LUBBOCK, Texas — A crowd gathered to watch as the Slaton Railroad Heritage Association revealed a new addition to the Slaton Harvey House historic bed and breakfast – a renovated caboose.
“Slaton is railroad town, so it fits in perfectly with the Harvey House and what the B&B that it is,” said one resident.
The restored caboose represents the rich western culture of the 18th century. The part-B&B, part-museum is treasured in Slaton for its storied history.
The Slaton Harvey House actually began as part of a chain of restaurants along the railroad tracks in 1912. In many ways, it was an early iteration of fast food establishments. The new addition has already caught many locals attention
“I’m very impressed. I just think it looks wonderful.”
“It’s a great addition and something that will preserve the culture of the railroad going forward.”
The caboose stands as a sense of legacy to those who grew up on the tracks like.
“[I was] a conductor for the Santa Fe BSNL for 36 years. My dad was a railroader so I took in after him,” said Brad Robinson, retired conductor.
The new exhibit also represents both the past and a sense of belonging. Married couple Mandy and Jeff Lockaby, known by the locals as ‘the love train,’ have the railroad to thank for their first meeting.
“He’s an engineer and I’m a conductor. We’re [known as] the love train when we’re together. So when the dispatcher calls — that’s how I reply. ‘You’ve got the love train, go ahead,’” said Mandy Lockaby.
The love train said the railroad brought them together and is a big part of their history.
“I came here from Fort Worth and was helping the railroad. They were short on manpower. And when I got to slaton I just knew.. It’s going to make me cry just talking about it,” Mandy said. “Well, I end up meeting [Jeff]. We took a train trip together to Amarillo and we’ve been married ever since.”