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Lafayette Layover

Tom Collard

I remember leaving Branchville for Dover one Saturday Morning. The conductor's name was Mr. Campbell. The train stopped at Lafayette for what seemed like a long time. Then came repeated short blasts from the horn. Mr. Campbell looked around and asked me if I had, by accident, got the retainers on. (I was in high school at the time and the only passenger on the train). I told him I hadn't so he got up out of his seat to find out what was wrong. There on the platform was a family - husband, wife and children.

They couldn't reach the coach step without the step stool. Well, Mr. Campbell jumped into action, grabbed the stool and helped the family get on board. After he got them seated and sold them tickets he came back and told me, "I never even thought that their might be passengers. I've never had anyone get on here before!"

On thing I recall about Lafayette. When I saw it had a rotted out front step, dirt and grime inside the shelter, and a poster on the wall above the coal stove. It was faded and torn with an artist's rendering of a steam locomotive, obviouly from the World War ll era, with a caption like "Progress through American Railroading" I was struck by the irony considering the condition of the station.