Gina of "Gina's Space" suggested a wonderful topic for this week's Round Robin Photo Challenge: "Railroads." Trains are one of my favorite photographic subjects. Furthermore, there's a freight train that runs past the power station sometimes as I drive by there on my way home from work. I figured that if it didn't turn up on its own this week, I would make a point of getting off work at 5 PM today and go wait for it.
But I went home sick this afternoon, with some kind of intestinal virus. I've been suffering for a couple of days now, with symptoms that don't match my usual IBS. So finally I gave it up and went home to bed. But that means I didn't see that freight train today. As you can see above, my last attempt to photograph it was none too good. But this is what I have--in terms of recent stuff, anyway.
Really, though, I think one of the reasons I didn't make more of an effort to go out and get good railroad shots for this Challenge was that I knew I already had a bunch of good ones here on my hard drive. My personal standard for these Challenges is always to take new pictures for it, but this once I'm going to "cheat" a little and dig into my archives. It'll be worth it! And tomorrow if I'm well enough, I'll go out and photograph something fresh for you.
Meanwhile, every photo in this entry is being uploaded for the first time, despite being taken over a three year period.
This first shot is from mid-March, 2005, when my dad came to Tucson for my graduation from the University of Phoenix. We went to Old Tucson Studios, where I took a number of photos of this steam locomotive. It's been used in the tv show The Wild, Wild West, but that was before it was damaged in an arson fire in 1995 that destroyed half the studio.
My dad is past president of a railroad museum in Wilmington, NC, so in addition to Old Tucson I took him to see the old railroad station in downtown Tucson. To my surprise, they had a steam locomotive there, too, protected by a ramada and a fence. Unfortunately, the fence made it impossible to get a good angle on it for a photo, so you'll have to settle for a view from the front.
In August 2005 John and I drove up to the IKEA in Chandler, AZ. We pretty much always pass a train en route to the Phoenix area, and that day was no exception. What struck me then was the large number of freight cars with Chinese names on them, such as the Hanjin one on the upper left in the photo above. What struck me tonight about those photos is that the trains' two yellow engines with the U.S. flags on them were pretty much identical to the ones I photographed in December 2007.
In March 2007, for my 50th birthday, we went on the Verde Canyon Railroad, a scenic round trip to nowhere much. It was pretty, though, and we had a good time. But as I explained at length in the entry I posted afterward, I messed up the charging of my camera battery, and ended up with hardly any photos.
I spent parts of August and September 2007 working for Anonymous Regional Retailer (ARR!), headquartered not far from downtown Tucson. I ended up driving through downtown a couple times a day. Sometimes those yellow engine freight trains would pass through at the same time. Here I'm about to drive under the train at the 6th Street underpass.
And on September 12th, as I finished up jury duty on a DUI trial, I found myself in a parking garage with a great view of the city. Looking out to the northeast, I saw--you guessed it--that old freight train yet again.
Now go see what railroads everyone else has been tracking. And don't forget, you're more than welcome to join in yourself! See the Round Robin blog for details.
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