Stretch, believe it or not, at times they were. There was a pretty little girl that lived next to the tracks and to show my six year old affection I remember throwing her jump rope across the tracks as the train passed slowly by and dividing her jump rope into three sections. Also used to press pennies on the track. Up where we used to jump the train, they switched, and the conductor (or signalman) would leave a "torpedo" on the track to signal the next train that they were clear. The torpedo was attached to the track with lead straps bent around the rail and we used to collect the straps for fishing sinkers. Also at times we enjoyed blowing off the torpedoes with rocks which would cause the train to stop and back up to replace the detonated torpedo. My Mom never had a clue where I was once the screen door was locked in the morning!!