NEW CASTLE, Ind. (CBS) — The view has improved, and so too the economy, in the town of New Castle, Ind., where the rail cars have moved on.

“It’s nice, because neighbors can see neighbors now,” said Jim Small, a former mayor of the Indiana town, which is located about 44 miles east-northeast of Indianapolis.

Small says when the auto industry tanked, about 100 auto transport rail cars were parked on tracks bisecting the town. They sat idle right in front of the house owned for 50 years by Leslie Treece, who was happy to see them finally moved some months back.

“I’m not too sure, I think, you know, time flies when you’re having fun, and at 86 years old, you can imagine how much fun I’m having,” Treece said.

Small says rent for the parked rail cars kept the Connersville and New Castle Shortline railroad viable, and now serving three new industries.

“We are actually growing, while cities around us are shrinking,” he said.

And Treece says now all she sees is pear trees, instead of graffiti on the mile-long line of rail cars off her front porch.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

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