Photo Daily: Coupled Engines

Coupled Engines ©2008

Coupled Engines ©2008

The 5-year old boy in me stills loves trains. Riding the Illinois Central electric trains around Chicago was one of my favorite early memories. Traveling by rail in Europe rekindles the same love. Given the choice of traveling by air or by train? Put me on a train.

I was visiting Santa Fe a few years ago and came across a rail yard with a dozen old engines and train cars. They weren’t exactly abandoned, but there really was no one around keeping watch. So I began to explore. I decided to try to photograph their vintage mechanical beauty.

As inspiration I drew on the beautiful B&W photos of early large industry from the early to mid 20th century. Huge hulking machines that defined that era. I’m talking about those photographs of big steel machines, weighing tons. Where just the bolts were bigger than your fist.

And those giants of industry most certainly includes trains. Trains are something that look fairly large from a distance, but until you’re standing up close to the trucks, the term for the groups of four wheels you find under most rail cars, you really don’t have the perspective of how enormous the wheels alone are.

Springs so heavy, you could never lift them. Big machines. It was really a departure to train my camera on them. But I loved the exercise. Finding tremendous beauty in a hulking machine.



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