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David A. Wright

Railroad Photography

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Since there's at least one railroad fan here, I thought I'd start a new thread on railroad photography.  I'll start with a few.  Feel free to post yours.

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The view southwesterly along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks through Winnemucca, Nevada.  There were originally two railroads running through Winnemucca - the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific.  Both are now merged in with Union Pacific.  This particular line shown is the old SP, which is the route going through Reno and over Donner Pass.  The other one, about a mile north, was the "Feather River Route", running due west from Winnemucca and skirts the Black Rock Desert, then heads over the low divide of the Sierra at Portola and down the Feather River to Oroville.

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A raven watches the runby of an eastbound Union Pacific stack train, taken near my home in Winnemucca.

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An eastbound Union Pacific freight train coming into the west end of Winnemucca.

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An old, short culvert bridge on the original grade of the original transcontinental railroad - the Central Pacific Railroad; just east of what is now Prebble, on the Union Pacific Railroad line northeast of Golconda, Nevada.

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22 hours ago, David A. Wright said:

Since there's at least one railroad fan here, I thought I'd start a new thread on railroad photography.  I'll start with a few.  Feel free to post yours.

Oh yeh.  I'll have to dig up my abandoned lines from around the St. Andy's.  If stripped beds count, I'll shoot those on Mixon's Hammock when I get there day after tomorrow and post them here by the 7th of January at latest.  

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From the beginning, I was mentored to strive to do something beyond the “three quarter angle” in shooting a train.  Of course again, Mother Nature’s help in sunshine is always appreciated…but location can be of equal help.  This is an early morning shot, before the warmth of the day starts a breeze down the Mohawk River at Cranesville Locks New York.

 

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Some abandoned railroad images.  In no particular order.

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Between 1909 and 1998 the Southern Pacific "Jawbone" line ran between Mojave and Lone Pine, California.  The line originally terminated ten miles north of Lone Pine at Owenyo, where it interchanged with the narrow gauge (also owned by SP), which ran down from near Virginia City.  In 1981, the Searles tunnel, over a mile long and wood lined and located about 75 miles south of Lone Pine, burned for months, and lagging railroad traffic north of Searles cemented the decision to shut down the line north of Searles.  Rails and ties still lay on the land until 1998, when salvage operations removed rails and ties.  Here, at the California Highway 136 crossing just east of Lone Pine, rails are still in the pavement.  For years, the crossing signal arms and apparatus were fenced in, but were taken away with salvaging the line.

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During the early decades of the 20th century, the United States Borax Company pushed through two railroads into Death Valley country.  The standard gauge Tonopah & Tidewater ran from Ludlow, California to Beatty, Nevada.  At Death Valley Junction, just inside California on the T&T, US Borax built the narrow gauge Death Valley Railroad, which ran west - first to Old Ryan, located southwest on a plain; then to Ryan, in the hills west and above Furnace Creek Wash.  By the late 1920s, USB moved borax operations out of the area and by that time tourism was booming into Death Valley.  So the company built the luxurious Furnace Creek Hotel and commissioned the Brill Company to build this motorcar, one of the few narrow gauge units built by the company.  But by the Depression, tourism dropped off and USB took the car and put it in place on their large holdings near Carlsbad, New Mexico, where it was used, worn out and languished on a siding until the late 1960s.  At that time, it was donated to the Laws Railroad Museum, located on the old Carson & Colorado narrow gauge railroad that ran between Mound House, Nevada and Keeler, California.  It sat there until the 1990s, when volunteers started the slow process of completely restoring the car.  The original engine was replaced by a Cummins diesel engine, and drive taken care of by an Allison automatic.  On July 3, 2004, the car was presented to the public for the first time to a small audience on an invitation basis.  That is me in the photo. The car was then run around for several hours and I rode on it. The car still operates for public rides from time to time over various tracks in the yard.

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The grade of the Bullfrog Goldfield Railroad, a standard gauge line that ran between Goldfield and Rhyolite, Nevada.  The location shown is near the old station of Springdale, north of Beatty.  The BG's parent company was the Tonopah Railroad, but in later years the line was operated by the Las Vegas & Tonopah and the Tonopah & Tidewater railroads.

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Laws station, on the old Carson & Colorado Railroad.  Now a museum, it is located five miles northeast of Bishop, California.  All the yard is intact, including a hand operated turntable.  The C&C came to Laws about 1883, coming in from near Virginia City, Nevada.  The line terminated at Keeler, 73 miles south of Laws.  By 1900 the railroad was sold and operated by the Southern Pacific and was notable for being the last narrow gauge operated west of the Rocky Mountains by the time the company abandoned and scrapped the line in 1960 and 1961.  After WW2, SP started lopping off the northern part of the line and Laws became the northern terminus until the end of operations.

