Railroad Crossing

I pass through a local grade crossing several times a day. The commuter train is an old friend to me, riding it and seeing it from trackside, for all my adult life.

Road traffic back-up
gaps at the railroad crossing.
while the bare tracks shine.

Train tracks polished up
by heavy cars and steel wheels
lie sleek in the sun

Train Tracks Sunset #2 small

At the grade crossing, Highland Avenue, looking toward, Glenside, PA, some years ago at sunset.


23 thoughts on “Railroad Crossing

  1. Great geometry in the photo. The house where I lived ages 6-11 was 3 down from the railroad tracks, so they are entwined with my memories of those years. (K)

  2. Thank you. I have a fixation with this grade crossing – both the picture and the words relate to the same place. I guess because it’s such a part of my everyday life and yet so totally ordinary. Somehow the place is like some kind of a touchstone of the ordinary for me!

  3. I have lived near the trains for decades now and hear them blow their horns as they come into the local station at night, plus this grade crossing. I tend to think of transportation around here as to what train station things are near, though of course in the newer areas that’s a far stretch.

  4. Sometimes I watch the train go by and see a face looking out the window and just for a second I imagine myself being that person and going wherever they are going, living in that life, etc., and seeing me, standing by the tracks, a stranger. I really enjoy those little “out-of-body” flashes – being two people at once.

    I’m a timid traveler myself, but once I get going, I really enjoy it. And train travel is my favorite.

  5. Cool photo–and haiku, too. 🙂 I’ve experienced the first one many time, but I love the second one.
    (Also, I think my sister lives around there.) 🙂

  6. One of my favorite places here in Staunton VA is the Sears Hill bridge that goes over the railroad tracks. You can stand on the bridge and watch the train pass right beneath you. Mostly freight but some Amtrak traffic as well. Go over that bridge and you find the park and the house from the movie Hearts in Atlantis. It’s a magical place. It would be a good place to read these poems.

  7. Oh, it sounds like it. I’m going to look it up on the internet and see if I can visit through that method. I love standing on bridges above traffic of some kind – sometimes here I’ve been on a pedestrian bridge over a train line. And there is an overpass at a local rail station that extends over the main street through town, so you can sort of hover over the cars streaming along – I’ve been here many times. Funny how that vantage point is so – magical, as you say.

  8. Thank you. No kidding, your sister! It’s Highland Avenue, leading into Rices Mill Road, this crossing is, just past SPS, in Glenside, PA. If this makes sense to you, it may be the location you’re thinking of?!

  9. I don’t know the area well enough, but no, not it exactly–just the general area. She’s in Roslyn, but I think we cross Highland and RR tracks to get to her house. 🙂

  10. Thank you. I have always been a rooted kind of person as opposed to the rolling stone, and I think I could spend the rest of my life in this one place and still find new things in what I see every day. I am grateful for this, that my everyday life is satisfying. Seems like a real gift from the universe or whatever, I appreciate it!

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