Smoke in The Narrows #15247

Matted, canvas, & super high gloss prints available. Questions?


The Story

On a cold winter day, here’s the Western Maryland Scenic RR steam train in the Narrows between two high mountain ridges. The old steam train is moving along a shelf above Wills Creek like a ghost straight out of the past on this reenactment excursion. It pulls a mix of vintage freight cars through the steep-sided Cumberland Narrows pass to complete the effect of stepping out of a time machine straight into the winter of 1910.

This old steam train was running for a special excursion and the very best time to shoot these old trains is in winter. The lingering smoke and steam go large and high everywhere in the cold air, giving a good chance to get more drama in the pictures.

Usually, trains are best photographed coming toward, not going away, but this was a chance to get the billowing smoke and steam against the winter woods on the mountainside of the high narrow pass. I had been shooting while the train approached, then simply turned for a few more frames as it passed. Not the usual, but interesting!

If you enjoy this old-fashioned railroading in the winter cold, you can see more smoke and steam from this locomotive in The Crossing #12980 and Dawn Departure #13669. You too can ride this train; see their website and schedule at

Location: the Cumberland Narrows along Haystack Mountain and Wills Creek at Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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