Former railroad man James Barker has a unique, hand-crafted Christmas Train display in front of his home on Red Springs Rd. This year he has added a water tower, constructed of plywood, pvc pipe and sheets of aluminum, to the display.
Barker was an engineer for the former Caddo Valley Railroad Line.
“It was a short line that went from Gurdon to Glenwood,” said Barker, who ran that line for eight years. “Before that I was a conductor with Union Pacific and before that I was with AP and L.”
Barker said driving the train on the old Caddo Valley Railroad Line, formerly known as the Womble Line was a beautiful and challenging ride. “The train wound around the mountain sides, there was a cliff on one side and other the Antione River on the other. There was never a dull moment. There was all kinds of wildlife and something different every day, whether it was animals or rock slides and there were lot hills. It took training. There was one area known as the Hogbacks between Sandy Crossing and the 182 crossing, and another area called the summit. It was long long hill and you had to know what you were doing to get up and down it.”