An Early Favorite.
Of my older black & white images, I feel this is among my most successful compositions. For me it goes beyond simple documentation of the railroad, yet captures the essence of Northeastern railroading in the early 1980s.
I’m standing in the ruined shell of the old Boston & Maine tower at Johnsonville, New York, where the line to Troy had diverged from the route to Mechanicville and Rotterdam.
In the tower’s broken windows, I’ve framed a distant eastward B&M freight (operated by Guilford Transportation Industries). The railroad, like the tower, is a shell of its former glory, having suffered from decades of decline. Yet, the trains still roll.
The stark, yet diffused November light adds to the scene and backlights the train illuminating the locomotive exhaust. Although the train is small, it is clearly the subject of the photo. The eye is immediately drawn to the locomotives and only later explores the rest of the image. I was particularly pleased with the placement of the old railings inside the tower.
For many years I had a 5×7 inch black and white print of this image on my wall.
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