Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Construction Begins


The construction of a wall has started that will separate the basement family room from the train room. The train room will be 19' x 22' and will have an operating HO scale layout in it in the future. Also the room will be used for storage underneath the benchwork of the train layout.

 It has been a long time coming, but I am finally excited to have things start rolling on the project. I hope the whole family will enjoy it when done and aid in its construction when I need the help. Joe has been a good helper and has learned how to measure with the tape measure, mark out measurements on wood, and write fractions.

My goal is to have the drywall up, painted, by April with some of the drop ceiling in too. We will see.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good Times on the Grand Trunk

After being lost for almost 25 years, my brother Andy found some long lost photos of my rail trip on the GTW and N&W #611 J back in 1987. They were in the basement at my Mom's house in a box, with in a box, etc. etc. They are some of the first photos I took of train with my Chinon 35mm SLR camera.

I do not know all the locations in the photos, but all were between Detroit and Bellevue, OH.


VS-23 Patch

This is the squadron patch from my Father's flight suit which I discovered today in my Mom's basement while cleaning with my brother. What a wonderful find. This patch is the same one on the bottom of the page, but in much better shape!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Photos

Grandma & Mom in front of Michigan Central Depot in Detroit.

These photos were probably all taken by my Father except the last on here on the bottom which was probably taken by my Mom.

Top photo is from Willow Run Air Show sometime in the 1950s. A KB-29 refuels a B-50.
Middle photo is from 1954 with my Grandma and Mom.
Bottom is at Glen Lake in in the later half of the 1960s.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Changing Seasons at Grand Trunk Western's Tunnel Yard

The three images were taken from 2008 to today in 2010. There are suttle changes to the tracks if you look closely from top to bottom on the yard lead on the left. A new wye track was put in east of Michigan Ave (which crosses the tracks North / South) to accomadate the plan to put an overpass over the tracks there. The bottom photos (from today) was taken from the I-94 overpass. I was only a few minutes from catching the head end locomotives heading west out of Tunnel Yard. Morning shots are my favorite here and turn out nice when the haze and clouds are not making everything a high contract white out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Ships in the Snow

A day off work with a few errands to run allowed me to go and do some photography on a grey day with light snow falling.First stop was the Desmond Landing at the Maritime Center (Port Huron, MI). They have the best apple fritters there! Due to the ice jams in Algonac, the freighters were stuck in the ice and no traffic was going upbound or down the river so I did not stay long. The Algosea was tied up at the Bean Dock so I took some shots of it, some of the ducks in the water, and the Canadian National train pulling a string of cars across the St. Clair River in Sarnia.

The Algosea (a tanker) at the Bean Dock.

A CN train pulling cars around a siding along the Sarnia waterfront.

After my shots along the river, I proceeded south, then west to the PH&D roundhouse to see if CSX trains had been out working yet.... nothing there so I went to the Davis Rd. to view the north end of CSX's newer St. Clair Yard. A remote train was switching cars out of the north end of the yard. The engineer was controlling it with the Beltpack, a remote radio controlled unit, that allows the train crew to control the locomotives from the ground. Pretty neat.

Note the snow freshly blown out of the switch points. The track crew was using a leaf blower for that.

After the fun days off a cold night at work allowed for a shot of this A-10 while we were doing night training on it. Egress training at night is a bit different due to the low light conditions and trying to find small switches in the dark.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

1st Train of the New Year

The temperature of 7°F was quite nice this morning. No wind, just a nice cold winter morning in January west of Port Huron, MI on the GTW (CN) Flint Subdivision. A west bound train's headlights caught my eye as I crossed a crossing far west of it so I turned around and fired up the ole Nikon D70 for some quick shots of a departing CN train heading out of Tunnel Yard. I have not had much time to photograph trains lately, one- the Christmas Holiday, two- I was sick over a week, and three- no snow for winter scenes.

Most westbound trains start slow and will eventually make speeds up to 60 mph further west. Amtrak's trains highball rather fast here once they clear the West Tappen siding switch. The Flint line heads west north west out of Port Huron untill Lapeer, there it turns more west than north, then at Flint it head west south west for Lansing, MI.

Snow really makes the scene jump out at times, especially with a bright blue sky. Then there is the black and white edits.

Now to shoot some open field crossing shots in the days to come hopefully.