Trains don’t stop here anymore


I’ve written many times that I love trains and most things associated with them. Especially old depots such as this one in Madison, NC. Trains still use the adjacent tracks, and that’s good. It’s just that they don’t stop here anymore. When I visit such locations I like to imagine what it was like living here during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s in America when passenger and freight trains were the main mode of transportation, and many small cities and towns like Madison were serviced daily. When I was a young boy I recall traveling about on passenger trains with my parents, going from city-to-city. It was exciting, albeit a bit daunting, to have to walk along a passenger and baggage platform that ran in between train depot tracks, where massive locomotives sat waiting to depart. The steam engines hissed and rumbled above me as we walked along. But I began to relax as we boarded our train, with a friendly uniformed Conductor helping me climb the steep steps into our assigned car. I always had a window seat with my face plastered to the glass most of the time, peering out at passing sights. These are memories I’ll never forget. I guess that’s why I like making photos at places like this old depot.

Railroad Crossing…

How many remember the saying many of us learned as kids, “Railroad crossing, look out for cars, can you spell that without any “R’s.” And of course, the answer is T-H-A-T. OK, not so funny but it sets the stage for my main point…that being I am a “nut” for trains and all that goes along with them. I wish our lives were full of more trains, and less planes, automobiles and other sorts of similar transportation. Instead of having reliable, on-time high-speed train service connecting cities and locations as is done in Europe, we in the United States long ago let go that form of transportation in favor of the internet highway system we use today. I understand the reasons why that was done, but in the process we neglected rail service to the extent it almost became a joke. Thankfully, rail service is being revived somewhat, but we have a long way to go. I feel I am not alone in this…especially with those sitting in a traffic jam somewhere on I-81, trying to get to their vacation destination, or those waiting on a tarmac at some airport in the hot sun waiting for baggage to be loaded. So, in sum I get my fix with trains by making as many photos as I can about that subject. Here’s just one.