Tag Archives: Turbo Train

Amtrak Turbo Train—Rochester.

In November 1986, I exposed this view on a free roll of Kodak T-max 100 supplied to me by Kodak.

At the time, I was a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology learning about photography.

Where other students focused on perfume bottles and what not, I was more interested in capturing the scene on the old Water Level Route.

Amtrak’s morning departure from Rochester made for a good subject to test the free roll of film.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

A View From Breakneck Ridge, Cold Spring, New York, August 1989


Amtrak Turbotrain Races Southward Along the Hudson

Amtrak turbotrain
An Amtrak Turbotrain works along the east shore of the Hudson River approaching the Breakneck Ridge tunnels at Cold Spring, New York on August 1989. The historic Bannerman Castle makes for a Rhein-like prop in the distance.

I made this view from a hiking trail on Breakneck Ridge along the Hudson River in August 1989. At the time my standard camera was a Leica M2 that I tended to use with Kodachrome 25. Turbotrains were standard equipment on Amtrak’s Empire Corridor trains making for common sights along the Hudson.

While common on this route, Amtrak’s Turbotrains were an anomaly in American operating practice, making them an unusual and worthy subject for photography. These reminded me of the original streamlined trains of the 1930s such as Burlington’s Zephyrs, Illinois Central’s Green Diamond, and New Haven Railroad’s Comet. 

Today I’m happy to have a nice selection of these trains at work, but I regret not having traveled on them. I was always puzzled when my fellow photographers opted not to make photos of  them. Perhaps Turbotrains seemed too common?


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