Well Seasoned Fool’s post, HERE reminded me a friend had sent me some pictures of trains and cars/trucks that had been staged for ‘back in the day’ type photography…

2-8-0 #43 Nevada Northern, Ely , Nevada .  New Hope & Ivyland at New Hope


King Road in Owosso , Michigan , Pere Marquette 1225, a 2-8-4 Berkshire, pours it on with a freight from history next to a Ford Model A pickup recreating a scene from the good old days.


Southern 2-8-0  #610 at Rock Spring , Georgia (Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum)


Heber City, Utah. Union Pacific 2-8-0 #618 and a 1953 Buick Super. trains-5

Heber City, Utah. Union Pacific 2-8-0 #618 and a 1953 Chevy pickup. trains-1

These came from a retired Navy Chief who is a train nut… Beautiful, and evocative of a time of ‘elegance’ in railroad travel (at least for the US)…

h/t Chief


TBT… — 22 Comments

  1. Wow, those Utah pictures are fantastic. I’m a flat lander, the mountains of Monterrey Mexico are the closest things to hills we have here.

    Thank you.

  2. A bygone era for sure. I can barely remember the old smokers. And a bygone era of greatness in America… sadly.

  3. There is still the Durango-Silverton railroad and what I believe to be the last steam engines in regular/daily use in Colorado. Taking a ride (takes most of the day) from Durango to Silverton and back through the San Juan Mountains and along the Animus River is one of the great trips still available. If you’re in the area and want to enjoy the trip through some of the most beautiful scenery in America, it’s something that you should add to your bucket list.

      • Skip the open cars (if they are still using them) if you wear contact lenses. The ashes are small but a problem for some, if conditions are right.

    • That is a beautiful ride, the backcountry between Durango and Silverton made me want to go ‘sasquatch’ right there and melt back into the back country. We were in one of the closed coaches but wondered if the open would have been better.

  4. Back when I had cable I would watch RFD TV. Often they would show a series of just trains moving through fantastic scenery. Each program was an hour long, uninterrupted by commercials. All sorts of engines, bridges, switching yards, etc were featured. The narration was superb.

    The photography shown here is spectacular. Thanks!

  5. I really get a kick out of steam locomotives. I think I was born in the wrong era, as train travel appeals to me. It seems a good deal more civilized than the airlines we have to put up with today.

    These are excellent photos. Thanks for the post!

    • I like it, but I’m familiar with German, Austrian, and Swiss trains. I was crushed, though, when I first rode over there and discovered that they don’t go “clickity-clack” anymore.

  6. When I was a kid, there was an old-timer who’d wander into the barber shop every time my dad & I were there (so probably more often than that). He had photos of the old steam engines, and would stridently insist that they were superior in every way to “any old diesel”. He was wrong, of course, but he knew what he liked, and didn’t mind who heard him. 🙂

    Wonderful photos of the old trains and cars. Thanks!

  7. Have been a certified, dyed-in-the-wool train nut all my life, especially for live steam. Here is one of my favorites from YouTube—

  8. j.r- They are amazing! 🙂

    CP- Gone, all in the name of efficiency! 🙁

    LL/MJ- Didn’t know that, it would be a bucket list item for sure!

    r/MJ- You’re welcome!

    Rev- My grandfather on mother’s side was an engineer… 🙂

    RHT- Great video, thanks!

  9. Just watched RTH’s video. All you need to know about why electro-diesels replaced steam is in there. Replacing the power plant, generator and electric motors can be done in a few days on a diesel. The components can then be outsourced for rebuilding.

    They said it took 30 days to rebuild a Big Boy. $$$$$$$

    Oh, and now the latest trend is to not own the engines at all, just lease them from a holding company that rents the engine sheds from the RR.

  10. Randy- Thanks, but I can’t take credit!

    WSF- But you were THERE! That is what counts! 🙂

    LCB- Excellent points!

  11. Gorgeous. Father and grandfather of the T&NO Division of the Southern Pacific. I remember Dad as he transitioned to Diesel from steam. I used to get in a lot of trouble when I got home from playing in the gigantic coal bins at the yard, New Orleans being the terminus for the SP.

  12. Hey Old NFO;

    Here in Georgia, you can still get a ride on the train in Americus( the old capital of Georgia) and ride to albany I believe and it is a coal burner. THey also have one in Sevierville at Dollywood. It is on my bucket list to ride on a train across the country but some say that it isn’t all there anymore, the service is shoddy. I remember riding the trains in Europe…Wow