Friday, September 30, 2011

As Old As the Hills

I happened across an anecdote today that comes from the days of widespread passenger rail. It's a simple one that I've taken the liberty of re-telling here.
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

Tennessee Pass Update: Rust, Dust, Weeds and Little Else

If you wonder, like I sometimes do, what Tennessee Pass looks like about now, with all the aspens aglow and fluttering in the early fall breezes, head on over to Colorado Railfan and check out Kevin Morgan's pictures taken just last Saturday. The rails are 15 years rusted and the signals are shot, but the colors are beautiful!

Monday, September 19, 2011

POTD To Resume Soon On Limited Basis

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:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rio Grande Tunnel Motor In Brazil - An Answer To Wednesday's Question

Sorry about being off-schedule yesterday for a POTD. I've been under the weather. Your prayers and kind thoughts are appreciated.

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 MG
Uma foto do “original”: 
which means,
SD40 # 4820, detail of the words "Rio Grande" reappearing. The # 4820 was Denver & Rio Grande Western # 5386. Heath Alegre - MG Araguari
A photo of the "original" *
*(courtesy Google Translate)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

POTD - A Secret Hideout From UP Patch Kits

The Picture of the Day is a bit of a secret. Did you know at least one Rio Grande tunnel motor went to Brazil? Yup.

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

POTD - Steaming On Toward Colder Days

A sudden dip in the temperature this weekend reminded me that winter is only a little over 3 months away. Former D&RGW class K-28 engine 473 makes her way northward past the tank at Hermosa,Colorado toward the wye at Cascade on a cold, clear Saturday morning in December 2003.
Photo: Kevin Wood

Monday, September 5, 2011

17 Year Old Girl Severely Maimed In Near-Fatal Stunt

Editor's Warning
This news article describes the real-life, violent injury of a person. Reader discretion is encouraged.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Amtrak Resumes Zephyr Service, ...Sorta

Since the accident last week, Amtrak hasn't been running the California Zephyr, owing both to the accident and damage from the floods further east. Today, Amtrak resumes service from Ft. Morgan west to the end of the line in Emeryville, California.

Friday, September 2, 2011

POTD - One Train - Part V

Today is Friday before Labor Day (Yeah!), and so we're wrapping up the theme for the week of One Train. Five different photographs of one train by Kevin Morgan of have illustrated different aspects of railroad photography.

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

POTD - One Train, Part IV

For POTD this Thursday, I'm continuing the theme of One Train. Today's is very similar to yesterday's in terms of angle, but it has something very different. It's from a lower angle, which leaves room for the inclusion of a very unique cloud formation. While there may or may not be a statement in including the cloud, such as wings, for Boeing's cargo in the first car, at right, there can always be such angles if you work for it, using the right focal length, and so on. The elements that you include that are non-train related give you the ability to express your art however you want.

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