Making dreams come true🚂: La Porte teen with autism climbs aboard train, thanks to Union Pacific Railroad

LA PORTE, Texas – For nearly a decade, a La Porte teenager living with autism has only ever wanted to climb aboard a locomotive.

Union Pacific Railroad surprised him with a ride of a lifetime.

Mason Teel, 19, has spent a lot of time outside the La Porte Feed Store waving at passing-by trains. Mason Teel thought he’d have the opportunity to call for a train at Union Pacific Railroad’s Strang Yard in southeast Harris County.

“I’d film it on my phone and make them blow their horn all the time,” said Mason.

Mason’s father said when he was 4 about to turn 5, he was diagnosed with autism. It was a few years after that that Mason began being noticed by Union Pacific Railroad personnel.

“Since he was probably about 8 or 9 years old,” said Cyrus Cooper, Union Pacific Railroad conductor. “He likes the horn being blown, so he will give us a ‘blow the horn’ sign. He is just a good kid; everyone has kind of taken him under their wing. He’s part of our family basically.”

Cyrus organized an opportunity for Mason to climb aboard a locomotive with Union Pacific Railroad engineer Aundrea White.

“He has so much excitement, and it exudes, and it is infectious. To be able to give a part of what we go through every day, on a daily basis to him, something he really loves and enjoys, I consider it an honor,” Aundrea said.

“It was the best! It was fun being up in the cab. I was doing a shave and a haircut horn bit,” Mason excitedly explained.

Some 165,00 Houstonians are living with autism, according to the CDC.


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