Beech Grove Shop: Nuts and Bolts … And Nuts!
I’m leaving here on Thursday to attend the annual Fall meeting of the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) which will be held in Indianapolis.
As is my usual extravagant habit, I’m taking a long way ’round in both directions and, of course, doing most of it by train: the overnight ride on the Coast Starlight from Oakland to Seattle, two nights on the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago, the Cardinal from Chicago to Indianapolis and back to Chicago, and it all wraps up with the Southwest Chief to Los Angeles with time out for a two-day stopover in Santa Fe. I’ll do my best to provide full reports with some photos here all along the way.
For most of us, the highlight of our time in Indianapolis will occur the day before the NARP meetings actually begin: we’ll have the unusual privilege of getting a day-long tour of Amtrak’s Beech Grove Maintenance Facility. There’s a lot going on there, from diesel engine repair to the refurbishing of rail cars. We’ve been allotted 100 places for the tour and they were quickly filled by NARP members anxious to get a look at this impressive facility.
However, and proving once again that there is no shortage of crackpots living among us, Beech Grove is thought to be, in fact, a clandestine facility run by FEMA which is being converted to a giant concentration camp by “foreign” workers. On some dark day in the not-too-distant future, true red-white-and-blue patriotic Americans are going to be rounded up and whisked off to Beech Grove, never to be heard from again.
Will my going to Beech Grove and taking photos of Amtrak employees repairing and renovating rail cars cause these people to realize that they are paranoid and delusional? Of course not. It will merely convince them that either I am a simple-minded fool duped by those sinister FEMA forces, or I’m one of the FEMA conspirators.
The funny thing is . . . it ain’t funny.