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Slow Down

November 9, 2015

Well said, Ronnie

Ronnie McBrayer

saludaThe steepest railroad track in the United States is the Saluda Grade in the mountains of North Carolina. It is a boiler-busting, brake-burning section of track that Norfolk Southern finally closed a few years ago, because the time involved in circumnavigating that portion of railway finally proved to be too much for our fast-paced world. 

In the glory years of the locomotive, as a train approached Saluda, it would pull over for a complete inspection: Every brake, piston, pulley, and coupling. When the run over the harrowing mountain was complete, the train pulled over once again for another full inspection from engine to caboose. Further, only the most experienced and highly trained engineers could attempt the crossing, creating scheduling and personnel challenges.

Then, of course, none of this took into account the actual journey itself. The train would chug up the mountain, huffing and puffing, wheezing and groaning. Finally at…

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