Nearly hourly a sleek, diesel-pwered locomotive makes its way though the town of Killen, TX past the Chamber of Commerce building, a modern reminder not only of Killeen's beginning but also tooting its horn about the advancements that the City of Killeen has made in its century of existence. A steam locomotive chugged its way past this same destination on May 15, 1882, and the city of Killeen, Texas was born. It is a town established by the Sante Fe Railroad and named for Frank P. Killeen.
Today, the Sante Fe Depot serves as the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce. Abandoned several years ago when rail passenger services were discontinued, the building now sets behind a row of restored buildings that house a portion of the municipal government.
Modern equipment now travels the Burlington Norrthern Sante Fe railroad putting history into modern perpsective reminicent of the developement of Killeen Texas from a sleepy agricultural town to one of the leading centers in the state. Killeen's population is over 100,000. As the west bound trains travel throught the area, they pass though the historic city of Nolanville, TX, the city of Harker Heights, TX (3rd largest in Bell County, Texas) and past the growing attractive Killeen business park. The train Horns sound at every crossing for more than 4 miles as it passes through the cosmopolitan city of Killeen TX headed west through Fort Hood Texas past the new regional airport into the town of Copperas Cove, TX.
It was Fort Hood's establishment in 1942 that pushed Killeen into a growing spree that has continued for more than 60 years. Killeen has become a city that prides itself in being diverse and yet the "ideal" city to host the military and its families from Ft hood, Texas.
New growth has boomed like tank cannons along the superhighway coridor us 190 to the south of town out of hearing distance of the train line and bustle of soldiers training for combat on Ft Hood. A newer shopping mall and associated discount superstores and groceries bring a diferent traffic from along the highway - thousands of automobiles that hum along US 190 each day.
Killeen proudly calls itself "A City Without Limits" and a city where "Freedom Has A Face." The city of Killeen Texas is a local whose potential hasn't even been scratched. As has been the goal in the past, the goal in the future is to continue to pursue the cities full potential, even with the realization that with its diversity, that goal can never be reached. While rembembering its heritage. Killeen, like a modern locamotive, is streaking confidently into the future!