It was great to see so many people watching Benalto Train Station’s long-awaited return last week.
When I arrived at 11 a.m., I was told that it would likely be another hour before the station arrived. Shortly after that, I found out that it would be closer to 4 p.m. before it would make its appearance.
Despite having other assignments that needed completing, I figured it would be best if I waited in Benalto, instead of returning to the newsroom and catching up on other work.
Missing this momentous event in the hamlet’s history was something that I, as a reporter, could not afford to take a chance on.
And Benalto residents, it seemed, felt exactly the same way.
Instead of leaving and coming back closer to the station’s estimated time of arrival, the majority of people were there from start to finish, passing the time by enjoying food and beverages together and chatting with one another.
My own conversations with people taught me much about Benalto’s heritage and history.
Several times I was told that Benalto Rodeo is a must-see event, and that experiencing it is well worth the trip from any town or city, no matter how far.
I was also given an insight into some of the other things Benalto residents love most about their hamlet: its unrivalled view of the Rocky Mountains, the friendly people around town, and the tranquilness unavailable to those who reside in larger municipalities.
One of the most interesting aspects of covering the station’s return, however, was being able to talk to people who remembered seeing, and in some cases, being in, the station before it left.
First-hand accounts of steam, noise and large crowds of people helped me envision what the station was like during its original time in Benalto.
And judging by the plenty of people who were eager to tell their stories, it seems that its story and legacy will live long into the future.