes things like RX Round Lake so especially disturbing. Standing as it has for decades it still throws its shadow across a world that has moved on without it. Looking out across the corn field, one can't tell the right of way is consumed by trees and neglect. It seems ready, as it always has been, to see something special roll quickly across the scene, making a run to Chicago like a shot across these flat lands. Right place, wrong time.