DAILY POST: Making Tracks

 What’s Around the Bend or Over the Horizon?

Cumbres & Toltec former Denver & Rio Grande Western three-foot gauge line, Colorado.
Cumbres & Toltec former Denver & Rio Grande Western three-foot gauge line, Colorado.

Railway tracks are the defining infrastructure of this transport system. They are key to the whole technology as well part of the title of this Internet Blog.

Often, tracks are view as secondary to the trains that use them. Photographs tend to focus on the locomotives and cars, rather then the tracks themselves.

With this post, I’ve focused on the tracks. I’ve selected a few photographs from my archives in which the tracks are the subject: tracks leading to the horizon across a desolate desert landscape; tracks curling around a bend in the snow; tracks in the weeds and tracks catching the sunlight.

Tracks capture our imaginations, and the images of tracks can be timeless. Yet not all tracks are the same. The condition of the line and nature of the landscape is telling. I’ve made hundreds of images like these over the years; sometimes from trains, other times from the ground, or overhead bridges. The formula is simple, but the results vary greatly.

Often the thought of what lies beyond is the most intriguing. What lies around the curve or just over the horizon? It are images like these that inspire wanderlust for railway journeys. In days of yore, how many young men left home in pursuit of that the elusive view around the next bend in the tracks.

 

Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia's former Canadian National Railways trackage.
Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia’s former Canadian National Railways trackage.
Dandelions on the line; PKP tracks near Grodzisk, Poland.
Dandelions on the line; PKP tracks near Grodzisk, Poland.
Canadian National crossovers at Bayview Junction, Ontario.
Canadian National crossovers at Bayview Junction, Ontario.
Maine Central tracks at Lincoln, Maine.
Maine Central tracks at Lincoln, Maine.
Derilict former Santa Fe track at Streator, Illinois on BNSF Railway.
Derilict former Santa Fe sidings  at Streator, Illinois on BNSF Railway.

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