ICYMI: Pain In My Caboose

Incase it isn’t obvious here in Antioch, trains… stink. Forget making that 5:30 a.m. practice or picking a sibling up on time; there is no chance, especially here in the good-ole town of Antioch. Compared to other surrounding towns, it seems that this growing village has adopted trains as a social norm.

Yes, we can all agree on the fact that the ‘choo-choo’ machines define where and what time we get there, but do we know how to overcome these honkin’ modes of transportation?

Tip #1: Leave at least five minutes earlier

No matter a person’s age, we can all agree a slow freighter makes us pull our hair out, especially the freights that just stop in the middle of a highly traveled road, cough-cough, Route 173. These metras and freighters block significant paths for students and staff, including sophomore Karina Steitz. This student has first-hand accounts of Antioch’s never ending railroads being both a Varsity field hockey and a soccer player.

“Being an athlete is a huge part of the train tracks,” Steitz said. “We have gotten stuck several times on our way to practice.”

Although a nuisance, trains have been the building blocks for Antioch’s economy since 1996 when the North Central Service came into play bringing Metra through Antioch daily.

Tip #2: Don’t cross the railroad when there’s a train

It’s okay, we all do it, but it is in fact, illegal. Yes, it is possible to get a fine here in Antioch. Crossing the gate because the metra is crawling seems to be reasonable, but it is still highly dangerous — do not do it. To highlight the true danger in 1989, The Chicago Tribune reported the death of three 16-year-old students from Antioch who passed away from a freight that struck their car. The students ignored the flashing warning lights down by Route 173 because at the time the railroad had no gates. These gates were incorporated for community safety; be aware of them. When citizens hear the word “trains,” is the first thought positive or negative? For some, the metra and freighters are a norm for their daily annoyance, including junior Ellie Goodman.

“The only time trains have really affected my life is when I drive,” Goodman said. “I have to stop on my way home from school for the trains to pass so frequently.”

Tip #3: Don’t worry, trains make Antioch our home

For some, growing up here is all they know. Most have lived with the same friends for years, even playing at Centennial park and creating some of the most memorable memories. Others eventually moved into a town that has shone with spirit and commitment in order to build a community of innovation. Trains may be a pest, but making sure to not forget the memories made is valuable in who we are. Discussing the tricky math test and cracking jokes continue to be some of the most prominent thoughts that keep us in touch with who we are, and where we come from. Antioch’s train depots and tracks have reflected our lives in a way that most towns and cities do not notice or have to deal with; but here, in the Village of Antioch, we deal with some extraordinary things that have come to be social norms.

Yes, trains indeed make Antioch orIginal.