Getting stopped by a train this past week, I was reminded of how often I forget we have trains that run through Downey. It is a true piece of our past that seems almost antiquated in our smart phone world.
According to the Downey Chamber of Commerce site, it was in April of 1874 that the people of Downey City heard the first whistle of a Southern Pacific train lumbering into town. The extension of the Southern Pacific Railroad through Downey played a pivotal role in bringing people throughout the country to the city to reap the potential business and agricultural benefits of the land. Plots of land were sold at a quick pace, and a bustling business center was created at the northwest corner of Crawford and Front Streets (Downey Avenue and Firestone Boulevard).
Obviously the rail line was significant to our development. It is fascinating when you realize what events brought about the development of cities and centers. Certainly, tons of things have changed. I just think it is kind of cool that the trains are still going.
A little railroad trivia: In South Dakota it is illegal to place firecrackers on a railroad track. The fine doubles if they are lit. Believe it or not, putting salt on a railroad track in Alabama was once punishable by death.