Celina Texas Train Tracks

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Celina, Texas was established in 1879, 23 years before the St. Louis Santa Fe Texas Railroad reached the area. However, the railroad played an integral part in the continued existence of the little town. Today, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line runs through Celina. 

Part of the charm of Celina is having the remnants of days gone by such as the old grain silos, the old Celina Ice House and other ghosts of the past still around in this modern day. The railroad going through town is one of those bits of history that is still being used today. Sure, the name has changed and the trains certainly look different, but the nostalgia is still there.

Beyond the appeal of a piece of living history in the middle of Celina, the tracks offer something more. Much more. To me, the tracks represent a connection to far away places. When you stand on a railroad crossing and look down it's tracks, you can only imagine the worlds it connects to. It's a place where your imagination can run wild, whether seven or seventy years old. 

On this particular day, I showed up at my favorite rail road crossing in Celina to photograph her. As usual, she first required me to imagine something wonderful . On this day, I imagined how thing must have been at the turn of the century with the days of the Wild West behind us and a new age of industrial and eventually technological advancements ahead. I could write a book on how the railroad make me feel, the images it conjures up in my mind and the love I have for trains and their connection to small town America. 

When I came back to the present moment, I looked up the tracks to the north and shot this image. The tracks lead off into the distance, the old railroad crossing sign leaning in, still doing it's job, and the kind of late afternoon clouds that 95 degree days in north Texas bring. As quiet and still as this moment was, mere moments later a distant headlamp appeared down the track and soon the ground rumbled as a massive BNSF train rumbled down the tracks, one engine pulling and two behind pushing. 

Maybe that's why I love the railroad so much. It's history, imagination, past and present, solitude and earth rumbling all in one. I hope this image captures the history, sparks the imagination and provides solitude for you as much as it does me.