Through The Lens 179 – Domino Sugars

A fixture in the Baltimore skyline since 1951, the Domino Sugars sign is classic Baltimore. When Domino announced that they were going to replace the aging neon sign with LED, I made a trip to photograph the sign while it retained its original neon.

Happy Friday!

Through The Lens 178 – Flour and Feed

The belt driven machinery of a former flour and feed mill rest silently during an Abandoned America photo tour. Thankfully, unlike some of the other abandoned sites I’ve visited, this one is being maintained and preserved for the future.

Happy Friday!

Trip Report – Snow Fighting on the Cumbres & Toltec

Hwy17 Crossing

The last time the rotary was used to remove snow on the Cumbres & Toltec was May of 1997, so when I saw the announcement over Easter weekend of 2019 that the railroad was planning to run the rotary again in 2020, I instantly emailed to get on the ticket waiting list. This was going to be the charter to attend in 2020!

For those not familiar with snow fighting operations on a railroad, small to medium amounts of snow are typically removed with pilot mounted snow plows or larger plows pushed by locomotives. Often spreaders are used to widen the clearances between the rolling stock and the walls of snow on either side of the tracks. Flangers are used to clear the snow from between the rails. When the snow is too deep for plows, flangers and spreaders, you call the rotary; a snow blower on rails.

During the common carrier days of the D&RGW, rotary plows were strategically stationed four rotary snow plows, OO, ON, OM & OY where heavy snow frequently occurred. Today only OM & OY survive. Rotary OY was typically based out of Alamosa and cleared snow east of Cumbers Pass. For this trip, it was running out of Chama, traditionally Rotary OM’s territory.

Less than a week after this event occurred, the world shut down due to the COVID 19 pandemic. How lucky we were to get to see the greatest show on rails!

The rotary exits the narrows on the way to Lobato Trestle:

The Narrows

Stopped momentarily at Hwy 17 Crossing:

Hwy 17 Crossing

The photoline observes the rotary in action:

The Photoline

Rounding Orgasm Curve:

Orgasm Curve

Cresting the top of Cumbres Pass:

Cumbres Pass

Through The Lens 177 – The Greatest Show on Rails

MP 341

In February 2020, the Cumbres & Toltec hosted a special photo charter featuring Rotary Snow Plow OY. This was the first time the railroad had run the rotary since the 1990’s so it was a special event; it was the greatest show on rails.

Check back on Tuesday for a trip report.

Happy Friday!

Through The Lens 176 – Steam in the Snow

Jim Thorpe Station

One of my favorite images of Reading & Northern locomotive #425 during a photo charter in February 2016.

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything here. Life got in the way, but I did a lot of shooting and will share images more frequently here.

Through The Lens 175 – East Broad Top

Yesterday was the 60th Anniversary of the the East Broad Top Railroad’s first tourist trains under the ownership of the Kovalchick Family who saved it from being scrapped. It was fitting that yesterday was also the first public train rides hosted by the EBT’s new owner, the EBT Foundation. Great things are coming from what is arguably the best preserved railroad site in the United States.

Happy Friday!

Trip Report – Steam Railroading Institute Part 2

Continuing where we left off in Part One, one of the hallmarks of a railroad photo shoot is the night photo session. In the case of my trip to the Steam Railroading Institute, there were two, one out on the line at Carland Elevator and a second, smaller Rosie the Riveter themed shoot back at the yard in Owosso. Both were bitter cold nights, but the cold makes for better images of a steam train. A few favorites in no particular order:

Pere Marquette 1225 Crew Portrait

Crew Portrait

3rd Shift Lunch Break

Lunch on the third shift

Greasing the Rods

Cleaning the headlight

The Engineer

The Engineer

Carland Elevator

Carland

It was a great two days on the railroad and I look forward to visiting Steam Railroading Institute again.

Through The Lens 173 – Carland Elevator

Carland Elevator

Pere Marquette 1225 storms past Carland Elevator in Elsie, MI on a late evening run west. More to come Tuesday in Part 2 of my Steam Railroading Institute Trip Report. Check out Part One here.

Happy Friday!

Trip Report – Steam Railroading Institute Part 1

West Riley Road

With all of my photo plans cancelled by the restrictions on gatherings and closure of state and national parks, I’ve been working on my backlog of images that need to be edited. First up in that group were images from a Lerro Photography charter at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan in January 2019. This was a two day charter featuring Pere Marquette 1225. For those who have seen the Polar Express, this is the locomotive that they used as inspiration for the animated locomotive in the movie. They even went so far as to have Skywalker Sound record Pere Marquette 1225 for use as sound effects for the movie.

Over the course of two days, we covered a number of locations over the 15 miles between Owosso and Elsie. The following are a few of my favorites in no particular order:

West Wilkinson Road Sunrise

West Wilkinson Road Sunrise

North Smith Road Farm

North Smith Road Farm

King Road Crossing

King Road Crossing

Carland Elevator

Carland Elevator

South Woodbridge Road Crossing

South Woodbridge Road Crossing

West Wilkinson Road Sunset

West Wilkinson Road Sunset

Check back next Tuesday for Part 2, including images from the night sessions.