|Amber hues and blowing snow stretch out in this somber photo|
of Denver Union Station the night of December 8, 2007
Photo: Patrick Boury
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
|The Polar Express makes it's way past the back of the roundhouse on its way to|
pick up scores of children and their parents in Durango on a frosty evening
Monday, December 19, 2011
It was near my birthday that rail photographer Mark Hyams took this terrific shot of Amtrak's California Zephyr rounding the corner at Cliff, Colorado. I know it doesn't look like it, but the train is in the middle of a near 180° turn and, a few moments after the picture is taken, will pass through tunnel 29, directly beneath the photographer. The remains of Tunnel 28 after it was daylighted are behind the first two sleeper cars at left. All the while, Boulder Creek is swollen with winter snows and it runs freely away from us and down the canyon for the Gulf of Mexico.
|Amtrak's California Zephyr pulls through Cliff, Colorado late for it's appointments at|
Fraser, Granby and Glenwood Springs at the height of summer, July 11, 2011
Photo: Mark Hyams
Friday, December 16, 2011
John West is a favorite photographer of mine, and it's not just because he had the good sense to be in Colorado photographing Rio Grande narrow gauge in the 1960s. It's because he didn't have any common sense standing out there in the cold snow waiting for two Rio Grande locomotives to chatter past with a load of Gramps Oil cars headed for Cumbres Pass and the oil fields beyond. Remember, pain is temporary, but film is forever. Thanks, Mr. West!
|A double-headed narrow gauge freight headed by K-36 No. 480 puts on a wintry show |
as it charges across the San Luis Valley tangent track 50 years ago this month
Photo: John West
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
"Anyone want to buy, renovate and use a historic train depot?" So begins an article from the Englewood Herald.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
|The Polar Express arrives at Durango's 125 year old station|
Colorado has many traditions and celebrations associated with Christmas. Denver's Civic Center, across the park from the state capitol, is lit each Christmas season with an impressive display that brings thousands to the city center on every night it's lit. Christmas stars light several Colorado towns like Castle Rock and Palmer Lake. As I've noted other years, Colorado also has a global role with Christmas as NORAD tracks Santa Claus while he travels around the world each Christmas Eve.
Also as with years before, I have a list of railroads and layouts across Colorado that host special Christmas events. This year I have them grouped by metro area. One final note before the listings: Reservations, where possible, are strongly encouraged as these events have a tendency to sell out at the last minute.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
|Eads, Colo. Sept 30, 1989 Photo: Jeff Van Cleve|
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
|Photo: Eric Sherrill|
Friday, November 11, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
|Photo: Jim Burrill|
Friday, November 4, 2011
|Photo of the Day: Scott McClarrinon|
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
For under 5 minutes, this is one of the best promotional spots I've seen in years. It's very true to the spirit of the book and I hope the same holds true of the ride. Highball, Polar Express!
Monday, October 31, 2011
If you are looking for a seasoned veteran, Chris Nuthall has been around Colorado's railroads for quite some time now, as evidenced by the following shot of Rio Grande SD40T-2 #5358 at Glenwood Springs with green leaves to the left and snow gracing the mountains above, definitely inconsistent weather that's consistent with Colorado! Incidentally, this was taken October 31, 1981, 30 years ago today! With such composition, I have to say she still looks great!
|Photo: Chris Nuthall|
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
|2 photos: springsgov.com|
Friday, October 21, 2011
10/21/2011 2:55 PM - As promised, I have a full map of the stops in Colorado with arrival and departure times.
extensive tour of the southwest US to participate in state-wide centennial celebrations for New Mexico and Arizona. Since Colorado is currently located between those two locations and Cheyenne, perpetual home of UP Steam, several stops have been scheduled in Colorado to give folks a chance to come out and see Union Pacific 844.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
A gentleman boarded a train he'd never ridden before and was surprised to find that his first class ticket gave him access to the same car as second and third class passengers. What was more, the seats and other accommodations were all the same. He had heard about small railroads, but he couldn't figure out what he had bought with his ticket, at least until the train came to the first hill. The train came to a stop, and the conductor came into the car. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention. First-class passengers, please keep your seats. Second class passengers, please disembark the train and begin walking. Third class passengers, get out and push."I hope that gave you a smile to round out the week. Have a good weekend, and happy train hunting!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
So what is up with CR's Photo Of The Day? Well, you may not like it or you may not even care, but I have an admission to make. I am realizing that while I may be at least an average or better blogger, I find maintaining a constant feature very tedious. Routine is boring, and schedules are at best a necessary evil. Do I apply that to people? No, I admire others in their dependability, their steadfastness, and commitment. These are good qualities to cultivate. I have, repeatedly, tried to do so in my own life. I have failed often enough to find that holding to a schedule limits my very limited energy and dries out my passion for a subject.
Photography and especially railroad photography have captured my passion, as you've already seen. The last thing I want to see is my passion crushed under the relentless drumbeat of a schedule, especially when it is in my ability to change it. Therefore, POTD will continue on a sporadic, unplanned and impromptu manner. If you want to see the most recent, please use this link: http://www.corailroads.com/search/label/POTD
Friday, September 9, 2011
In the meantime, Wednesday's POTD question caught the attention of no less than the photographer himself, Johannes Smit, who commented in. He actually has an entire category of US railroad engines that have crossed the equator. He answered the question with a photo and caption, mixed with a bit of Portuguese:
SD40 #4820, detalhe da inscrição “Rio Grande” reaparecendo. A #4820 era Denver & Rio Grande Western #5386. Brejo Alegre - Araguari MGwhich means,
Uma foto do “original”: www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=223100
SD40 # 4820, detail of the words "Rio Grande" reappearing. The # 4820 was Denver & Rio Grande Western # 5386. Heath Alegre - MG Araguari*(courtesy Google Translate)
A photo of the "original" www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=223100 *
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
She seems to have been extensively modified. The trucks are B-B+B-B instead of C-C. and the signature low-level vents have vanished. The frame must have been lengthened for the trucks. Finally there's a non-standard door for the engine crew.
