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Listen to whistle for ‘train speak’

Train whistles are legal warning sounds given when they cross streets to alert drivers and pedestrians. When I lived in Durango on Third Avenue, I loved to listen to them coming back in the evening from Silverton when I was on my back porch. It seemed each old locomotive had a different sound. One even seemed to croon almost.

The whistle is two long, one short and one long. This is train speak for "Here comes the train!" I would listen to the 7 p.m. engine and could tell when it crossed the river, then when it was behind City Market and then the Strater Hotel, before it came to rest at the depot. And then I knew it was time to walk down to the Diamond Belle and hear Johnny play the piano after his dinner break. Sure miss Durango.

Fredette Eagle

McLean, Virginia