Night Train #13366
This old steam locomotive hauling vintage freight cars is shown at the entrance of a mountain tunnel on a cold January afternoon. The engineer had pulled partly into the tunnel portal then let off the brake to slowly drift backward. That slow movement caused a lot of dirty smoke to gather against the tunnel ceiling that hung as a full cloudy arc across the top of the stone roof overhead. The smoky tunnel and a penetrating headlight were great effects to increase the railroading drama! Did I mention this was a little loud, too?
The engineer then backed away a little further and started another run into the tunnel, but this time he took the train straight through and past. That left no air to breathe in choking blackness! You can see the image from that second pass before the inky darkness fell as High Beam #13365.
Afterward, the other photographers and I who were in that smoky tunnel stumbled out into the light and fresh air. Believe me, we were quite thankful for it!
That day, I was part of a group of old-fashioned railroading enthusiasts gathered to shoot this old steam locomotive on a cold day, one that highlights the smoke and steam. Fifteen-degree weather is the best time to photograph any old steam locomotive. As an example, have a look at Ghost Train #13013 to see just how much smoke the cold can help make. I spent an entire day with this group of photographers shooting this train in different locations along the remaining sixteen miles of track.
Nowadays, this railroad is a tourist line and a rails with trails. This Western Maryland Scenic Railroad mainline is broken further up the mountain at Frostburg, MD, where there are a restaurant and a turntable to reverse the locomotive. It’s a pretty nice ride up and down the forested mountain in scenic weather and especially enjoyable in the Fall and you can bike it as well. Curious tourists out joyriding for the day is the only revenue this line ever sees anymore. Find more information about the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad tourist line by clicking on the link.
Location: high in the mountains above Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks
Up Next: Just Leaving #10570