Track Patterns: Frankfurt versus Orbisonia

Railway tracks; classic converging lines aimed toward distant horizons, a symbol of progress and travel, and often the primary subject of for my camera’s lens. Here I’ve presented just two images of railway tracks. One is of the throat to DB‘s Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) the other is yard trackage on Pennsylvania’s narrow gauge East Broad Top Railroad at Orbisonia. The German photograph portrays well-maintained, heavily used infrastructure with ladders of double slip switches designed to maximize route flexibility. This was made on a sunny summer evening and exposed to retain detail in ballast and avoiding a harsh silhouette (although that can be an effective imaging technique). By contrast, the East Broad Top image shows a preserved three-way stub switch, representing a vestige of lightly built 19th century-style infrastructure, and exposed in the soft light of a foggy autumn morning. In both images railway tracks lead the viewer’s eye out of the frame to unseen horizons. To allow for a level of intrigue. I’ve deliberately masked where the tracks lead.

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, June 13, 2001.
Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, June 13, 2001.
Stub switch.
East Broad Top Rock Hill Furnace Oct 12 1997.

Both images were exposed on Fujichrome slide film with my Nikon N90S.

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