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!



Merry Christmas, WNY&P Style

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Merry Christmas from Laughing Frog Images!

This year’s card takes us back to February of 2003, and the early days of the Western New York and Pennsylvania (WNY&P) Railroad.  The WNY&P is a part of the Livonia Avon and Lakeville (LA&L) family of railroads.

We’re at Niobe Junction, New York on this brisk February morning to see two LA&L Alco C424m’s heading west to Corry, PA on the former Norfolk Southern / Conrail / Erie Lackawanna / Erie Railroad mainline.

Niobe Junction is at the east end of what was a separated section of double track.  Typically, when railroads had a double track mainline, they kept the tracks parallel to each other.  I seem to recall having read somewhere (and I can’t find the source now) that the line separation was made due to issues with the eastbound (uphill) grade and the effect that it had on eastbound perishable (iced) food freight – something to do with the ice shifting in the cars.  It was one of those interesting railroad history stories.  Just wish I could find it instead of relying on a crowded memory…

Anyway, on this fine February morning, we see two spotless Alcos, each 35+ years young (and still around today!), heading west to Corry, PA.

They’re passing an unusual sign warning drivers of “increased train traffic”, as the WNY&P is about to resume through freight service on the line between Meadville, PA and Hornell, NY.

Why were they headed to Corry as light engines?

A customer in Corry had a slight problem.

A freight car was stuck – as in frozen stiff, and it needed to be moved.  The two Centuries headed west from the terminal in Falconer, NY, freed the car for the customer, and headed home.

That’s customer service by the WNY&P in the spirit of the Erie Lackawanna’s “Friendly Service Route”!

Port Huron & Detroit in color, 1982-84

I discovered the Port Huron & Detroit Railroad with a forgotten cohort in July of 1982.

An Alco-powered shortline in Michigan, the Port Huron & Detroit was something new to me.  Alco switchers were all but gone in Western Pennsylvania. And the folks there put up with, educated, tolerated, and supported a young railroad photographer.

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I was shooting Kodachrome 64 – each slide cost me just shy of a quarter for film, postage and processing. I was making $4-5 dollars an hour through various summer enterprises. And I lived about 300 miles away.  30+ years later, I wish I’d shot more… I have too many memories of the people that made the railroad what it was, and too few pictures of them.

Back then, I was still mastering Kodachrome, let along photography in general.  After working the scanner for hours, it’s been hours of cleaning, editing, and fixing.  The PH&D gallery can be found on Laughing Frog Images by clicking here.

I made several trips to the Port Huron & Detroit through the end of the railroad’s time shooting black and white and color (that’s how you had to do it back then – no click of a mouse in a software program like there is these days!).  In December of 1984, the Port Huron & Detroit was purchased by CSX.  I still keep in touch with a couple former employees. Doesn’t seem like 30 years ago…

The Frog is working on a black and white Port Huron & Detroit gallery – hopefully it will be up before Thanksgiving.

Port Huron was also served by the Grand Trunk Western and Chessie System (former Chesapeake and Ohio, and before that, Pere Marquette).  The Chessie line was still referred to as the “PM”, and had a carfloat operation to Sarnia, Ontario that I never shot…  (Yes, I regret it – but the lighting was bad in the morning, and by the time the light came around, I was chasing the PH&D.)  You could drive in to the Trunk’s engine facility, check in – and as long as you stayed off of the tracks and engines – and didn’t do anything stupid, all was well.  Look for future blog posts and galleries from these railroads I came to know because of the PH&D.

The Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Historical Society’s Facebook Page can be found here.

Half of all profits from this gallery will be donated to the Port Huron & Detroit Historical Society.