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Locomotive #9 is on display at Laws.  The C&C's early locomotives were of Mogul type.  During the last decades, SP brought over three Baldwins from their east San Fransisco Bay lines.  One of the last three steam locomotives on the narrow gauge at time of abandonment, it is hoped that in time it will be resurrected to operating condition.  Number 9's sister locomotives became maintained for standby use, as a narrow gauge diesel locomotive took over routine operations during the last years of the line's existence.  Locomotive #18 has been fully restored and in operating condition and is located near Independence, California.  Locomotive #21 is in the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

Edited by David A. Wright
Changed mistaken claim that the DVRR motorcar was built by McKeen, when it was built by Brill.

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Wabuska_Nevada_Depot_1980.jpg

The old Wabuska, Nevada depot, located near Yerington.  This line was originally the narrow gauge Carson & Colorado, and was built through Wabuska in 1882 on its way south, eventually dead ending in the southern Owens Valley of California at Keeler.  By 1900 the line was purchased by the Southern Pacific just in time for the gigantic Tonopah mining boom, which created a huge plethora of mining, boomtowns, railroads and stock market swindles during the next decade.  SP standard gagued the northern end of the line to accommodate the colossal amount of southbound freight, later rerouted the line north to Hazen and bypassing the Virginia & Truckee Railroad between Reno and Mound House (the C&C's original starting point).  This photo was taken in 1980.  The depot was later removed to the Nevada State Railroad Museum at Carson City, where it is maintained to this day.

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My mom was born in Canada and he lived there for about 10 years so guessing that's why he went with that. They moved to the US after getting married then started building the engine. The sign painter who did the tender lettering was pregnant at the time and all she could think of was Pacifier instead of Pacific, he said paint it on lol.

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A view of "then and now" of one of the bridges on the old Morenci Southern Railway in east central Arizona. In the early 1900's, the railroad line hauled passengers and freight to service the mines at Morenci. The line was was known as the "corkscrew" railroad. It took multiple 360 degree loops using tunnels, bridges and trestles to gain the elevation necessary for the trains to reach their destination.

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Well, we've managed to clutter this from live shots to dead shots and a couple things in between!  Allow me to show one more dimension you can't get just anywhere, and that's again with a combination of activity, favorable conditions with Mother Nature of course, but the wretched terrain railroads muster to get from Point A to Point B.  This picture is of the famous Tehachapi Loop in California, taken from the west and lower area of Woodford Siding, where two trains are meeting, and a third is circling around the loop in the background.

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This I believe was around McCloud CA many moons ago.

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This was down near Vail, AZ. Friend of mine is a UP Engineer so he gets to cross over this bridge all the time lol only about 10 minutes from his house. There's another track that crosses under that bridge you can't see.

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Is that bottom photo east of Tucson?  The over/under is the Cienega Creek bridge ?  Great location if it is!....but still in the "first visit category" for me...WHEN I get back I've got all sorts of ideas...and l think the morning light is more favorable?

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I am absolutely blown away by David's thorough knowledge of his photography subjects.

Here are some pictures from the site of a former train construction depot near Lehighton, Pennsylvania. Pretty much everything has been overgrown now aside from the rail lines that are still in use.

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In retrospect my friends and I did some pretty dumb shit in high school.

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1 hour ago, Harley Kuehl said:

Is that bottom photo east of Tucson?  The over/under is the Cienega Creek bridge ?  Great location if it is!....but still in the "first visit category" for me...WHEN I get back I've got all sorts of ideas...and l think the morning light is more favorable?

Probably is that bridge, he just calls it the high bridge. Check and see 32.019779,-110.646623  should be able to get good shots morning or evening depending what side you walk to. There's also a little hard to spot turn off to get right at the tracks, far side of the bridge in that pic. Next time I'm down there, gonna get some better photos. That was just a quick quad riding trip to the bridge. On the way back we paced one, could nearly reach over and touch a car. 

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Cool....It did look very familiar!  I drool at the chance of nailing something over and under simultaneously! Now, I'm understanding they've changed the ROW east of that bridge since my last visit...so much for THOSE notes!!! Did make it out as far as Mescal siding I think...and another thing that's new since my visit is the yard being built at Picacho Peak....I believe where the Pheonix branchline takes off.

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Here's another little bit of info. No more tower at the Tucson yard :( Everything is done by cameras and of course computer screens with the guys in an office. One of the yard masters is a buddy that's stuck in the building now. My friend runs the Tucson to almost El Paso line lol, massive new yard out there.

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Along the section of right of way east of Tucson that was re-directed and is no longer a part of the mainline, 2 1/2 miles of locomotives have been stashed. I estimate that there are at least 200 of the machines parked there. Unfortunately, roving guards do not allow close access for photos.....This is a view from Google Earth that shows one end of the string.

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