This week Tina Schell asks us to wax nostalgic with our cameras. I will share some of my favorite train images, several of them newly recreated in black-and-white to add another dimension to the nostalgia. To see Tina’s images that focus on the family farm, look here. While I can go on and on about the nostalgia evoked with classic cars, another of my favorite subjects, I decided to share images of railroad related memorabilia. For example, in the opening image, steam engine 353 serves passengers on a closed course at the Rollag (MN) Steam Threshers Reunion every labor day weekend.
Back in the day, passenger depots had a large clock just outside so that travelers would know how long to wait to board the train. The depot clock above is still standing proudly in front of the original passenger depot, now a park department office, at Fargo, North Dakota.
At Cheyenne, Wyoming, the passenger depot is now a museum and gathering place for other activities as well as the city’s Amtrak depot. Out front, a statue of a traveler just arriving is featured at the entrance to the museum.
At Georgetown, Colorado a mining train known as the Georgetown Loop ferries passengers on a scenic trip through the Rocky Mountains between the communities of Georgetown and Silver Plume. After first publishing this image awhile back, the engineer featured contacted me to introduce himself. He told me it was a fun job, but he no longer works for the railroad.
A much larger and more powerful steam engine, Number 261 out of Minnesota, once stopped on a special route running between two southern North Dakota communities in 2013. This gleaming engine is a beautiful example of a well cared for historic artifact.
Travel by train was supported by a large collection of hotels built along the major routes. The Harvey Hotels are mostly gone now, but some have been restored to their former glory. The restaurant in the image above is the Turquoise Room. The La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona is a great stop to step aboard the Santa Fe Super Chief that travels between Chicago and Los Angeles. It is on my list to someday take the Amtrak out of Albuquerque to Winslow, overnight at the La Posada and have another great breakfast in the Turquoise Room. Yes, we had breakfast there once and I can still taste those wonderful breakfast potatoes.
Thank you, Tina, for giving me the opportunity to remember some of the history of this country’s iron horse revolution.