Matt Lowe: Sounds of my City

I captured this sound bite while standing next to the train tracks that run parallel to the southeast wall of my house.

The closest set of tracks is about 20 feet from the window of my office. Trains go by on this track completely dominate the view from any window on that side of the house. This first track is used by engines inspecting or being transferred from one end to the other of trains stopped trains on farther tracks. The next two tracks see at least a train an hour during weekdays. The farther of these two tracks also sees Amtrak and Metra trains taking passengers to the suburbs and far beyond. The train heard in Train Stopping came from the southwest on this track. The fourth and fifth tracks are separated from the rest by a chainlink fence about 6 feet high and are the paths of the Orange line. The closer tracks send the “L’s” passengers southwest toward Midway airport while the farthest tracks are bound for the Loop. Beyond these five railroad lines lies six lanes of the Stevenson Expressway. Planes headed for and from Midway airport soar overhead and the Chicago River flows two blocks to the north.

1: Train Stopping - Matt

Above is a photograph of some earrings I made using pennies crushed on the middle railroad track by a freight train some months ago. The earring hooks are gold wire and the connecting pieces are copper wire.

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