With our wildly fluctuating temperatures in Central Illinois lately, we’ve had our share of foggy days and nights. And I love shooting in fog. One such evening was this past Monday, when I headed towards the Illinois River after work. This is the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad’s massive Illinois River lift bridge shrouded in a [...]
It’s last call down at the local bar. Just before they turn out the PBR sign hanging out front, an empty BNSF grain train rumbles through Yates City, on its way back to North Dakota for a reload. Be sure to join me on Facebook – Twitter – Flickr
Waiting on the platform for his ride west, this gentleman was the only sleeping car patron to board here, with the rest of the substantial waiting crowd heading for the coaches at the rear of the train. The conductor of tonight’s Southwest Chief is watching from the vestibule as the Amtrak train slows for its [...]
Amtrak’s westbound Southwest Chief departs Galesburg, IL after sunset on a winter evening. The many passengers who boarded tonight’s train will arrive in the much warmer climate in Los Angeles in about 36 hours, passing through the beautiful scenery in New Mexico and Arizona en route.
Since it is just beginning thunderstorm season here on the plains of central Illinois, I figured it’s a great time to begin with some lightning photography. We had an early season storm move through the area last weekend, and I took the opportunity to head to one of my favorite spots near Williamsfield, IL where [...]
I spent some time in Centralia, IL over the weekend. The town of Centralia hosts three railroad mainlines, all of which bisect the downtown district on a shared alignment. The BNSF’s former CB&Q southern Illinois coal route snakes through town, sharing track with the Norfolk Southern and crossing the Canadian National on the south end [...]
In the winter spirit still, I figured I’d update the “People Make The Trains Run On Time” gallery here on the blog. This is from the winter of 2008, as a snowstorm moved through Chicagoland, dumping tons of the white stuff on the landscape surrounding Elburn, IL, and its ‘out in the country’ Metra station. [...]
I often feel that the Midwest gets a bad reputation for being nothing but flat. Table-top boring-ness for as far as the eye can see. For the most part, though, this is an undeserved assumption. Yet there are a few places where the flatness is definitely not a myth. One such completely horizontal place is [...]
I put together a video Christmas Card this year, and I thought I’d pass it along on the blog. It’s too big to post here, but you can get to it by clicking on the link below. It’s a time lapse made from 440 photos in about 1:20. Enjoy!
Amtrak’s California Zephyr is eastbound just out of the Moffat Tunnel approaching Tolland, CO. The late September sun is highlighting a large stand of aspen trees on the mountainside above the train. The route the train is on, the original Denver & Rio Grande Western mainline between Denver and Salt Lake City, is one of [...]
One of the most impressive pieces of railroad infrastructure in the world is Union Pacific’s mainline across Nebraska. Part of the original Transcontinental Railroad, it’s now three tracks wide for most of the way across the state, and carries over 130 freight trains per day. This section acts as a funnel for most of the [...]
Part of what fascinates me about the railroad is that it is a 24/7/365 operation, through snow, rain, heat and gloom of night. Just like the post office, except with big colorful steel machines. And no where does the all-day-every-day culture better exhibit itself than from above a giant freight yard at midnight. Such was [...]
While a loaded coal train departs on an adjacent track, a new crew member climbs aboard an empty coal train at Clinton, IA.
Shortly after the sun has disappeared below the far hills, a fast moving BNSF intermodal train crosses the giant trestle at Media, IL with freight for Chicago. The BNSF’s Chillicothe Subdivision is mostly flat and straight, slicing across the prairie on the quickest route between Chicago and Kansas City. However, early builders ran into a [...]
Midnight on a warm summer evening finds a Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad ethanol train tied down in the siding at Genoa, IL, waiting for a new crew to forward it on to eastern connections in Chicago. This warm night was also completely cloudless, and here at the east end of the siding, away from [...]
One thing that always marks the beginning of summer in the Midwest is the appearance of lightning bugs. They always come out around dusk on warm evenings, flying around the sky flashing their greenish glow. This year seems to have a bumper crop of the tiny insects, which I especially noticed the other night while [...]
The sun peeks in and out of some high broken clouds over the Illinois prairie as a BNSF coal load rolls towards Chicago and eventually on to Michigan for its date with the burners of a Detroit Edison power plant. I used to pass up on days like this, in favor of only completely sunny [...]
On Chicago’s southwest side, in the McKinley Park neighborhood, stands historic bridges built by the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1901. The spans were designated an official Chicago Landmark by Mayor Daley on December 12th, 2007. The exotic design of these bridges is very unique, with two spans lifting to [...]
The Norfolk Southern’s bridges over the Calumet River stand tall against the sunset sky in South Chicago, IL. The only span in the photo to still have an active railroad on it is the bridge on the left, which carries NS’s Chicago mainline towards Englewood and the BRC, and is quite busy. From left to [...]
A light yet steady drizzle falling through the low clouds made for an interesting evening for photos. As long as you can keep your camera gear somewhat dry in this type of weather, it makes for really ‘moody’ photos, especially at night in a bright big city environment. Such was the case as an Amtrak [...]
As the full moon rises over the ancient signal bridge at Verona, IL, the lens blinks to green, beckoning an eastbound train down the rails of the BNSF’s Chillicothe Subdivision toward Chicago. Not long after the green signal went up, a headlight appeared to the west, out of the dusky twilight on the horizon. And [...]
With just a little over three thousand feet of intermodal containers trailing behind, the Union Pacific’s southbound Z-YCHO-16 blasts through Grant Park, IL at 60mph. Just out of the ramp at Yard Center, this train is hell bent for Houston. I had three of my strobes set up in a tight little circle next to [...]
With the fresh remains of a good old fashioned country burn out still fresh on the pavement, an eastbound Union Pacific intermodal train streaks under the new signals protecting the west end of Global III in Rochelle, IL. And as always, join me on Facebook : Twitter : Flickr