Union Pacific near Portola, California May 10, 2008.

Seven years ago today, I exposed this photograph on Fujichrome slide film while working on my book Railroads of California (Voyageur Press, 2009).

Union Pacific on the old Western Pacific seen May 10, 2008.
Union Pacific on the old Western Pacific seen May 10, 2008.

This appears on page 58. My original photo caption read:

Union Pacific SD70M 4772) works east on the old Western Pacific on 10 May 2008. Railroad enthusiasts have long praised the WP’s Sierra crossing because of its easy access to parallel Highway 70. This view was made from a pull off on Highway 70 east of Portola, California. Alternative angles on the same spot are available from the old highway below.

As it turned out my final caption as published in the book was more elaborate.

Related to this image, although not specified in the caption is  today’s date: May 10th.  

This is a significant day for American railroading. On this day in 1869, the famous golden spike ceremony marked the joining of Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads at Promontory, Utah, an event signifying the linking of east and west.

Also on this day in 1893, New York Central & Hudson River Railroad engine 999 made its legendary sprint across New York state where west of Batavia, New York it was reported to have hit 112.5 mph, a figure that was often claimed as a world speed record.

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