The significance of trains in Leander dates back to the late 1800s, when the town was named to honor Leander Brown—one of the railroad officials who completed the rail line that ran through the area.

That rail line not only established the city of Leander, but it now serves as the only stop in a suburban Central Texas city on the CapMetro rail.

In 2017, a group of community members launched the Leander Trail of Trains program to commemorate the city’s history surrounding trains, according to the Leander Chamber of Commerce. These 600-pound concrete trains are scattered all over the city for community members and visitors to observe and appreciate.

Bridget Brandt, the president of the Leander Chamber of Commerce, said about 22 trains are part of the program today with four more in the pipeline, scheduled to be revealed before the end of this year.

About the trains

Another goal of the Trail of Trains program is to create art and a sense of community in Leander, Brandt said.

About 20 of the trains in the program are on the trail and available for public observation, she said, and they all have a unique background.

For instance, the Texas Starry Night is the first train in the program and has a Texas theme, featuring the Texas Capitol, longhorns and starry skies over Texas. Similarly, the Wildflower train represents the blooming of local florals.

The trains’ foundations are made from concrete poured into a metal cast, serving as a base for each train. Brandt said this cast is specifically unique to Leander.

Brandt said in the future, she hopes for the trains to be in front of every business and neighborhood in Leander.

“It’s a great way to showcase the history of Leander, it’s a great way to bring community together and it’s a great way to share art,” she said. “Some of them are just so absolutely incredible, so I'd love for everybody to have one.”

Check this out

Anyone who resides in the city of Leander or the extra-territorial jurisdiction is eligible to receive a train, Brandt said. The only requirement is to submit an art plan to the Chamber, which then has to be approved. Once it’s approved, the process can begin.

However, if owning a train isn’t in the plan, the Chamber has a digital scavenger hunt local families and visitors can participate in. The rules are to find the trains a part of the trail, take photos with them and head to the Chamber for a prize after completing the hunt.

“Come and visit all the trail of trains,” Brandt said. “They’re incredible; you’ll be so glad you did. It is just a really great way to spend some quality time with your family, see some beautiful art and support local businesses."