Monday, March 21, 2011

Morning Traffic: Grain hopper cars

Traffic blocked by Canada
and Saskatchewan hopper cars. © SB
Regina, SK: Rail lines surge in from the prairie, thrust across town.

Trains rumble through, commanding level crossings, stalling dawn commutes.

I wait on Elphinstone, counting tank cars, box cars, hopper cars. Rust and graffiti, forest, ochre, black. CN. Procor. Canada. Saskatchewan.

Brake lights before me, impatient to head south. Beneath the belly of the train, amber lights face north.

We're all late — morning drivers, daybreak freight.

The grain in these hopper cars will flow on to China, Mexico, Japan; Egypt, Italy, Sudan; the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

Once the crossing gates lift, the drivers will rush off through snowflakes, slush, to deadlines missed, meetings delayed.

I am stalled in this land-locked city, waiting for the train.

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