Nevada Northern Railway Video

I’ve uploaded a Nevada Northern Railway video of the 2018 Winter Photo Shoot.  Yes, it sounds a little odd – posting a video of a photo shoot, but things happen that way sometimes!

I’d known about the Winter Photo Shoot for several years, and for one reason or another (it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s a long drive, etc.), I never went.  Well, this year I went!  Yes, it’s in the middle of nowhere – and it’s beautiful.  Yes, it’s a long drive – and it’s a beautiful drive.

So, why a Nevada Northern Railway video?

Well, for starters, I’ve started to shoot more video lately.  It’s easy these days.  I’m not pretending or advertising myself to be a semi-professional videographer.  I’m really just trying to preserve sights and sounds for myself and anyone interested.  And, it’s kind of fun as I learn and fumble around with video editing.

The second reason for the Nevada Northern Railway video is numbers.  I shot over 1700 images at the Winter Photo Shoot, and I’ve got a lot of screening and sorting to do – and hopefully, if I did things right, not a lot of editing.  I shot the videos, compiled them, converted them to black and white and added the title on my phone in a matter of minutes.  It’s scary considering that I haven’t completely figured out the Videoshop app yet.

Nevada Northern 40 and 93 ready to head east. East Ely, NV.

Nevada Northern 40 and 93 ready to head east. East Ely, NV.

I’m debating whether to post a color gallery or a black and white gallery or both.  Yes, I know, you can order a black and white by clicking a button in the ordering process.  If I purposely create a pure black and white gallery, I can emulate the film of the era and really give it the feeling of being there.  Being there (50+ years ago) is really what the Nevada Northern Railway Museum is all about.

So, if you’ve got a few minutes (about 17 to be more specific), click here to be taken to the video gallery and step back in time to the sights and sounds of the past on a copper hauling railroad in the middle of Nevada.

If steam locomotives are your thing, there’s more here on Laughing Frog Images.

More to follow on the Nevada Northern.

Don’t forget the upcoming March Madness sale!



45 Seconds at EWR Station

One of the nice things about waiting to see a train at the NJT / Amtrak Newark International Airport Station is that you’re generally going to see trains, especially if you’re waiting during rush hour.

Occasionally, you’ll see multiple trains at once – I’ve been able to capture three trains at once in a still image.  Not a great still image mind you, or else I’d be posting and talking about that, but I’ve done it.  There are times where it’s a busy 45 seconds at Newark.  And there are times it all comes together.

So there I was with my trusty Icon, and a southbound Amtrak Acela was coming through.  So, I set up for it and started the video before the train entered the viewfinder.  There’s a neat thing that happens in advance of a fast moving train on continuous welded rail – the rails start to “sing” before the train gets there.  As I set up at a bit of an angle to the tracks, if you turn the volume up – you can hear this before you see the train.  It’s pretty neat.  I’m sure that there’s a technical explanation and term for this phenomenon, but I’m going to go with singing…


And the Acela slides on through the station.  Then, I hear another train behind me – I have no idea what it is or what track it’s on, and I can’t turn around without really screwing up this hand-held video.  So, I try to stay still and just keep the video rolling.  I let it roll until the northbound Amtrak is out of view.  Until 45 seconds at Newark are memorialized.

An Amtrak local comes into view, cab car first.  Ok, that works!  And then, in the golden light of late afternoon, I hear the “psst”s (yeah, I know that’s not a word, but I don’t know how else to try to phonetically describe the sound) of the locomotive – and I still can’t turn around to see it.  And then, an AEM-7 in push mode glides by me.

And I’m happy, because I finally got a great video clip of an AEM-7 in sweet light!  You see, the AEM-7’s are being replaced after 30+ years, and I don’t get an opportunity to see them very often, let alone get a video in sweet light.  For all I know, this is the last time I’ll get an AEM-7 on video.  So, it was a good day.

One day, I might even find that miracle tripod that you can take with you on a whirlwind transcontinental business trip.

