Description June 28, 1999. ATSF 3751 pulls a short mixed train down the valley near Merced, CA on its way home from Railfair in Sacramento. It was running late, the sun was setting, the plan was to get a picture at the Merced River bridge. Not enough light for the bridge but in a last minute improvisation I framed this glint shot. With railroad code lines fast disappearing, I think the pole lines add a bit of atmosphere to go with the steam. The freight cars were added to the consist for braking, especially the following day when the 3751 would run over Tehachapi.
John West, Mill Valley, California Member Since January 2009 Artist Statement I'm a retired railwayman, both by vocation and avocation. I grew up fascinated by trains, got a job on the railroad while in college, and never looked back. When I became interested in photography, it was natural for many of my photographs to revolve around trains, because trains especially steam engines can be a dramatic subject. The pictures here were taken over many years starting about 1958 and continuing on to the present.
My first gallery is of the Denver and Rio Grande Western narrow gauge line over Cumbres pass, one of the last mainline steam operations in the United States. These images date from 1960 to 1970. The pictures I have selected are intended to reflect some history, the drama of steam power, and the dramatic scenery of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
I had added a second gallery that contains a random collection of a few of my favorite images, some old, some new.