Aug 25, 2012

Remembering the Milwaukee Road

After waiting 3 hours on a hillside in Rosalia, Washington here comes an westbound over a very unique concrete bridge that still stands today but without rails or even a railroad. I remember it was cold and windy!
A  favorite photo of mine was shot by our pal Chuck Heimerdinger who came up here to Dawson, Montana from sunny California back in the 1960s. The formatting on this photo is terrific showing the 2 kinds of electric locomotives they were running back in the good old days. Is today going to be considered by some as the good old days in 20 years?
I don't remember who shot this photo but it wasn't me because I am in the shot with my pretty white pants in a railroad yard! The place was Deer Lodge, Montana a busy spot for the railroad back in the day.

Back in the day when I could climb hills without catching my breath,  my good friend Leon Callaway from California came up here to see the final days of Milwaukee Road electric operations. The date is May 15th, 1974 and the power will be shut off in exactly 1 month to go. 
One of my all time favorites was me catching these old Boxcab eclectics in helper service at East Portal, Montana, which is on the Montana/Idaho border and about ready to enter a long tunnel. First off I was lucky to have my 300mm lens on as I didn't know they were coming until I saw them. Second, if they didn't have empty flat cars in the front of the engines, then no shot would be possible. Third, there was still sufficient light to stop the action with not much time to decide focal length, speed of the camera and formatting the shot. Lucky seems to come to my mind at being in the right place at the right time. Remember these are 50 year old machines when I took these photos, not many locomotives are around that long! I was in a time warp!

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