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On the Right Track

I thoroughly enjoyed the railroad pieces in the January Bulletin, and I’m delighted that Sara Morrell’s campaign to save the Media/Elwyn Line was successful, since that’s my preferred mode of transportation to campus for reunions. My daughter lives in Lawrenceville, N.J., and there’s a nearby commuter rail station so that I can visit her family and Swarthmore conveniently on the same trip East.

I’ve always liked traveling by train, but my interest in railroads deepened significantly after years of research for a book I wrote based on the collected letters and papers of my great-grandfather, a locomotive engineer. I hope Prof. Frank Moscatelli will be on campus during Alumni Weekend this year. Since he “endeavors to understand everything,” I’m wondering if my explanations of steam locomotive operations in Reflections of a Civil War Locomotive Engineer: a ghostwritten memoir, a copy of which is in the McCabe Library, make sense to him. I did my best, but I’d love to hear from an expert whether I “got it” or not.

Absolutely terrific January 2014 issue of the Bulletin. I especially enjoyed Rowan Barnes-Murphy’s illustrations, but the whole issue is lively—with a great sense of humor noticeable throughout. Brava to all of you.

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