May 24, 2018
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Rumbling through Bangor

By Brian Swartz, Of the Weekly Staff

Headed either north or south, several Pan Am Railways trains rumble through Bangor daily. Except the few drivers caught at the rare street crossings in the Queen City and the lead locomotive’s horn blown at such crossings, most people would not know when a train passes by.

Each train comprises an eclectic mix of cars: Tank cars, lumber cars, and the ubiquitous box cars tag along behind the locomotive. Names painted on the cars often identify railroad ownership; reading those names can lead an onlooker to imagine far away places.

And some rail cars passing along the Bangor waterfront represent a rolling art museum. Today many cars display the creative (and not always creative) cartoons and imagery lumped under the category “railroad graffiti.” Throughout North America, experienced and aspiring graffiti artists have taken railroad “art” to such levels that three writers — Roger Gastman, Darin Rowland, and Ian Sattler — co-conspired to developed the book “Freight Train Graffiti.

On Monday, Feb. 10, a typical Pan Am Railways train traveled north through Bangor. Weekly editor Brian Swartz captured some images of the train, which included several representations of railroad graffiti.

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