Tag Archives: #Silver Splendor

BNSF on the move in Missouri.

Rolling east on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, I made a variety of photos of BNSF freights from the train as we crossed Missouri on the way from Kansas City to Chicago.

Here we have one view from a Superliner, one from the dutch door of Silver Splendor and one from that car’s panoramic dome.

Over taking an eastward freight as viewed from Silver Splendor’s dome. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo from the dutch door. A BNSF westward stack near Bosworth, Missouri.
Along the Mississippi near Ft Madison, Iowa, the view from an Amtrak Superliner. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

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Kansas City: Amtrak, a Dome and a Streetcar!

I’d never experienced Kansas City by rail before.

This was just a brief visit, a mere layover while Amtrak no4Southwest Chiefchanged crews and dropped off and collected passengers.

I made photos of the car I’d been traveling in: former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Budd Vista-Dome Silver Splendor (nee: Silver Buckle).

I like the contrast between the 1956-build streamlined dome and the nearly new Siemens Charger diesel-electric.

Kansas City Icon; FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Crew change for No.4 at Kansas City. FujiFIlm XT1 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Old and new: FujiFilm XT1 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.

The modern streetcar was a surprise. I’d forgotten that Kansas City had recently re-adopted this classic form of transport.

Soon we were rolling east toward Chicago!

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Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Sunrise at Argentine, Kansas.

Two weeks ago Amtrak’s Southwest Chief greeted a frosty sunrise at BNSF’s sprawling Argentine Yards, west of Kansas City.

I made these digital photographs from the dome and vestibule of Silver Splendor,the former CB&Q Vista-Dome in which I was traveling cross-country.

A rosy sunrise tints my perspective; it sure made this famous yard look like a neat place.

BNSF westbound at Argentine Yard.

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Dusk at Raton, New Mexico.

These days the only regular trains to use the old Santa Fe Raton Pass crossing are Amtrak 3 and 4, the Southwest Chief. The days of helpers over the three percent are all but a memory.

This day two weeks ago: Arriving on No.4, we had more than ten minutes at Raton to stretch our legs and take in the mountain air.

I used the opportunity to make some twilight images of Silver Splendor, the Budd-built Vista-Dome that I was traveling on.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 and Zeiss 12mm Touit lens, I exposed several views in the blue glow of evening. Dusk is a great time to balance the light inside the passenger car with outside illumination.

f2.8 1/15th of a second, ISO 1600.
f3.6 1/15th of a second, ISO 1600.
f3.2 1/15th of a second, ISO 1600.

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New Mexico Revisited: Soaking in BNSF’s Transcon on the Move.

It had been more than 20 years since my last visit to New Mexico. This was my first by rail.

I was on my way east with Dave and Rhonda Swirk and Derek Palmieri of New Hampshire’s Conway Scenic Railroad, documenting  Budd Vista-Dome Silver Splendor on its journey from Los Angeles to its new home in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

As we glided east at the head-end of Amtrak number 4 theSouthwest Chief,we met or overtook dozens of freights, many of them intermodal trains, on BNSF’s former Santa Fe Transcon.

Wow, BNSF sure runs a lot of freight!

Dave Swirk enjoys breakfast near Gallup, New Mexico. Exposed using a FujiFIlm XT1.
View from Silver Splendor near the Arizona-New Mexico state line.
BNSF westward freight near the Gallup, NM station .FujiFilm XT1.
BNSF eastward freight as seen east of Gallup. Lumix LX7 photo.
BNSF’s former Santa Fe has several long sections of split alignments, where mainline tracks are not adjacent. A westward freight can be seen off in the distance to the north of Amtrak No. 4. Lumix LX7 photo.
BNSF westward intermodal freight. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
BNSF westward intermodal freight. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Amtrak No.4 paused at Marmon, NM for traffic to clear. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

I exposed these photos digitally using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1.

Part of the challenge of making photos of trains from the train is trying to compose while in motion of moving subjects. Not only does this make if difficult to level the camera, but it leads to motion blur and other potential defects.

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‘Santa Fe All the Way!’ Arizona Sunrise Rolling East on the BNSF Transcon.

Last week, I awoke to sunrise east of Flagstaff, Arizona riding in Budd Vista Dome Silver Splendor as it traveled east on Amtrak no.4, the Southwest Chief.

The luxurious 1956-built stainless steel dome is a classic car from America’s streamlined era.

It was on its way to a new home on the East coast after years being based in California.

The pleasure of traveling in a Vista Dome is enjoying its comfortable elevated panoramic view of the passing scenery. An added bonus on BNSF’s former Santa Fe Transcon is the unceasing parade of freights.

Sunrise on the Santa Fe east of Flagstaff, Arizona on November 18, 2018. Notice the headlight of an approaching BNSF freight.
Sunrise on the Santa Fe east of Flagstaff, Arizona on November 18, 2018.
Overtaking an eastward BNSF freight east of Dennison, Arizona. 90mm view.
Rolling east at Winslow, Arizona. 90mm view from Silver Splendor.

These images were exposed digitally using my FujiFilm X-T1. Some of the photos were adjusted in post processing to compensate for the dome’s tinted glass.

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Brief Barstow Visit and a Flash From the Past.

Amtrak’s eastward Southwest Chief, train number 4, made a relatively long stop at Barstow, California, affording me time to explore and photograph historic rolling stock (displayed near the platforms) by the Western America Railroad Museum.

I find it strange to see once-familiar locomotives exhibited as static displays. In the 1990s, I regularly photographed Santa Fe’s FP45, such as number 95 seen at Barstow. Back then these were working machines. Today, 95 a decayed appearing vestige of another era.

Compare the static equipment—displayed like dinosaur bones to a curious public—with Budd Vista dome Silver Splendorin consist on the Southwest Chief.The dome is a functional piece of equipment on its transcontinental journey from Los Angeles to its new home.

Growing up in New England, I had a childhood fascination with Barstow, which I viewed as a treeless desert Mecca of all good things Santa Fe. Although I’ve photographed in Barstow several times over the years, this one short nocturnal visit was especially surreal.

All photos were made handheld with my FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit.

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Tracking the Light Extra: Fullerton by Night—Dome Car on the Southwest Chief.

Saturday evening, November 17, 2018, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief—train number 4—made its scheduled station stop at Fullerton, California, its first after departing Los Angeles Union Station.

Budd Vista Dome Silver Splendor  was in consist on its big trip east.

The dome was met by some of its California fans who waited trackside to see it off on its journey.

Silver Splendor was making the trek to its new home on the East Coast after many years entertaining travelers in the West.

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, train no.4, pauses at Fullerton, California.
Former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Budd-built Vista Dome on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief at Fullerton, California on November 17, 2018.
Fullerton, California.
A view East on the old Santa Fe at Fullerton. Seven hours earlier I’d been making photos from that footbridge.

I exposed these views hand-held using my FujiFilm X-T1.

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Silver Splendor at Los Angeles Union Heading East on Number Four.

One week ago, former Chicago Burlington & Quincy Budd-built Vista dome Silver Splendor (originallySilver Buckle) was positioned behind the baggage car on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, train number four.

This elegant stainless steel streamlined car was about to embark on a transcontinental journey towards its new home.

Amtrak 87 leads train no.4 waiting to depart Los Angeles on Saturday August 17, 2018.

Photos exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens.

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