ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on August 26, 2012

Chug along through the valley of the big woods,

Where steam, rail, and endless tracks of time stood,

Has time seen empty beds of man’s efforts gone?

Ties took up, the rails scrapped, progress all wrong.


Coal power locomotives once roam free,

Across these northern hills of a gentle breeze,

Stations dotted east to west, freight markets found,

Now the beast cannot be seen, stopped at small towns.


The mighty engines hauling cars a mile long,

Have been replaced with truckers singing sad songs,

Lonely highways line the city sights instead.

There are fewer rail road crossings ahead.


Chug along the memories that grandpa saw,

Time is gone lessons learned are common law,

Days are laced with golden bells of liberty,

Waste it, make another, and throw it free.


Time stands still for no man when progress is near.

Right or wrong directions go forth without fear.

Listen to the jingle like the old song goes.

Chug along the valley looking out below.


Disregard common sense to save a nickel.

Don’t think we will ever be in a pickle.

Life goes on without a care to older days.

When the gas is gone we’ll just run away.


Chug along without tracks or the B & O,

Take a ride on the Reading and go, go, go,

Get your wheel barrel ready, roll the dice,

If you roll you a double you may go twice.


Chug along without trains or automobiles,

The future looks brighter without any wheels.

If you think we are playing a game, it’s true.

When the rural train tracks left future’s hope flew.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I put a great deal of thought into this poem. I think we were much better off when the trains went through small towns. A hundred years ago every town had a depot. Now there are miles and miles of empty rail road beds. Thanks for taking the trip down memory lane with me, old albion, as I recall what my grandparents saw.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      6 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Diana. This wonderful poem brings back memories of yesteryear. I can really hear that lonely whistle blow. The wheels of progress have turned and now the old ways, the characters and machines are all gone.

      voted up and all / following.

    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      They have one twenty miles or so from here which takes tourist on a scenic journey on weekends and holidays through the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Thanks, BlossomSB for stopping in for a ride down memory lane.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Loved the memories it evoked, especially of the long-distance steam trains and crunching the cinders as we walked along the corridor the next morning. Some of the old steam trains still take people on nostalgic rides locally on a Sunday in these parts. I love to hear their whistle.

    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you so much for the response, Mhatter99, whonunuwho, aviannovice, and Cogerson. I tried to put as much though as possible in this poem. Where I live miles and miles of abandoned rail beds lie with each little piece going back to the land owners. Some tracks were gone long before my time, but I still have fond memories of the freight passing by my grandparents farm which no longer remains. We had no worry about gas prices back in those days.

    • Cogerson profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia

      I really enjoyed reading this hub....I have always been fascinated with trains...and reading your hub brought back some memories of traveling across the country with my grandmother when I was 12 years old. Thanks for shaking loose that is greatly appreciated.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Luckily, trains go through my area. I am so glad that they aren't a part of the past...yet.

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      A nice tribute to the old rail system and the coal burning locomotives belching steam and sparks of fire all along the valleys of our memory.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Yup, my dear. Romantic memories my kids will never know. ;-)

    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I think so, too. My dad's grandfather and his brothers worked the railroad. In their days trains stopped in nearly every town. Thanks for stopping by, wetnosedogs.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Wonderful. Think we would have been better off with the trains chugging away.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)