When I was exploring Santa Fe’s Bay Area operations in the early 1990s, the railroad tended to operate a fleet of westward trains to its Richmond, California yards in the afternoon and early evening.
One afternoon, Brian Jennison and I had set up at the Alhambra Viaduct near Martinez. This was a relatively scenic portion of the line, but beginning to get hemmed in by suburban growth.
We knew that the 899 was on its way. This was a short high-priority piggy back train. The real prize of the day was the premier 199, which often had new ‘Super Fleet’ locomotives wearing the reintroduced Warbonnet paint scheme. But we wanted to make the most of the short train as we had time to make different photos of both trains.
This view minimized the suburban sprawl on both sides of the bridge, along with high tension lines in the valley, while putting the steel viaduct in a good perspective. Was it really 24 years ago?
Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.
On the morning of August 12, 2009, I used my Canon EOS 3 with a 100-400 mm Canon image stabilization lens to expose this image of an Amtrak California Capitols train crossing the former Southern Pacific Carquinez Straits Bridge at Martinez, California. (Amtrak’s Capitol Corridorderives its name from California’s old and new capital cities, San Jose and Sacramento)
When this bridge was completed in 1930, it was the largest double track railway bridge west of the Mississippi. Today it carries Amtrak and Union Pacific trains.
Coastal fog softened the morning sun making for a cosmic effect. Making photographs of the bridge is complicated by the enormous Interstate 680 bridges that flank it on both sides. I’ve found that a broadside silhouette is the most effective way of capturing the scale of the bridges.