“I Can See the Engine!!”
I clearly remember the excitement of a overnight train ride when I was 10 or 12 years old. The anticipation was excruciating and, once aboard, I would wedge myself against the window in order to see as far forward as possible. The object was to catch a glimpse of the locomotive—a steam locomotive in those days—churning around a curve six or eight cars up ahead of us.
To this day, I can’t resist snapping photos as the train goes into a curve and I get a good view of the twin diesels. Here are four shots I’ve just rediscovered in an obscure file in my computer.
After leaving Denver and climbing up through the Flatirons, the westbound California Zephyr follows the Colorado River for more than 100 miles from Granby, Colorado, through a series of rugged canyons to Glenwood Springs.
With sleepers toward the front, here’s a good view of the rear of the train as the southbound Coast Starlight descends toward San Luis Obispo.
This was taken from the dining car as the northbound Coast Starlight climbs through the famous horseshoe curve just north of San Luis Obispo.
Twenty minutes after reaching the Rocky Mountains, VIA Rail’s incomparable Train #1, The Canadian, skirts a lake with Jasper, Alberta, and a crew change some 30 minutes up ahead.
I’ve never been on the famous horseshoe curve in Altoona, Pennsylvania, during daylight hours, but in scattered electronic files I have any number of shots of the equally spectacular curve north of San Luis Obispo. There was a time when I would run to the last coach on the train to get to best possible shot. That was many trips ago, however, and these days, I just do the best I can from the comfort of my seat in the Pacific Parlour Car. It’s still pretty cool!
NOTE: Sorry for the delay in posting. We’ve been tinkering with the type face which hopefully will now be easier to read.