Last weekend, The Frog rode the Feather River Express IV, a private train chartered by Trains and Travel International and operated by Amtrak over the Union Pacific Railroad. The train ran from Emeryville, CA to Sacramento over the rails of the former Southern Pacific Railroad, and from Sacramento to Portola, CA over the rails of the former Western Pacific Railroad. The timing of the trip coincided with Railroad Days in Portola, complete with a parade!
The Western Pacific Railroad (“WP”) operated the famed California Zephyr (“CZ”, “Silver Lady”) in conjunction with the Denver and Rio Grande Western (“Rio Grande”) and Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (“CB&Q”, Burlington, or, simply, the “Q”). The train ran between Chicago, IL and Oakland, CA. The Q took the train from Chicago to Denver, CO. The Rio Grande took her west to Salt Lake City, UT. The WP carried her from Salt Lake to Oakland. The Silver Lady was the first train with regularly scheduled Vista Dome service. You can read more about the past and present CZ operated by Amtrak here.
Our train was made up of private vintage railroad cards from several owners. The Frog elected to do the trip “old school”. When the CZ was new back in 1949, most cameras had exactly one lens, used film, and most folks photographed in black and white simply because it was cheaper than shooting in color. So, out came the D-90 and the 35mm lens. And that’s how the trip was documented – one camera and one lens. No all-in-one zoom, no mega-zoom, no wide-angle. Strictly old school.
As the trip ended last Sunday, the images have just been uploaded to the hard drive and the real work is beginning – selection, straightening, conversion and preparation for uploading to the galleries. Look for three new galleries to be added – Eastbound, Westbound, and the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, which is located in Portola, CA.
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