The train doesn’t always make it into the station. Well, not as often as in the past. But that is not from lack of trying. As the engine has aged it finds it harder and harder to build up the steam to make it over the top of the big hill. For a while we tried different engineers, but that really was only a temporary fix. They found new ways to coax a little more out of it but in the end it was the lack of function over the novelty. Today only one engineer takes the controls and has found the proper way to move the valves and work the shifts, but even then the percent of total success is still low. Oh, I know this happens to older engines but it is still disheartening. I mean it use to be the engine could not only climb the hill, fulfill the duties at the station and take off again. It moved and unloaded tons of passengers. Sometimes to the surprise of the engineers involved. But with time and use each moving part gets worn, the steam just doesn’t seem to get hot enough and well we all have known it to just stay in the roundhouse with no amount of stoking to make it go. What is amazing is that it still has its shine and luster and one would not recognize its age by merely a scan. But no one can deny that once the controls are taken in hand it doesn’t operate like a brand new engine one might think it was. But on rare occasions, when the moon seems right and the air is clear we can still see flashes from the past. Those nights, the train makes all the deliveries asked of it and it is those nights that one realizes that the train may have a history and on the down side of its journey, it can still be a shocker.
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