random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries in SBRHS (11)


Drivers - Man, Water, and Fire

In the course of human achievements there have been many truly advancing inventions forged by talented and brilliant folks. Obviously computers, atomic fusion, and airplanes come to my mind immediately. However, one invention that had far-reaching ramifications, good and bad depending on one’s perspective, considering the time frame when it was first developed, the late 1700s, was the steam engine. This eventually morphed into a steam locomotive, among other implementations, and the future of discovery and settlement of America was cast. 

While at the Los Angeles Union Station on National Train Day, May 8, 2010, I caught the former Santa Fe No. 3751 posed and ready to run to San Bernardino with an excursion train as part of the San Bernardino Railroad Days and Bicentennial Celebration. I took a bunch of photos of the famous locomotive and have recently reworked some of them with a more artistic lean. Here is a close-up shot showing an amazing amount of detail of the 3751’s drivers and of the magic of one of man’s most amazing inventions.

Drivers - Detailed view of the driving wheels of the former Santa Fe No. 3751.


Remembering Steam and Martha

As I sat in the numerous hospital waiting rooms while Martha was battling time, I recalled all of the cool stories that Martha had shared with me about her love of trains and the numerous trips she had taken aboard them. Whenever I returned from a trip chasing steel Martha would ask if she could see my photos.

In particular, she shared the stories of the steam engines that she remembered from her childhood which were prelevant during the 1930s to the 1950s, so as we waited and wondered about the prospects of her recovery I worked on the following images of the former ATSF No. 3751 to feel a little closer to her:

The Santa Fe 3751 leads the southbound San Diego Steam Special II into a curve in Encinitas, CA on May 1, 2010 .

The Photographer - On May 8, 2010, National Train Day, the 3751 poses at Los Angeles Union Station and drew quite a crowd of photographers.

The San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society’s former Santa Fe 3751, up to pressure and raring to go, is the star attraction in the early morning hours of National Train Day as she waits for departure to San Bernardino, California.


In the Ballast with the Santa Fe 3751 at Los Angeles Union Station

Continuing my coverage of the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society’s former Santa Fe 3751 steam locomotive’s departure from Los Angeles Union Station en route to San Bernardino, California with an excursion train as part of the San Bernardino Railroad Days and Bicentennial Celebration, I have moved my vantage point into the ballast area at the end of the platform.

Here are the some photos that I took as she departed on a beautiful May day that happened to be National Train Day as well:

“Yesterday meets today” - The former Santa Fe 3751 waits for the “highball” call from the conductor on Track 8 while an Amtrak Surfliner train occupys Track 9 at Los Angeles Union Station on National Train Day, May 1, 2010.

An eclectic mix of private cars comprise the consist behind the former Santa Fe 3751 for this excursion run from Los Angeles to San Bernardino as part of that city’s Railroad Days and Bicentennial Celebration. 

Prior to the excursion train’s departure the Amtrak Surfliner gets a green light out of Track 9 and begins to navigate the track complex at CP Terminal.

Showering a line of photographers in steam, the 3751 gets the “highball” indication and pulls hard on the train as it begins the run to San Bernardino, California.

Equal pillars of steam and smoke are expelled as the 3751 leaves Los Angeles Union Station’s Track 8.

The 3751 eases back a bit as the train gains momentum.

The glorious 3751 rolls by in a magnificent thunderous kaleidescope of motion and sound.

Here is the video from the 3751’s departure out of Track 8 on it’s way through CP Terminal and on to the Metrolink’s San Gabriel Subdivision for it’s run to San Bernardino: