• 63°

Sarah Stultz: Round and round the railroad tracks they go

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

“What’s that sound?” my son, Landon, asked.

We were sitting in our house, which is in the neighborhood behind Southwest Middle School, and though we’re not in the close vicinity of any train tracks, we can still hear the horns of trains loud and clear.

“It’s a train,” I whisper.

Landon, of course, knows the sound but perks up any time he hears it, as trains are some of his favorite toys.

He has loved them for several years now, and while other toys have come and gone, these seem to be some that will be sticking around for a while.

As if hearing trains weren’t enough excitement, you should watch Landon when he gets to see a train in person.

While some of us might groan if we come across a train in our path while we’re driving to work or running an errand, Landon is in the backseat oohing and aahing.

Even in the dead of winter, he’ll ask that his window be rolled down, so he can hear the train in all of its glory and see all of the cars untainted as they pass. If you’re in another car nearby, it would be likely you’d see him pointing out the window and sometimes even waving as it passes.

Sometimes, if we’re able to catch up to the same train a second time, my husband and I enjoy doing that just to see his excitement all over again.

This past weekend, we were looking for something fun to do and traveled up to St. Paul to visit the Minnesota Transportation Museum at the historic Jackson Street Roundhouse. The museum is focused around trains, and for Landon it was like a dream come true.

We got to walk inside of some of the old train cars, watch different types of model railroad cars travel around a track and even go on a short ride in one of the trains.

If your child loves trains, that was quite the place to visit. We also got to pick out a few old train magazines that I plan to frame for some new art for Landon’s room.

Out of everything they had at the museum, though, Landon’s favorite thing was simply watching the model railroad cars going around and around the track.

“What’s that sound?” he would ask as one of the trains rounded the bend and started to approach us. He waved as the train got closer, and it reminded me of when we’re back home and he hears the horn from a half mile to a mile away.

It was pure magic for him to see, and it was a pleasure for me, too, as a parent to see him enjoy something so much.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.