SD40-2s on the Prairie

I grew up in east central Illinois so I am well aware of how flat the landscape is there.

Yet if you seek to make photographs of railroads in action it can be more of a challenge than you think to create images that scream “this is the prairie.”

Illinois is sometimes called the Prairie State although little native prairie land remains. Today it is a moniker for being farmland.

 You might be surprised and at times frustrated at how many trees there are along the railroads of Illinois. Open views that suggest a vast open landscape can take some doing to find.

In the image above a pair of SD40-2s working for the Decatur & Eastern Illinois are running light eastbound a little east of Tuscola.

I had photographed a D&EI train at this same location last summer when crops were still in these fields.

Now those crops have been harvested and the field in the foreground plowed for the winter.

Plowing after harvest used to be commonplace but is less so today.

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