All Aboard a Train Blog
January 23, 2008 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Dogcaught, a group blog about trains and the train experience. Some of the pictures are nice enough that they almost look tiltshifted. Others are beautiful and alluring. Hang around long enough and you might turn into a foamer.

Their friends help out with neat pictures too.
posted by cashman (14 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Man, some of those pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for posting!
posted by jquinby at 12:34 PM on January 23, 2008

I loves me the photo posts. Some of these are really great images.

On another note, I look forward to the period in my life when I have time enough to sit in a field somewhere alongside a train track with nothing to do but wait for the 3:10 to Yuma to roll through.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:48 PM on January 23, 2008

From the comments:
"Now why on earth was a P42 on 501?"

I mean really! What were they thinking?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:07 PM on January 23, 2008

My favourite Fred Eaglesmith song: I Like Trains.

Great images there.
posted by valleys at 1:11 PM on January 23, 2008

Hmm, I had never really considered railways or trains as a serious subject to attempt photography on. Now it's all I can think about as a project for the spring.

Most excellent.
posted by quin at 1:23 PM on January 23, 2008

Just a reminder for anyone thinking of emulating these guys:

Most railroad property is private property. The railroad can and will eject you by force, and have their own private police forces to do it with.

Railroads, for all their beauty (and I will agree the have a beauty that few industrial concerns match) are dangerous places for the untrained. You could be astonished to death at how quietly a 1000 ton cut of rolling grain hoppers can move.

I spent a lot of time working on railroads, and have loved railroads all my life. I just don't want to see any more people hurt than I already have. Especially my friends here.
posted by pjern at 1:52 PM on January 23, 2008

Hmm, I had never really considered railways or trains as a serious subject to attempt photography on. Now it's all I can think about as a project for the spring.
posted by quin at 4:23 PM on January 23

Check out the work of Philip R. Hastings, among others. Hastings worked around the time that steam locomotives were being replaced by diesels, marking the end of the classic railroading era. His photographs, particularly those taken at night, capture trains as graceful, if massive, beasts.

You can find hastings's photographs in any coffee table book on American steam locomotives (which in turn you can find in the discount pile at any Barnes & Noble for under $20).
posted by Pastabagel at 2:03 PM on January 23, 2008

Or, for that matter, the photography of O. Winston Link, whom I have always thought of as the go-to guy for beautiful photography of trains.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:12 PM on January 23, 2008

can't find a citation at the moment, but a lot of these photographers are now getting harassed because of the war on terror. railroads aren't as happy with people taking pictures of trains these days.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 2:25 PM on January 23, 2008

For anyone looking for more railroad photos, there's (which has screeners to ensure a baseline of quality). Most of the photos are technically good but boring, but there are some great artistic shots (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4).

Full disclosure: I have some photos uploaded there, but none of the ones I linked to are mine.
posted by Godbert at 3:41 PM on January 23, 2008

Thanks for the link. Some really nice photography.
posted by maxwelton at 9:40 PM on January 23, 2008

This is a very evocative photograph. Even without the locomotive, it would stand on its merits.
posted by maxwelton at 9:47 PM on January 23, 2008

I've spent a considerable amount of time watching trains; it started out as something my father and I did together as cheap entertainment on Saturday mornings when I was a kid, and we've just kept it up as something to do together when I visit. In retrospect, I've had some of my best conversations with my father, sitting around waiting for one freight train or another to go by.

There is a certain level of compulsiveness to how some people approach it. There are guys who seem to spend all their time sitting at a particular grade crossing or yard, writing down the engine numbers and consists for each train, day after day. I've never understood what they do with that information, but I guess in the end it's no more or less arbitrary than birdwatching, or any number of other things.

If you are interested in getting train photos, it's probably not a bad idea to find a place where railfans congregate already, and get some suggestions on locations. There are usually well-known spots where you can get good angles, and also not be in the way or likely to get yelled at or arrested. FWIW, I've never seen the rail police go after anyone who wasn't being an incredible ass (e.g. trainjumping, graffiti, really obvious trespassing into active yard areas, damaging rails/signals, getting close to moving trains). Just stay out of the way, act harmless, and don't cross fences.

As a semi-random aside, anyone in New England looking to watch trains would be well served by going to Palmer, MA; there's even a restored H.H. Richardson station where you can sit and watch the trains and get food. The parking lot is always lousy with railfans.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:14 PM on January 23, 2008

Another rail photo site: NERail.

60,000+ train photos, all from New England, captioned, tagged and browseable by year, railroad, poster, etc. (The view by year is particularly cool; I'm a fan of this one from 1955 especially.)

Ah, the long tail...
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:20 PM on January 23, 2008

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