I have been involved with railroads, one way or another, my entire life. My very earliest memories at three years old are of being on board the Southern Pacific/Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific’s Golden State with my Mom. As a pre-teen, I would regularly ride my bike to the depot in Goleta, California, to take in what the Southern Pacific’s Coast Line had to offer an observer. Once a teen, and into my college years, I decided mere observation wasn’t quite enough, and I started hopping freight trains. It was at about this time that I picked up a camera and began recording these adventures.

In 1976 I snagged a job with the American Freedom Train and traveled the country for a year as the AFT’s Assistant Curator. Now my interest in railroads made a transition—I was getting paid!

I liked it.

In 1984, I hired out with Amtrak Onboard Services and the transition was complete. Railroading was now my career. I retired a couple years ago after thirty-two years, and something approaching three million lifetime miles. (Hey, it adds up!)

My railroad photography started out, as I said, more as a record of my adventures. But over the years I came to appreciate just how photogenic railroading is—and how diverse!

Click on photo to open in viewer.

SR BushPhotographs and text Copyright 2019

11 thoughts on “I Liked It!

  1. Love the B&W! I’m sure you got many nice shots while working the long haul trains. I enjoy riding them very much. You people are the face of Amtrak that keep our customers coming back I have seen that first hand, I’ve also seen how some of those people can act on the train and treat OBS as well as train crews. Thanks for sharing your pictures

  2. Wonderful photos! Great selection from track indicators to wig-wags from yards (Oakland) to Donner Summit…..outstanding text and especially the B and W pictures! Thanks so much!!

  3. Really nice photos – thanks for sharing! One small correction in the caption of the track 1 snow shed (third down from right) – it states it is the original “Canadian Pacific” mainline – of course (as I’m sure you know!) it was the Central Pacific mainline.

    1. Thanks Robert. The caption has been corrected. I’m afraid this is my mistake, not Mr. Bush’s. I incorrectly expanded his abbreviation CPRR. Thanks for catching that. Edd Fuller, Editor

  4. Ha! Edd, I’m surprised at you- everyone knows the traditional Canadian way is 3 letter names: CNR, CPR, BCR, ONR, etc..
    SR Bush

    One the other hand… I guess I dropped the ball on my proof reading….

    1. Hey, never underestimate my capacity for ignorance, but I’ll know better next time. I depend on all our contributors to keep me on the right track. 😉 Edd

  5. Wonderful photos! Thank you.
    I really appreciate the black and white as well…can you share details like camera type, film type etc. to help those of us to gain from your insight.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you, Phil.
      I never owned a fancy camera in the early days, just the old knock-about Minolta SRT-101 & 102. I went through (okay, destroyed) several of them, but they got me from hopping freights, through the AFT, and into my early years living on Donner. Once I’d hired out with Amtrak, and had settled in a bit, I stepped up to a Mamiya 645. It was a wonderful camera, but it wasn’t long before digital overshadowed it.
      I used whatever film was handy, whatever was in the store I walked into! But I guess I gravitated towards T-MAX 400 if given a choice.
      Today I drive a Canon 5D III with 4 lenses (15mm, 17-40mm, 50mm, and a 70-300) and I’m quite pleased with this kit- I can walk by camera stores with nary a whimper!
      SR

      1. Thanks for the ideas….I had an SRT-101 in 1973. Wonderful camera. Now much later I am revisiting B&W with film and enjoying my time with it. Please keep posting the great images.
        Best,
        Phil

  6. You have a great talent for composition, and the B&W allows the eye to focus on the image without being distracted by the colors. Well done, and thanks for sharing these with us.

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