Sept 07, Vacation time

Discussion in 'Competitions & Challenges' started by ezdays, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yep, we should all be back from our vacations, so, as we said, this photo contest will be from one of those from suggestions solicited by our members. Anyone wanting to make suggestions can do so here.

    From 60103 we have the following suggestion:
    So that's what we're going to do this month, submit our vacation pictures, or create one on a layout.

    The rules:
    • We want to see something that you took on a vacation, this year or anytime, anything railway related. If you don't have one, create one on a layout showing some of your LPB's enjoying themselves.
    • You may submit up to five pictures in one post.
    • The pictures must have been taken by you, or one that includes you in it, taken by someone else.
    • The contest will run until Sept. 30th.
    • All other general rules apply.
    Good luck and have fun...
  2. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    I did want to go to the California State Railroad Museum, but the only pic I have is of me on a Cable Car.
  3. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member


    i have already posted some of these pics but here goes
    john henry

    ok now strasburg pa. oh no i am using hospital computer and the strasburg pics are on home compute so i can't up load them maybe I will be home before end of month and upload them
  4. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Sweet, I can enter in this one, I took some pics of the Cajon Pass with a couple of BNSF intermodal trains going up the steep grades, ill have to post one in this contest :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah


    A few of these at the back of the Port Huron KOA.

    (Chosen by my wife.)

    Attached Files:

  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Chasin' steam

    In July of 2004, my family (me mostly) decided it would be fun to have a train chasin’ vacation. Chama, NM here we come. After several days on location of being a dedicated railfan, I noticed that the engineers performed steam blows at key locations. Right then and there, I decided I was going pick a suitable location and capture a prize winning photo.
    That evening as we followed the train down from Cumbres pass, it seemed appropriate to drive ahead a little ways and stake out Lobato trestle. After all, they’d been doing steam blows consistently at this location and now could be my chance. As I hiked across the field, up and over the tracks and planted my bottom down on a nice little hummock, I listened to the train whisper its way down grade. As every time it approached, my pulse rose as my heart started racing. Waiting… waiting… chugging getting louder, I can see the thick black smoke diffusing through the trees now as she rounds the corner. I’m peering through my camera, again, making sure to have the shot perfectly framed. There she is! Waiting… waiting… crossing the bridge now… any second… PSSHHHHHHHHH…. YES! Oh beautiful! Push the button… WHAT? With all else going on, I had forgotten to turn the camera on. I called myself a few choice names and quickly switched it on just in time to capture the second blow… ON THE OTHER SIDE.


    As I sheepishly returned to my family, my wife asks me, “Did you get it?” Grumble, grumble, grumble.

    The next morning, I thought, “I’m going to get this shot!” As the engine sat in the yard in Chama, waiting its turn for departure, I was invited up into the cab whereupon I asked the engineer in my best Casey Jones drawl, “Ya goin’ta do a steam blow at Lobato this mornin’?” His reply was simple but efficiently communicated, “Yep!”

    Back at Lobato, again, but this time it’s a little more complicated. If I stand on the near side of the ravine and creek below (where I was the previous evening), I will get a rear shot of the engine and I would prefer to capture it from the front. No problem. I’ll just cross the bridge and stand on the other side and wait. Further down the valley, I could here that ol’ mudhen working her way up the grade behind me with a full load of paying passengers. Plenty of time, but she’ll be here soon. Now’s as good a time as any, and across I started. Well, you see, it seems the older I get, the more heights bother me. The further out I got on that ol’ bridge, the further away the ground plunged below me. Then, with each step across squeaky, rickety old boards, I started to question the safety of the bridge. Now I know, that bridge will support that train, but what about the little boards next to the rails where people walk? When was the last time they were inspected for safety, if ever? I can hear the chug, chug, chugging, echoing off the mountain slopes around me so I know she’s getting closer. My knees were getting weaker, my heart was racing and my doubts were taking over. At that point in time, I realized that the worst thing in the world (in more ways than one) would be to get out there in the middle of that bridge and either fall or freeze up as that train full of people arrives on scene. I tried to tell myself, “No fear, no fear, no fear.” And then it came to me, “What, are you crazy? Fear is what keeps you alive you idiot!” Suddenly, the chicken inside got the better part of me. GO BACK, GO BACK, which I did! Safely off the bridge, and with the chugging looming ever louder, I think again, “I can still get this shot. I can make it. I just need to cross this little ravine.” So, over the edge I go, down, down. Now, this side wasn’t too bad. I mean it was steep, but doable. Down is always easier than up anyways. Once in the bottom, the creek was a little bigger (and deeper) than I thought but a few choice placed stones here and there facilitated a quick, dry crossing. The other side however… SHEESH! With the chugging practically booming in my ears now and my camera clutched in my right hand, I was madly scrambling for all I was worth up the side of this ravine through loose rocks and dirt, frantically clutching to Oak bushes, and small Aspens to help my ascent (or rather my unwanted descent) as quickly as I could. Adrenaline is amazing stuff! As I reached the top of the other side, the ominous growling and chugging of that locomotive seemed deafening and I was sure she was breathing down my neck. With legs of jello, exhausted, and my lungs on fire from the exertion and elevation (8,300’), I drug myself up the other side and across the tracks to a somewhat mediocre position to await the arrival. An agonizing minute or so later, here she comes, round the corner in all her filthy smoke and glory. The camera’s on this time. I snap a preliminary picture…


    …and wait with the camera up to my face trying to keep still because of my shaking legs and labored breathing… waiting… waiting… any second now, she’s in the middle of the bridge… he’s waiting kind of a long time… WHAT? She didn’t blow! As the growling beast passes by, I snap one more picture in disheartened disgust and give a half hearted pathetic wave to all those waving back at me and the following speeder.

