The late night whistle blasts at each crossing orchestrate a plaintive wail to reverberate against steep hillsides as trains enter Stafford Springs within the narrow confines of the Willimantic River. Very slowly with a great westward hook the train will pass behind the businesses on Main Street, seemingly close enough to almost touch, and with just enough room there to fit a driveway to American Sleeve Bearing’s hundred year old factory on the Middle River. And a concrete trestle in their parking lot that once provided for a second track. Today it’s a perfect setting for a graffiti festival, and for a fourth year the civic minded company has allowed public access for a day in mid–September. The multiple arches are painted back to a blank canvas in preparation for about fifty invited artists who in about six hours will again create their kaleidoscope of color for another year. With live music, the frenzy of activity and good vibes is a blast.
from the 2015 event: