Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Grunge. That is the only word to describe the weather in Montana today, March 28, the first day of my Spring Break. While a lot of students try and head south to the beach, I'm staying in Montana in hopes of doing some railfanning in the northwest over the next week (I'm not the only one staying around, seems that most of UMs students stick to the Rockies during Spring Break, and who could blame you when you live here!).
I'm hoping to update this blog regularly during the next week with a daily look at railfanning and photography. However I don't have much to start off with. With clouds overhead there wasn't a lot of reason to get up early and I don't think I left the pillow till 10Am. With a quick check of the line-up I headed down to the Missoula Yard to find the one train I'd shoot this day - A westbound BNSF freight with two fresh GE's on the point (With the lousy economy BNSF and UP have started putting older units aside, one positive however is that most the power running around is new and looks presentable.)
Following the train west in the rain I shot it at Desmet, just west of town, where I also got this artsy fartsy reflection shot.
The next location was 30 miles west of town at Lothrop, Montana, where I left the westbound in the rain and did a little exploring, looking for some new angles (I found one, and it's a killer shot for sure, but you'll have to wait to see that one)
And that was it for the days photography. After that I headed back to Missoula and hung out with friends around a grill in the rain watching dinner cook. Tomorrow morning MRL is dispatching a Darby local and snow is forcasted for the Bitteroots. That 5AM call time comes early so that's all for now.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Justin Franz - Copyright 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Anyway, I just want to plug Jim Redmond's awesome Riding The Last Alcos site. Since 2000 the website has been THE source for information on this remote and stunning railroad in eastern Quebec. Every image you've seen of the Cartier in the last decade was most likely taken by a photographer helped by Jim and without question we owe him a big thanks.
Just recently the site changed to a new format, so check it out!
Monday, March 23, 2009
60 Days Notice: An old switch lock secures the gate to the Bonner, Montana lumber mill owned by Stimson Lumber Co. and servered by Montana Rail Link. Last week, Stimson gave its employees 60 days notice of what will likely be a final shut down for the mill, ending years of rail service by the Milwaukee Road, Burlington Northern and todays Montana Rail Link.
After the local had left on that first day I stuck around and shot this and that. For some reason the lock on the gate caught my eye. With the tracks leading into the distance to an empty log yard it seemed to tell the whole story. My Photo-J teacher at the time here at the University of Montana agreed and I got an A for the assignment.
In the end the mill would hold on until Summer, after I had returned home at the end of the semester. However the story still had to be told and it was....
Railroads Illistrated Magazine, Montana Rail Link News, October 2008.
"Done. Montana Rail Link GP35 403 powered what will likely be one of the last locals to serve the Stimson Lumber Company on the afternoon of July 29, 2008. With only two cars, BNSF 564146 and 564152 billed for a Home Depot in Dayton, New Jersey, the train left the mill and ended over a century long relationship between the railroad and lumber industry in Bonner. Stimson has put the mill and land up for sale at $16-million, yet if a buyer is not found for everything before September 30th, all mill equipment will be placed up for auction, leaving only the land."
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Summit Crossover, Glacier National Park, October 2008.
Photo By Justin Franz