When going gets tough, there's the railroad

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Misfortune has a way of bringing out the best in those who are affected the most. This certainly has been the case during this month's heavy rains, windstorms and flooding.

One example is the new rail service to Allenville, Mo.

Out of necessity, the Allenville residents stranded by floodwaters quickly turned an abandoned rail line into commuter service to higher ground where automobiles could be safely parked. Fortunately, the track bed and a key trestle are above flood levels.

The track most recently had been used by the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad for excursions from Jackson, Mo. But those train trips now end at Gordonville because of needed maintenance on the rest of the line. The railroad quickly provided a small, gasoline-powered motorcar and a tiny flatbed car to go back and forth from Allenville to dry land near Route N, cutting a half-hour walk to a bumpy -- but welcome -- 10-minute ride.

Allenville's rail service was, of course, temporary until floodwaters receded. But there's something to be said for such ingenuity and cooperation.

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