Cloud first, train second

So, there I am in Portola, CA last August.

It’s getting late in the day, and I’m standing on the South Gulling Street Bridge.

The passerby are friendly, and not at all curious about someone on the bridge with a camera.  After all, this IS Portola, CA on the former Western Pacific (now Union Pacific) Railroad, and I’m there during 2014’s Railroad Days.  It’s not the first time they’ve seen this…

I’ve got sunshine, great light and this absolutely killer cumulonimbus cloud with an anvil in the distance against a great blue sky.

There’s a westbound grain train at the east switch (see the white dot about 1/4 in from the right and about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom) waiting to enter the yard.

WP_20140808_18_46_22_Raw__highres 1-1 for LFI copy 420 wm

I’m waiting.  The train is waiting for clearance.  I’m waiting.  The train is waiting.  We’re both waiting.  And waiting.

And as we’re both waiting, the cloud starts to dissipate.  I wait.  The train waits.  The cloud dissipates.

The cycle continues…

The cloud is now essentially formless.

And the train begins to move west….

C’est la vie…

You can find this image, and those of the train entering the Portola Yard in the Union Pacific – former Western Pacific gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

The 2015 Portola Railroad Days event is from August 21-23, 2015.

While in Portola, don’t miss the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.

Don’t forget to check out the Western Pacific Railroad Museum Gallery on Laughing Frog Images!

Camera and details: Nokia Lumia Icon 929, ISO 100, f2.4, 1/2000 sec, converted to jpg from a dng original.


UP on the ex- Western Pacific

The former Western Pacific Railroad traverses through the Feather River Canyon between Portola and Oroville, CA.  This is breathtaking and relatively unknown scenery.

The WP was taken over by the Union Pacific over thirty years ago, so I never got to see the line as WP.  As close as I can get it to the real thing is the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola (check out that gallery here), which is well worth visiting if you’re in the area.

The WP that I have come to know is under the Armour Yellow of the Union Pacific, and it’s still a remarkable line to photograph.

I had started to put some of my images from the former WP into the UP, and came to the realization that they might well get lost in there.  They need to stand on their own!  So, there’s something new on Laughing Frog Images – the UP on the ex- Western Pacific Gallery.

I tend to get less than ideal weather in the Feather River Canyon, and the photos reflect that.  However, life isn’t always blue skies and sunshine – and I’ve never been one to put the camera away if I’ve made the journey and the time to photograph something.  Sometimes, I’ve felt that the sun takes the same time off that I do, but digital photography has made that much easier to deal with than it was in the days of ISO 64 Kodachrome!

The BNSF has trackage rights over the WP, and that will be a separate gallery as well.  I contemplated that idea for a while, and for similar reasons, decided to make that its’ own gallery.

At some point in time, there are two more galleries coming that are related to the WP.  These will be of the eastbound and westbound trips of the 2014 Feather River Express as viewed from the train.  (Yeah, I know, I promised those a while ago, but they’re still works in progress!).


Western Pacific Railroad Museum

The Feather River Express laid over in Portola, CA for two nights, giving The Frog a full day to explore Portola Railroad Days and the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola.

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum is one of the more notable railroad museums in that they not only have a great collection of locomotives,  but also passenger and freight cars from the Western Pacific and connecting lines.  And – you can also rent a locomotive and be an engineer for an hour or two.  Who out there can honestly say they never wanted to run a locomotive?  Who, I ask!

The Western Pacific Railroad ran between Salt Lake City / Ogden Utah and Oakland, CA.  It was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1983.

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum Gallery is a reminder that there was a time before graffiti, and that railroads did paint things other than black and red.  Railroads even had slogans in those days!  And, who knew that the Strategic Air Command had command centers on the rails?

Great museum. Great area.  What else can be said?

For a look at the sights and sounds of modern railroad power in 1952, as well as a look at passenger cars from that era, check out a few short video clips on Laughing Frog’s YouTube channel.

This is a view-only gallery (at least at this time).

If you like what you see, consider making a visit to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum to experience it for yourself, or at least make a donation so that others can continue to enjoy the museum and the artifacts for decades to come.