Overtaken

 An eastbound empty grain train rolls through downtown The Dalles, OR.  E 1st street parallels Union Pacific’s track #2 through about 1/2 mile of this part of town and makes for a great place to sit and enjoy the action.

Last weekend I attended the annual GorgeRail railroad slideshow in The Dalles, OR.  I took Friday off with plans of railfanning a bit prior to the show on Saturday.  BNSF and UP had other ideas with both railroads shutting down by 9:30am for maintenance.  BNSF worked projects at Cooks and Bates while UP just seemed to run out of trains.  By mid-afternoon trains began to move again which would set me up for the photos I planned around dark (more on that in a later post).

I found myself in downtown The Dalles as the sun began to sink.  I stationed myself on E 1st. street waiting for a westbound M-HKFI to finish their work at The Dalles yard.  While I waited an eastbound grain train approached and I captured this image as it overtook me on the city street.   What a fun place to sit and watch the trains roll by!  I ended up seeing 4 in a matter of a couple of hours at this location.

Saturday’s shows were engaging, entertaining, and very enjoyable.  I particularly enjoyed David Lange’s Up Close and Personal show which featured his unique perspective on railroad photography.   His show focused on images from his viewpoint and I will say he doesn’t shoot wedgies!  I found each of the shows contained a photographic gem. I saw several in the Rob and Austin Jacox show and a couple in Steve Carter’s review of the Spokane area.  Steve’s show particularly struck me for how he added drama to a couple of images by making the appear to move by revealing more and more of the lit area of the photograph.  Very engaging presentation.  Aaron Hockley’s presentation on train porn was a wonderful after lunch reflection on railfan photography garnering many laughs for the parallels to adult themes.  Scott O’Dell presented some very unique perspectives from the Seattle Sub including many photo locations I’d never been too before.  Martin Burwash and Charles Lange provided shows which gave a wonderful historical perspective to their subjects.  I believe the highlight though was Stathi Pappas’ talk on the world of tourist railroads.  After listening to him you really have to respect the successful tourist railroads which continue to operate.  It is a tough business and I think Stathi has a great insight on where the industry is at and what a railroad has to do to be in the game long term.

Look for more images and updates from the GorgeRail weekend in future dogcaught posts.

2 thoughts on “Overtaken”

  1. Way cool shot. I hope they fixed the ties through there during the big track project; last fall I was parked there and the track would bounce up and down as the trains went over it; it was kind of unnerving!

    Interesting, too, that you got skunked on the UP in early afternoon. Lately, UP has been running a bunch of westbounds through that part of the gorge in the afternoon — 2-3 stack trains, plus often QHKRV and/or something else. Sometimes, though, they get held up down the line and it isn’t until later in the evening that they show up. All the better for photography!

  2. There were two westbounds on Friday after 5pm The first was the HKFI and the second was another manifest. I didn’t see another westbound through 1am when I finally hung it up for the night. Certainly slower than normal on the UP Friday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.