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!
The Mississippi River Delta region has been the subject of books and portrayed in movies, but rarely have stories accurately captured the region, its people and its reputation as an agricultural empire.
To some, the Delta is flat, barren and less than inspiring visually. To others, it’s a wonder of nature, fertile and diverse. There is no question that the Delta has abundant agricultural and natural wealth, but it also has a heritage that can’t be duplicated.
The Delta is different than the agricultural areas of the Midwest and the open spaces of the Great Plains, but just how it is different is difficult to describe.
I will get this right out of the way now: until 2014, I never really took Queensland’s sugar cane railways seriously. Sure, between them they hauled an impressive amount of tonnage (up to thirty-three million tonnes of cut cane in a good season) and even more impressive because this is all two foot gauge country, but really? Little locomotives, little trains, little journeys, little variety, and nothing but little cane bins that hardly deserve being described as wagons. And all set in sub-tropical coast scenery—cute maybe, but not a setting likely to generate much
. . . drama.
We stand on the shoulders of the great men and women who have gone before. Their legacy is a gift that lights our way forward.
The first in our Legacies series of videos features the work of William Henry Jackson who lived from 1843 to 1942 and was one of the first photographers to extensively record the early days of railroading. For a little more background information, see here.
If you haven’t visited our YouTube channel, check it out. We are just getting started but plan to have more video content in the coming months. If you enjoy seeing this type of work, let us know by subscribing to our channel.
I have never lived in the Shenandoah Valley, but my grandparents did. I remember traveling up and down the Valley on Route 11 with my parents in the 1950s. It was a different time, and when I visit the Valley today, some of those memories come rushing back.
A trip to Saskatchewan in late June, 2015, afforded a chance to do—what else?—a bit of railfanning. It started with the journey along the Trans-Canada Highway from Winnipeg. For many kilometers along the way the highway parallels the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) mainline and, in a few places in Manitoba, the Canadian National (CN) line. In some places, the tracks are very close to the highway. If you are lucky, you will come across trains in those places. I was not very lucky on this trip, seeing only a few trains up close.
Our destination was Swift Current, with a side trip to Saskatoon. Read more