In the meantime, enjoy, hand-held and all!



Gone in 8 Seconds…

While waiting for my train at the Newark (NJ) International Airport Station on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, I pulled out my trusty Nokia Icon and made some images and videos.

As this was a business trip, I wasn’t traveling with a tripod.  So, the pictures are fine, and the videos… well, a couple of them turned out well enough to share on the Laughing Frog Images YouTube Channel simply because they’re a little different.

Here’s the first one – Gone in 8 Seconds.

Why “Gone in 8 Seconds”?

Well, I had something different in mind when I shot this New Jersey Transit (NJT) train that’s carrying people home (or somewhere else) from Manhattan.

There are a lot of train videos out there that hold one camera position and allow you to see the entire train as it comes by.  They’re usually a 3/4 angle view parallel to the tracks.  And, there’s nothing wrong with that.

I looked to my left, and noticed the same guy was still sitting in the same seat waiting for his train.  He’d look up when a train came by, but he wouldn’t turn his head, and his view was almost perpendicular to the tracks.  So, the creative part of me said “hey – maybe there’s a different view that would make a different sort of video…”

When I saw the train coming, I framed up my shot and hit record when I could hear the train (not as simple as you think – they’re electric, and pretty quiet).  My goal was to replicate his view – look at the train from a hard angle and watch it blow by the camera.  Which it did.  In about 8 seconds.

So, in case you ever wondered what it would be like to be sitting on a bench at the Newark International Airport train station and watch a train blow by you in about eight seconds, you now know what that’s like.

You’re welcome!

Enjoy, and thanks for looking!

New Videos posted to LFI YouTube

As I was moving and archiving files this morning, I came across a series of short videos I shot on my iPhone while waiting for a train.  I was actually at the station a little early that day!  I had actually forgotten that I took these.  I was always a little leery about “cell phone video”, but I’ve since learned (evolved?).

It’s kind of funny to say that you took these videos on your phone – at least to those of us of a certain age who remember the first mobile phones were the size of a shoe box!

And to others, it’s as normal as a sunrise.

And, who would have thought you could share things with the world in a matter of mouse clicks and minutes?

These are all short video clips of normal things if you travel by train on the Northeast Corridor.  For those who don’t, this is a glimpse into the life of some commuters’ daily routine between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD.

The Amtrak locomotives you see – the AEM-7’s – are nearing the end of their service lives, and within a year or two, catching them on video won’t be possible.  That’s what led me to post these.  They’re not the greatest quality videos – I get that.  But now, they’re memories.  And soon, they’ll be history.

These were all hand-held.  Yes, I know, I’m not using a tripod – but you can’t easily carry a tripod on a multi-city business trip.

You can check the videos out on the Laughing Frog Images YouTube Channel.



New Videos added to YouTube

There have been three new videos added to YouTube on the the Laughing Frog Images YouTube channel

Two are of the Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire back in 2009 when they were still running their FP-9A units.  These engines are streamlined cab units based on a design that dates back to before World War II.  The Conway Scenic operated these units on the former Maine Central Railroad Mountain Division between North Conway and Fabyans, NH.  They were wearing out brake shoes on a regular basis, and as a result, they were traded to PanAm Railways for two freight locomotives with dynamic brakes (similar to the regenerative braking on today’s hybrid cars) to reduce maintenance and operating costs.  Take a trip back to the 50’s and listen to the sounds that defined passenger railroading for a generation.

Conway Scenic DSCF5290 320

The third video is a little more contemporary from 2011, showing a Union Pacific freight train with six SD9043MAC diesels in Sandpoint, WA on a train northbound from Spokane, WA to the Canadian Pacific Railroad in British Columbia.

UP Sandpoint CSC_5871

We invite you to take a few minutes to check them out.

There will be more short videos of New England railroading in 1994 added as soon as we figure out how to use the new video software we just acquired.

Happy New Year and stay tuned!