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
North Smith Road Farm
King Road Crossing
South Woodbridge Road Crossing
West Wilkinson Road Sunset
Check back next Tuesday for Part 2, including images from the night sessions.
In April, the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, ME held their annual photo excursion. The WW&F has been on my to-do list for a couple years and the opportunity to attend finally presented itself this year. The day started in the yard with some locomotive maintenance and switching before moving out onto the line.
Out on the line we made several stops including Cockeye Curve:
And Top of the Mountain:
The WW&F Ry Museum is dedicated to historical accuracy in just about everything they do. While modern machinery is sometimes used where necessary, the old fashioned way is preferred wherever possible. Case and point was the removal of about 330ft of rail at Davis Grade. They needed to remove the rail to facilitate the correction of some roadbed issues and while they could have easily used modern machinery to pull the rail, they chose to do it by hand just as it was done in 1937 when the line was scrapped. Even more incredible was the fact that the flat car that was used by the original WW&F Ry to scrap the line is back in service at the WW&F Ry Museum today. Since none of the WW&F’s locomotives were operable in 1937, they used draft horses to pull the flat car. All of this was recreated for the photographers assembled this spring. Why? Because they can!
The day ended with a night session produced by Stephen Hussar and his crew. The night session actually started before dark in the machine shop where we found a mechanic working on the Railway’s Ford Model T Railcar:
Once Blue Hour hit, we moved outside to work with the Train Crew and Locomotive #9:
Needless to day it was a fun day photographically and I’m looking forward to a return trip, hopefully next year.
The road to Paradise has long been the nickname for the Strasburg Railroad. Fitting name too since the line ran from Strasburg PA to Paradise, PA where it interchanged with with the Pennsylvania Railroad, now part of Norfolk Southern.
I’m headed to Strasburg again soon for a photo charter featuring N&W 475, which will be disguised as her sister locomotive #382. N&W 382 was made famous by O. Winston Link in his photos of it operating on the N&W’s Abingdon Branch, but was lost to the scrapper’ torch.
Maroon Bells is a popular location to photograph sunrise in Colorado, especially in the fall when the aspen trees on both sides of the lake turn gold. A storm was blowing through the morning I was there, so we didn’t have the typical alpine sunrise reflected in the lake. There was a short break in the clouds after sunrise that allowed the photographers assembled at the lake to get a couple of photos before the clouds closed in again.
I’ll post Part 3 of my Colorado Fall Trip Report on Tuesday, covering Maroon Bells, Independence Pass and Great Sand Dunes National Park.
The Norfolk & Western Class “J” 611 is an incredible machine. She was designed to pull the N&W’s premiere passenger trains at speeds up to 100mph. As the only example of this class of locomotive to survive the scrapper’ torch, we’re lucky she’s operational today.
In the photo above, we see her rolling past the former N&W Freight House in Roanoke. The site is now home to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
Last week was the third weekend I photographed her this spring. Watch for the trip Report in a couple of weeks.
Sunrise at Hangman’s Trestle on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Legend has it that a locomotive was commandeered from the Antonito Colorado Yard and used to transport a Mr. Ferguson to the trestle, the first suitable structure from which he could be hanged for an unknown capital crime. Nobody knows if that really happened or not, but what we do know is that the trestle makes a great location to photograph a locomotive at sunrise. Next month I’ll be visiting the Cumbres and Toltec again, but will be attending a charter that focuses on the west end of the line, closer to Chama, New Mexico.
Note: Due to technical difficulties user error this posted late.