By Riley, age 15

Do you need a patch? No, not for your bike inner tube. I mean a patch for your jacket or hat.

At Player Development at the Little League stadium on Pond Island we do chores like take the trash out or write stories for the newspaper to earn Railroad Patches.

Right now we are working on earning patches from The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad of Maine, BAR.

BAR was formed in 1891, and was sold and later declared bankrupt in 2002. Yet we can get three different patches from the closed railroad. Rail fans, guys and girls that like looking at, photographing or making model railroads (like us) call a closed railroad a ‘Fallen Flag.’

The BAR was famous for carrying wood and paper products. One of their patches actually features a pine tree (it looks like a Christmas tree.)

It is fun collecting patches from the different railroads and studying their history. Many started in the 1800s and a few have survived until today. Other smaller less profitable railroads got bought up by big companies like Union Pacific. Yet patches can be found online for even the smallest and oldest railroads. We have two different patches from the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. We have a white patch in the shape of a triangle.

We also have a red white and blue BAR Patch. The BAR has been gone for more than 20 years yet railroad buffs still make model train sets of the line and patches, shirts and even hooded jackets are available online.

So next time you see one of us with a patch that says BAR realise we are not going somewhere to drink. We are celebrating the men and women that helped moved people and products and Christmas Trees around the United States.

The Daily Herald

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