There’s nothing that can epitomize the transitory state of existence for this city’s history than the train. Even as we exist in this ever-changing state, the train is our one constant. No matter how many people leave this city it’s always there. It’s our one key that gives us entry into the world and yet, for all it seems to offer it seems to deliver the opposite. This town seems to be shrinking, while everything around us expands.
The train is a utility, not of the city, but of everyone and anyone that needs to get where they’re going. People use the train, but they have no use for this city. This city to them is just a place with a train-station. They go home, far away from here and don’t give us a second thought. This city means nothing to them, because it has nothing within its bounds to sustain them. They retreat to their homes far away from us. This city only has attachment for those who were born here. The train allows outsiders to enter our city without needing to stay; thusly, we maintain our status as nothing more than a ‘way station’ for all who wish to escape to another place. People come and they go, so that they might provide for their families. This city has no sustenance for them. We have nothing more to offer, except a route to bigger cities that might get people the financial security they desire. It’s something we provide or, in truth, something the train provides.
This area needs the train as a means to establish a connection with bigger cities, without bringing the clutter that working alongside a ‘big city’ demands. We have not the resources to create a big city in this area. There aren’t so many jobs in the area that people can work so close to home; some need to escape to the city and return home with the essential monetary gains their families need. It’s perfect for those with degrees, so they may stay in the area, while still filling vacancies in high operating businesses.
Now, as to how this affects our fair city, well, it’s kinda like something in your house that everyone can use and benefit from, except for you. It cuts the city in half, with its hub sitting in the center of the town. It creates for our city a necessity for more roads to keep traffic out of its way. Everything flows by the will of this structure, for a city in which it has become mostly benign. It provides for many in the city jobs, which are plentiful, although within the city itself there’s nothing that can profit from having such a resource. It’s amazing that more businesses aren’t just propped up and sustained, but there aren’t enough visitors that want to come to the area. Most people leave for the bigger cities to have their fun and only return for rest or out of obligation. This city, to most, is nothing more than a way station for weary travelers to enter for only a moment, before leaving for places they really would like to be.
Rensselaer became the obvious depository for the train, as Union Station cluttered too much of Albany. There are few accommodations in either place, but fewer still in Rensselaer. Still, the area needed the blessing to their industries, hotels and various accommodations. The outlying areas have plenty to offer. There’s nothing more for Rensselaer, except for the train. I;ve often wondered what it provides us then, besides a reason to exist. I’ve always thought of this place as a suburb of the greater area, either Albany or East Greenbush, although I doubt either wants to claim us. We’re just our own. We exist for others to exist.
The more you look at the anomaly of the train-station, the more you wonder if there’s no other purpose that waits for our fair city in the future. The train seems to provide for us, in its own way, a subsistence, allowing us to persist, yet never to thrive. Society was so amazed once by the technology of the locomotive, but lately nobody seems to be paying attention to the advances in the industry. If only they’d get here sooner… our subsistency might be at stake! We’re not allowed such decadence! The train connects us to the world, but we don’t see much of the world. We’re left with this connection, assured that it’s still holding us in place within this meager gathering of tribes. We seem to be marginalized, because it comes as no surprise that if the train didn’t exist neither would we.