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Nostalgia & History > The CSX Local and the Hound Of London

Date: 10/11/20 07:26
The CSX Local and the Hound Of London
Author: MaryMcPherson

Back in 2002, my career took me from small town southern Illinois to Indianapolis for 11 months.  Rather than outright move for what I knew was going to be a temporary gig, I rented a room by the week and kept my apartment back home (considering the highway as hall space, it was a heck of a deal per square foot),

Working the extra board in a strange town, I didn't have much to do other than sit around and watch TV and do a little area railfanning.  While I was out and about one day, I decided to start seeking out a few of the local hobby shops and see what there was to see.  There were three in the area that I discovered, and I struck up a conversation with an older fellow at one of them who (like me) was into collecting old sound recordings.  He had a sizeable collection of old LP records, and was interested in converting them to CD.  It just so happened that I had the tools to do the job so, after running home to Illinois to get some gear, he invited me out to his home east of Indy in the small town of London to check out his records.  The house was located across the street from the railroad tracks: a former New York Central route owned by CSX.  Once the mainline from Indy to Cincinnatti, CSX kept only the western portion of the line for local traffic while the rest was under the flag of the Indiana & Ohio Railroad.

18 years later and being notoriously bad about remembering names at times, I want to say his name was Tom but for the life of me I can't remember the last name.  What DOES stick was his dog named Hobo.  Hobo must have been a fan of the O. Winston Link album "The Fading Giant," as he took his cue from the "Hound Of Husk" recording.  For those that are not familiar, Link recorded a dog that howled at the daily train that came along down the Abingdon Branch of the Norfolk & Western.  Hobo did the same thing as the daily-except-Sunday CSX local trundled through town.

With thoughts of Ogle Winston Link running through my head, one morning I brought my sound gear down to Tom's place and set up to catch the Hound Of London's reaction to the local.  I set up four microphone in two stereo pairs: one pair on the porch with Hobo, and one pair in the front yard for the train.

It wasn't long before the headlight appeared in the distance, and it was quickly obvious that things had slowed down considerably since the days of New York Central Hudsons and Mohawks traversing these same rails.  In fact, the train's approach was so quiet that the first Hobo noticed of it was when the crossing bells began to clang.  He immediately jumped to attention, with the "chink" of his collar and chain being quite evident in the recording.

And so goes the story of the CSX local, and the Hound of London.

I didn't take any photos at London, but included here a photo I took of a CSX local working in Indianapolis proper.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/20 07:28 by MaryMcPherson.

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Date: 10/11/20 09:53
Re: The CSX Local and the Hound Of London
Author: CCDeWeese

When I was growing up in the 50s in Robinson, IL on the IC Effingham district, there was a cocker spaniel at the end of the block that started howling when she heard the steam engine noise in the evening before the whistle. 

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