Friday, January 11, 2008

Round Robin: Train Tracking

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.

My most recent train photo, December 2007, South Alvernon Way

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.

The Old Tucson steam locomotive is a screen star.

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.

Locomotive on display at the railroad station in downtown Tucson

The plaque for the railroad station's steam locomotive

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.

Imported goods head up to Phoenix by rail, August 2005.

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.

Verde Canyon Railroad, just before the camera battery ran out.

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.


Linking List

Gina - POSTED!
Gina's Space

Carly - POSTED!

Nekked Lizards

Vicki - POSTED!

Karen - POSTED!
Outpost Mâvarin

Lisa - POSTED!
Lisa's Chaos

Janet - POSTED!
fond of snape

Life Thru My Lens

Jill ***Welcome New Member*** - Posted!
Letting Crazy Take A Spin

Nan ***Welcome New Member*** - POSTED
Life is Like a Lunchbox

Sandy ***Welcome New Member*** - POSTED

Betty ***Welcome New Member*** - POSTED
Biker Betty

Duane ***Welcome Back Duane*** - POSTED!
Life, the Universe and Everything

Suzanne R - POSTED
Living . . . Suzanne R's Life

Julie - POSTED
Julie's Web Journal

Mary ***Welcome Back Mary*** - POSTED!
Just A Happy Gypsy

Sandra - POSTED!
Strong Chemistry

Sarah***Welcome New Member***
Charish-Me - POSTED!

Kiva***Welcome New Member***
Eclectic Granny - POSTED!

Gattina - POSTED!
Keyhole Pictures
Martha ***Welcome New Member*** - POSTED!


lisa's chaos said...

That's a lot of trains and it's neat how you noticed so many of them (even if it's over a long span of time)! SOrry you aren'r feeling well, hope you're better soon.

My favorite it the Old Tucson Steam Engine. :)

Janet said...

Love that old steam locomotive...and that last picture is fantastic!

Sandy said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks.

Carly said...

Hi Karen

Silly, you didn't "cheat" we have been allowing arcive photos for as long as we have been doing the challenge. You did super with this one. These are some of your best ever photos. You should be proud of this entry, you have excelled here.

Always, Carly

MyMaracas said...

I agree with Lisa and Janet, that old Tucson steam engine is my favorite. All your shots are terrific, though. I really enjoy seeing the sights in other parts of the country. Nice entry!


Biker Betty said...

It is lots of fun to ride a train. I, too, already have trains on my hard drive. With snow on the ground and no trains in town, I needed to go to the archives for this one. I will try to use new stuff for future challenges. Great post.

Nekked Lizard Lady said...

What a great shot of the Verde Canyon! I don't think people realize how much freight actually gets moved by the rails. Very pretty shots and great post!

gina said...

what a great selection of railroad photos! i love the old locomotive and the one of verde canyon. :)

Suzanne R said...

Your photos brought to mind for me the fact that trains are often much more a part of our lives than I am generally aware. I love your pictures -- so glad you went to your archives (which I had to do, too) for these shots. I hope you are feeling better soon!

Gattina said...

Despite your health you found very nice pictures ! It's interesting for me to see different trains they are a little different from those we have here in Belgium. I hope you feel better by now !

Martha said...

Thanks so much for your help on joining the Round Robin Challenge -- I played along on "railroads" too after seeing your email.
Love your photos!
Thanks again,

fdtate said...

I hope there isn't some rule against using old photos. Well, hopefully I'll have a new camera before too much longer.

fdtate said...

BTW...I love these old pics. A great job on the RR Challenge.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

As Carly says, we've always allowed archive photos on the Round robin. It's just that I personally get stubborn sometimes about always trying to come up with something new and different. Still, I must say I'm happy with the way this entry came out. :)