Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Old Friends

August 22, 2006
I had a mission in Coshocton Tuesday morning, and I hoped to see my old friend the Ohio Central 1501 performing it's switching duties around town. I drove my wife to work for 2 weeks during various periods of car difficulties last year, and had photographed the former Pittsburgh and Lake Erie GP7 several times during that spell.

I usually take the long way into town, off the main road and over the railroad tracks, past the Ohio Central headquarters and down through the south side of town to follow the tracks. The 1501 was just pulling up to the first grade crossing when I arrived, towing some bulkhead flat cars and some coil cars. A set of coil cars was already on the main, so I knew he would have to combine the two sets of coil cars before heading off the AK Steel works. This would give me enough time to safely cross the tracks and find a spot to shoot from

The line passes through cornfields at this point, despite being only a mile or so outside of Coshocton. I drove away from the tracks and set up to shoot the venerable geep across the fields. I went both vertical and horizontal, shooting tighter to avoid the poles. I like poles in general, but these ones didn't really do much for the photo, so I avoided them.

With a few shots on the card, the train roared off to the south while I went into town to finish my mission.

Once I got to Zanesville and finished my chores, I took my usual path past the yard on the way home. Two blue Super-7s were sitting in the yard, but RS18 1800 was tucked away at the other end. The 1800 usually shows up towing a handfull of ballast hoppers, this time it was alone with a single tank car.

I had spent a pleasant few moments last winter photographing the 1800 as it burbled away the night, spitting sparks on the same siding. I had photographed it a few times as it pulled ballast cars through town. It is always nice to see the 1800, so I stopped to make some more photos of the only RS18 in Ohio.

I was on the dark side of the engine, so I tried to accentuate the long snout of the handsome beast. Then I got down low, and the flare of the clean gray front of the cab gave the resulting image a dreamy feel.

I went over to the sunny side of the locomotive- access was easy as there is a bike path along the west side of the yard, the former PRR line. But the sunny side wasn't quite the same, just a front coupled roster shot of an engine that appeared to be tilted down to the front.

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