Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2034700-Down-the-Salt-Mine-Line
by Bruce.
Rated: E · Poetry · Transportation · #2034700
A steam train sets off for the salt mine in winter.
Down the Salt Mine Line.

I set off for work although it's still night
It’s an hour or so until it gets light
Flakes of falling snow settle on my head
But I soon arrive at the railway shed.

I carefully cross the snow covered track
My sandwich bag hanging across my back
Plus all the tools I picked up from the store
I leave them on the locomotive floor.

Then off to the cabin to make some tea
In billy-can for my driver and me
Back to the engine to stoke up the fire
I need to get the steam pressure higher.

The driver is filling the rods with oil
The water in the boiler starts to boil
This small locomotive will suit us fine
To take empty salt trucks down to the mine.

The engine is ready, it’s time to go
Leaving the depot we move nice and slow
And when we reverse in the old goods yard
There waiting and shivering stands the guard.

He hooks up the trucks as quick as he can
Then hurries off to his warm cosy van
He waves his lamp light to start off the ride
A short whistle pop and he goes inside.

We are watching the signal on the ground
As dawn is slowly breaking all around
And as we are greeting the end of night
The signal turns to show a bright green light.

We leave the goods yard through the snow and ice
From our warm cab, the scene looks very nice
We can’t see the tracks because of the snow
But our small train knows where it has to go.

Out through the station and we pick up speed
We have all the fire and steam that we need
As we rumble through town and make our way
The local people rise to start the day.

The driver lifts the regulator high
Sends steam, smoke, and embers towards the sky
He increases the speed on our short ride
Travelling through the snowy countryside.

I shovel more coal into the fire box
Keeping my balance as the loco' rocks
It seems like the engine enjoys the feast
Just like a coal consuming hungry beast.

Then we slow down to leave the fast main line
Make a turn on the branch line to the mine
Closed in by the bushes and by the trees
Their heavy, snowy loads, sway in the breeze.

Drop down to the mine where we change our train
Make a fresh brew before we leave again
We thunder out across the gated road
Pulling out with our heavy salty load.

When we get back our day is not yet done
There is some trucks to shunt 'til half past one
Before we can return onto the shed
And put our locomotive back to bed.

Then we leave the depot just after two
I’ve enjoyed the work that I've had to do
And then tomorrow, I will not complain
To go an early run once again.

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