A surprise from our recent anniversary tour of Central Texas barbecue joints was the discovery of all the train-watching opportunities near the places we visited.
In Smithville, a few blocks from Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que, there’s a nice city park, with a big gazebo, located trackside.
In Giddings, a short walk from the City Meat Market, you can watch coal trains (empty and full) pass through and visit a train museum. One of the exhibits lets you toot a train horn. Bet you can’t do it just once!!
In Taylor, right outside the doors of the Taylor Cafe, there’s a switching yard where they cut cars from and add cars to freight trains. Amtrak passenger trains also pass by, to and from Austin.
“They are very cool,” Zach Woo said after watching the trains in Taylor. Zach, son of Dallas Morning News photographer David Woo, was making his first tour with the posse. At 28, Zach’s not a kid, but he’s closer than most of us.
About once a month, said Don Kovar, who works at the Taylor Cafe, the restaurant gets an advance order from an Amtrak train.
The train doesn’t stop, but the exchange is made as the train slows.
“They throw the money down and we throw the sausage up,” Kovar said.
Photo by Jim Rossman