Knoxville Time Warp
I was in Knoxville, Tennessee, shooting video for a DVD on the three restored Southern Railway 2-8-0’s that have been returned to service in the last year. Knoxville is home to the Three Rivers Rambler, which restored 1890 built #154 last summer. #154 was under steam for the Saturday runs, which kicked off the 2011 operating season....
It wasn’t long before the sounds of #154 began to drift through the woods from downtown Knoxville. Let it be said that #154 has one of the prettiest three chime whistles you would ever want to hear. Let it also be said that the engineer this particular day knew just what to do with that whistle. The sound of that distant whistle echoing through the hills was one that would bring a tear to your eye… assuming you are one to be moved by such things.
It was after hearing the whistling from downtown Knoxville that I realized that I was hearing nothing but the birds in the trees and the wind rustling through the leaves. In today’s world, the sounds of modernity are so pervasive that they only seem to become notable in their absence.
—Mary Rae, alongtherails.wordpress.com, May 31, 2011