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 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!

Through The Lens 168 – Raven’s Roost Milky Way

Working on my backlog of miscellaneous images. I was in Fishersville Virginia last November for the Virginia Woodturning Symposium. The weather was good so I stopped by Raven’s Roost Overlook in search of the Milky Way.

Through The Lens 153 – Maroon Bells Twilight

Maroon Bells at twilight from my 2016 trip to Colorado.  I really like the stars that appear around the clouds in this one.

Happy Friday!

Through The Lens 152 – Leatherbark Creek Autumn

Leatherbark Creek

Some fall color along the Leatherbark Creek from the 2015 edition of the Cass Photography Workshop.  Hopefully we’ll get to do this again some day.

Happy Friday!

Through The Lens 151 – Abrams Falls Autumn

Abrams Falls - Autumn

Fall color at Abrams Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I took this one on a trip a couple years ago.  I hope to get back there in the next couple of years.

Happy Friday!

Through The Lens 150 – Happy Halloween

Since its almost Halloween, I thought I would share one of my favorite photos of the Haunted Mansion Gravediggers.

Happy Halloween!