Like Southern Minnesota in the 1960s



After going to the Fostoria Trainfest last Saturday we found ourselves at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue. The museum was closing for the day so we toured the outdoor displays. The afternoon light was just perfect where the subject was well lit including the truck detail.

 In the past, the equipment displayed at the west end of the museum has featured a mixture of bright sun and dark shadows cast by a nearby grain elevator. This usually left part of the subjects well lighted but the other parts in practical darkness. This grain elevator has been torn down in the past year or so, which opens up new photography vistas as everything is now in bright sunlight.

 Also, some of the displays, such as Chicago & North Western No. 1689, were usually blocked by other display items. This has changed and it is now out in the open.

 I took advantage of this situation by photographing everything in sight from a variety of angles.  One photo in particular struck my fancy. It is a wide-angle, back lighted shot that created the feel of a branch line station in the 1960s.

The equipment has rusted and weathered, so a color photo still looks like it was taken in 2013. I got to thinking “what if I converted it to black and white?”

That did the trick and the museum’s Alco locomotive now looks like something on a C&NW line in southern Minnesota in the mid-1960s, not Ohio in 2013.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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