Friday, June 24, 2011

A Summer in GN Country - June 23, 2011

Photo by Justin Franz

The Baby Builder: Amtrak No. 7 rolls into Whitefish, Montana. June 23, 2011.

Traffic is down, Amtrak is messed up. How long could this last?
To: All BNSF Customers

Preliminary Report: Minot, North Dakota Area Flooding

On Thursday, June 23, 2011 at approximately 1:00 a.m., BNSF plans to close the Minot, North Dakota area to rail traffic due to main track flooding.

In a proactive measure to minimize delays, we have begun the process of rerouting trains. Preliminary estimates of delays are 24-48 hours. We will provide more information regarding the rerouting and flooding as information becomes available.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Summer in GN Country - June 21, 2011

Photos by Justin Franz

It's been a long time since I updated this blog. And if history is an indication, it'll be a long time before I do again.

But lets give it a shot.

This summer I'm working as a reporter for the Flathead Beacon in Kalispell, Montana and living in nearby Whitefish. It's a great place to spend a summer and frankly I'd be fine with spending more than three months here, with attractions like Glacier National Park and the Great Northern Brewery at my doorstep.

But that isn't the only plus to living here. For the railfan, Whitefish is a BNSF crew change point at the base of the legendary Marias Pass line. With heavy traffic and stunning scenery, BNSF's Hi Line Subdivision is truly a railfan playground.

I've already spent a few days trackside and hope to spend many more. With that in mind I plan on updating this blog with images from my "Summer in GN Country."

Here are a few from today, June 20, 2011.

A pair of BNSF GE's shove on the rear end of an eastbound freight near West Glacier, Montana, along the Flathead River.

One of the historic Glacier National Park Red Buses near Java, Montana.

A westbound BNSF grain train makes its way around a location call Ken Good Curve near West Glacier, Montana.

All Images Copyright 2011 - Justin Franz

Monday, October 11, 2010

Alta-Mont 30: October 9 - 10, 2010

Story and Photos by Justin Franz

Columbus Day Weekend often means one thing for railroad photographers in the Northwest - Alta-Mont, the annual railfan gathering at the Izaak Walton Inn at Essex, Montana. For three days photographers shoot trackside on BNSF's Hi-Line Sub over Marias Pass by day and by night look a slides at the Walton.

2010 marked the 30th Alta-Mont and about 35 people gathered in Essex over the course of the three day weekend. I joined photographers Paul Birkholz - Mountain West Rail - and Brent Mueller for two great days of shooting. What follows are a selection of the results. The weather wasn't perfect, with the exception of three hours on Saturday morning, but as always the times were great.

For more information about Alta-Mont check out the website!

An eastbound Z-Train rolls through Bad Rock Canyon near Hungry Horse, Montana.

A stack train rolls along the Flathead River east of Belton, Montana.

U.S. Route 2 and the Great Northern: A match made in heaven.

Helpers roll across Java Trestle east of Essex, Montana.

Paul and Brent waiting at Java

An eastbound manifest freight at Coram on Sunday morning

All images copyright 2010

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Silver and Maroon - A Fall of Griz Sports

Photography by Justin Franz - All images taken in November and December 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

18 Months and counting.... More coverage of the end of the Kodachrome era

Kodak announced Monday, June 22 that they would end production of Kodachrome 64 after 74 years. I've used it since the very first railroad images I ever took in the early 1990s. Here is some editorials and coverage worth a look...

Also, the new title image was taken with Kodachrome 64 in the Fall of 2000. Clear Canadian skies, peak Fall foliage in the Notre-Dame Mtns. and fresh CN units leading the way. Perfect conditions for chrome...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sorry Paul - Kodachrome era comes to an end after 74-years


ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 22 -- Eastman Kodak Company announced today that it will retire KODACHROME Color Film this year, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.
Sales of KODACHROME Film, which became the world’s first commercially successful color film in 1935, have declined dramatically in recent years as photographers turned to newer KODAK Films or to the digital imaging technologies that Kodak pioneered. Today, KODACHROME Film represents just a fraction of one percent of Kodak’s total sales of still-picture films.
“KODACHROME Film is an iconic product and a testament to Kodak’s long and continuing leadership in imaging technology,” said Mary Jane Hellyar, President of Kodak’s Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group. "It was certainly a difficult decision to retire it, given its rich history. However, the majority of today's photographers have voiced their preference to capture images with newer technology – both film and digital. Kodak remains committed to providing the highest-performing products – both film and digital – to meet those needs."
While Kodak now derives about 70% of its revenues from commercial and consumer digital businesses, it is the global leader in the film business. Kodak has continued to bring innovative new film products to market, including seven new professional still films and several new VISION2 and VISION3 motion picture films in the past three years.These new still film products are among those that have become the dominant choice for those professional and advanced amateur photographers who use KODAK Films.
Among the well-known professional photographers who used KODACHROME Film is Steve McCurry, whose picture of a young Afghan girl captured the hearts of millions of people around the world as she peered hauntingly from the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1985.
As part of a tribute to KODACHROME Film, Kodak will donate the last rolls of the film to George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, which houses the world’s largest collection of cameras and related artifacts. McCurry will shoot one of those last rolls and the images will be donated to Eastman House.
“The early part of my career was dominated by KODACHROME Film, and I reached for that film to shoot some of my most memorable images,” said McCurry. “While KODACHROME Film was very good to me, I have since moved on to other films and digital to create my images. In fact, when I returned to shoot the ‘Afghan Girl’ 17 years later, I used KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTACHROME Film E100VS to create that image, rather than KODACHROME Film as with the original.”
For all of its magic, KODACHROME is a complex film to manufacture and an even more complex film to process. There is only one remaining photofinishing lab in the world – Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas – that processes KODACHROME Film, precisely because of the difficulty of processing. This lack of widespread processing availability, as well as the features of newer films introduced by Kodak over the years, has accelerated the decline of demand for KODACHROME Film.
During its run, KODACHROME Film filled a special niche in the annals of the imaging world. It was used to capture some of the best-known photographs in history, while also being the film of choice for family slide shows of the Baby Boom generation.
To celebrate the film’s storied history, Kodak has created a gallery of iconic images, including the Afghan girl and other McCurry photos, as well as others from professional photographers Eric Meola and Peter Guttman on its website: Special podcasts featuring McCurry and Guttman will also be featured on the website.
Kodak estimates that current supplies of KODACHROME Film will last until early this fall at the current sales pace. Dwayne’s Photo has indicated it will continue to offer processing for the film through 2010."