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

Entries from October 17, 2010 - October 23, 2010


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.


Amtrak's Pomona Station

On Labor Day this year I found myself out and about in the local area looking for trains to shoot.  I was following the Union Pacific’s Alhambra and Los Angeles subdivisions, which parallel each other closely in this portion of Southern California.

Poster for Amtrak’s Sunset Limited

Eventually I reached the Amtrak station at Pomona. Pomona, named after the Roman goddess of agriculture and abundance, was once a budding citrus producing region on the eastern fringe of Los Angeles County. It is more of a industrial and residential community these days and also is the home of the famous Los Angeles County fair, the world’s largest county fair.

The station was built in 1940 by the Southern Pacific Railroad and now serves as a virtual placeholder on the Amtrak schedule since it is no longer staffed and offers virtually no services to Amtrak passengers other than affording them an opportunity to get on or off the thrice-weekly Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle service that stop at Pomona. The southern platform serves as a stop for Metrolink’s Riverside Line and sees quite a few commuters on a weekday basis. Union Pacific does run intermodal and manifest traffic on both subdivisions through the station complex as well.

Schedule of trains that stop at Pomona, California

Seeing as it was a holiday for nearly everyone, the station and platforms were literally deserted so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to grab a couple of shots. I set-up at various locations on the south side of the complex and took a bunch of shots to be processed as HDR photos.

Pomona Station 1 - Southwest elevation.
[9/6/2010 - Alhambra Subdivision] © Copyright 2010 Joe Perry.

Pomona Station 2 - Southeast elevation.
[9/6/2010 - Alhambra Subdivision] © Copyright 2010 Joe Perry.

Pomona Station 3 - Pedestrian bridge southwest elevation.
[9/6/2010 - Alhambra Subdivision] © Copyright 2010 Joe Perry.

Pomona Station 4 - View of the pedestrian bridge and tracks.
[9/6/2010 - Alhambra Subdivision] © Copyright 2010 Joe Perry.

Pomona Station 5 - Southeast elevation of station and pedestrian bridge.
[9/6/2010 - Alhambra Subdivision] © Copyright 2010 Joe Perry.



Although I have never met fellow railroad photographer and blogger, Travis Dewitz, I feel like I know him because we share the same passion - railroad photography.  I have read his blog and reviewed his work for some time now and I have come away feeling inspired and astounded with his ability to capture the beauty and drama of railroads.

What I like in particular about Travis’ work is his eye - his ability to frame a photo. It has given me cause to question my framing of the scene with each shot now. Through his photos I have learned that the train does not necessarily need to be the most prominent element in the shot.

I have linked a few of Travis’ shots to wet your appetite.  I highly recommend that check out his blog at http://extremerailroadphotography.blogspot.com/ and take a look at his amazing photographs.

Great job Travis!  Keep it up! 

Dewitz Photography - Travis Dewitz.

Dewitz Photography - Travis Dewitz.

Dewitz Photography - Travis Dewitz.