Does anyone out there have the story on this? Please comment.
Editor's note: The photo is "All rights reserved" on flickr. I won't use such photos typically,, although today is an exception. Even then, the photographers don't get as much exposure and I can't credit them. Too bad, huh?
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
|Photo: Kevin Wood|
Monday, September 5, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Perspective seems to be my favorite aspect of railroad photography, I guess, because I've been talking about it for most of the week. This shot illustrates a near perfect vanishing point.
Thanks to Mr. Morgan for the great shots and for use of these photographs to illustrate my points on perspective and railroad photography. It was awesome that even without any planning this whole series worked so well. Spontaneity sometimes works wonders, something you can also take to heart in photography. Experiment, try new things, and be willing to live with the results. You never know what you'll come away with until you try!
A meet between BNSF trains in Boulder yields a great perspective shot as
a double stack passes a dormant unit train on the siding on August 24, 2011
Photo: Kevin Morgan
If I don't post later this weekend, have a great Labor Day! Enjoy summer while it lasts, and if you can't find anything better to do, pop on by your local railroad museum. I'm sure they'd be glad to have you!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
|A BNSF double stack train rolls past a tied down unit coal train. The first |
car of the double stack is bound for Boeing in the Pacific Northwest.
Photo: Kevin Morgan
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Perhaps the most classic pictures known in railroad photography circles are the approach photos, where a train is approaching on a single set of rails toward the photographer's position. It's a simple shot that a lot of photographers rely on as their "go-to" shot when capturing a train. It doesn't depend much on topography or distance available, unlike the previous two POTDs.
The feeling is one of imminent anticipation. The train is a traveler, passing in only moments. It bears a load from incognito toward parts unknown. It is arriving in only seconds, unrelenting and unhesitating toward its eventual destination. In the moment, it is everything we know of railroads. It can be a brawny diesel, like this one, or a speeding 4-8-4, a miniature 4-4-0 of the wood-burning, narrow gauge variety, or an F-7 (or even an E-8) with the graceful curves and beauty that made her an icon of American railroading.
By stepping down next to the right of way, Kevin Morgan has put the point of view into the same vantage point most of the world sees trains in their most powerful and acclimated setting.
|Headed by locomotive 5338, a BNSF double-stack intermodal train comes in |
for a meet, holding the main with a rather quiet train tied down on the siding
Photo: Kevin Morgan
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I have always been an acolyte of long lens work. There's something about being able to take a great distance and smash it into one 2-dimensional image. It's photography doing what it does best, and photographer Kevin Morgan makes it work well here.
In this case, a telephoto shot that doesn't close the distance, but instead takes a great distance of rail (a half mile?) and shows all the wobbles, variances and sags in something that--at least conceptually--should be stable, straight and strong. The haze on the horizon and subtle air distortions close to the rails makes the shot feel all the more heat laden as the rails all but melt into pools of silver.
|A BNSF stack train trundles along under an ardent August sun|
toward a meet over rails that look too hot to ride this afternoon
Photo: Kevin Morgan
Monday, August 29, 2011
That's it. One train for the week. Obviously, we'd need five photos, and not just any photos. Five good photos that show different aspects. What's even better? The guy doesn't even know he did it for me.
Kevin and I have spoke very seldom, but he knows I am a fan. If you've read here for any period, you'd know it too. His web exposure is great because he has his own web site. This site lets you do searches by railroad, location, and even by weather. He e-mails his subscribers when he has new work, describing--sometimes in great detail--his shots and the stories behind them. He's doing what he can to get a core of loyal followers that take an interest in his work. Is he a regular producer? No, but if your work is of sufficient quality, that shouldn't matter. My point in this little diatribe is that it takes more than a good camera and average skills in railroad photography to make things happen.
In the decades before the internet, it took photographers the effort to find receptive clubs to come display their work, to sit down and organize their slides in trays, then haul them off in their car to the club meeting place, usually in the dead of winter, set up a projector and sit in the dark with a bunch of other grown men, and even women, and put your talent on display in front of everyone. Today, it requires a little less physical work, but effort is still a vital part. Learn how to use the tools like Blogger, Twitter, Flickr/SmugMug, Facebook, FeedBurner, Constant Contact, web forums and other, often free tools to increase your ability to interact and bring out your better photos. Making full use of the internet can change everything for you as a photographer and artist.
Diatribe over. Thanks!
Today's Photo of the Day is the basic high-angle, shot from a hill, overpass or other feature that enables a high view showing the tops of the locomotives and cars. Shot usually from the same side as sunlight, the effect is to show the train in the context of it's route. Interesting features of landscape fall second to the features of the train itself. This particular shot has the added benefit of the train curving between two trees that create a natural frame for the shot. The train is now part of the land, not just passing over or through it. What looks like just a shot of train at first glance is instead a carefully composed subject in its context.
Time: 1152 AM
|BNSF Double stacks are rare on the Front Range of Colorado|
but this train seems as much a part of the land as the earth itself
Photo: Kevin Morgan