Among the challenges of summer photography on a tourist railroad is that train operations tend to be focused during the middle of the day when the light is comparatively harsh.
Generally speaking, the passengers appear to be more focused on eating breakfast during the early morning, so we schedule the trains for later in the morning. The first train boards at 9:15 am.
The other day, we sent out a work Extra more than an hour ahead of the scheduled Conway train in order for the work crew to get ballast and ties loaded onto the train at Conway before the first passenger train arrived. This made good use of time, and provided me with some photographic opportunities.
I made these photos of the Work Extra at Conway before 9am using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens.
Occasionally I’m asked about the schedules for the work trains. Unfortunately my answers aren’t very helpful. By definition, a ‘Work Extra’ doesn’t have a schedule. These trains typically have to stay out of the way of the regular passenger excursions. They are called ‘as-required’, and move about the railroad as it suits the crews to get their work done. Plans change quickly and so it can be difficult to know when and where the trains will be more than a few hours or minutes in advance.
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