    As I return to my vehicle, there is no thunder in my ears as I disgustedly slide and scramble back down into the canyon, across the creek, and up the other side. I’m almost to the top when I hear a repetitious THUD, THUD, THUD. As I look up at the bridge to ascertain the source of the noise, I see someone running back across the top in great strides with each footstep thudding above me. HMPH. Obviously those boards put there for people were sufficiently safe after all.

    Back to the car and my wife asks me, “Did you get it that time?” Grumble, grumble, grumble.

    When we catch up to the engine about 10 miles further up the road at the Cumbres Pass station, I again approach the engineer. Trying not to express my severe agitation, I told him I missed the steam blow at Lobato but was wondering if he was planning another between Cumbres and Los Pinos. He replied that he had not done one at Lobato ‘cause he didn’t need to yet but would indeed do one just around the corner at Tanglefoot Curve but to hurry ‘cause he was about to leave. Hot diggety dog! Tanglefoot Curve isn’t exactly a very photographic setting but by this time, I was bound and determined to get a picture of that steam blow even if it was in downtown Antonito.

    We drove down the road, just a bit where I hopped out and started hoofin’ it up the tracks to the curve. Now, we’re at 10,000 feet in elevation, I’m half jogging half speed walking, my lungs are burning with each breath, and it seems like it’s a lot further away than I thought it was. Turns out, Tanglefoot is only about 6/10ths of a mile from where I parked but I’ll tell you, it seemed more like 2 miles. Shrieking through the forest, I hear the whistle blow as the engineer engages the Johnson bar and departs the station. About now, I’m wondering if I’m going to make it there in time. As the chugging draws nearer, so do I and we both get there about the same time. It seems I’m huffing and puffing more than the engine. I have little time to get into position but as the train passes me on the high side, the engineer spots me and points ahead out the window at a spot in the curve where he will do the blow. Camera on, frame lined up, zoomed in perfect, PSHHHHHHHHH. Gratification.


    Beautiful! Did I get it that time? YES!!!! I can’t say it was all worth it because it’s not the greatest of pictures, but it’ll have to do. As the train passed, I gave the engineer a big thumbs up and like a big string puppet, waved at all the people waving back. As I heaved a big sigh of contentment, the speeder came along and I tried to flag him down for a ride back to my family. He told me that due to regulations, he could not but to be careful because there were bears ‘round these parts. Oh yeh! I knew that, but in my intent to chase down that all elusive steam blow, I seemed to have forgotten about all else.
    As I watched the train and speeder disappear below me, I was left with nothing but harmonious silence, beautiful scenery and a dieing desire for something cold to drink. It helped me realize an inkling of what it must have been like to first travel this country by horseback and wagon. Needless to say, despite my watchful eye for bears, my walk back to my truck was one of those perfect moments that I won’t soon forget.

  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thank you for the nice read, TrainNut, I really enjoyed it and the photos too.
  8. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Your welcome.:rolleyes: I'm glad you enjoyed it. It only took me about 3 and a half hours to remember all the little details, coherently type it up and pull together the pictures and post. :eek: I've been wanting to tell that story on here ever since it happened but somehow, never got around to it.
  9. scottcn

    scottcn Member

    Very nice TrainNut! The pictures remind me a lot of a train trip I took from Alamosa to La Veta (Colorado) this summer. I'll have to post some pictures from that trip in this thread.
  10. jesso

    jesso Member

    Nice story and you told it well Trainnut :thumb: That is a great place to take train pictures.
  11. jesso

    jesso Member

    We took our oldest daughter up to Girl Scout camp and of course I wanted to get some train pictures. In Springdale is the IPPX coal car facility where you can usually see at least 500 coal cars. My wife took this picture of me and my daughter in front of some of the engines sitting there. After we dropped her off at camp, we were going through Salt Lake on I-15 and saw a Utah Railway Engine going back in forth so we took the exit but found that the yard was far away but still it was neat to see 2003 working the yard. Right next to that was the UTA Trax light rail facility where they had a bunch of LRV's parked, but I really liked the one with the fireworks in the window.

    Attached Files:

  12. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    That's a nice trio! My favorite has to be the light rail but that second picture is really interesting as well. There is so much going on there, it's almost screaming to be modeled. You've got a chain link fence, weeds, graffiti, dumpsters, a guy in overalls riding on the back ladder, tall signs off in the distance and even mountains on the backdrop.

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