Posts Tagged ‘black and white photography’

Train Time at Akron Union Depot

January 14, 2023

It was the late 1960s when Mike Ondecker and I found westbound Baltimore & Ohio E8A No. 1447 with The Diplomat at the Akron Union Depot. The train on the left is an eastbound Erie Lackawanna freight. No. 1447 was built by EMD in October 1953 as B&O 26A. It would later work for Amtrak wearing roster numbers 203 and 353.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

B&O in Kent

March 31, 2020

The controls of the wayback machine are set to the period of the late 1960s to early 1970s. The railroad selected is Baltimore & Ohio. The location selected is Kent.

And that is how we wound up finding this B&O train headed eastbound. On the point is GP30 No. 6902.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

NS Westbound in Massillon

March 26, 2020

The Fort Wayne Line of Norfolk Southern isn’t all that busy west of Alliance. You can wait for hours and not see a train.

Such is life for the one-time mainline of the Pennsylvania Railroad between Chicago and Pittsburgh.

In the photograph above, NS 7559 leads a westbound coal train in Massillon on Feb. 3, 2010.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

One Early July Day in Brewster

March 20, 2020

Former NKP 2139 (ex-NKP FM H12-44) is to the right of N&W 7901 (ex-NKP BLH AS-16, which was given a new engine by Alco at the Brewster engine facility.

On July 3, 1972, Bob Farkas took his camera and a roll of black and white film and set out for Brewster to record Norfolk & Western motive power at the engine house and service facilities.

At the time Brewster was the nerve center for the then former Wheeling & Lake Erie system.

Of course between 1949 and 1964 Brewster had been a Nickel Plate Road property.

By the early 1970s former NKP locomotives were still around, most notably some Fairbanks Morse switchers, but were wearing N&W markings.

This post takes a tour of N&W motive power of the era, which reflected earlier generations of motive power.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

N&W 7903 is a BLH AS-16 road switcher re-engined by EMD. It was built for the NKP.

N&W 317 is an Alco RS11. Note the Western Maryland locomotive behind it.

N&W 2578 was the Nickel Plate’s ALCO C420.

N&W 423 is an Alco C424

N&W 7901 is one of two BLH AS-16 road switchers the NKP had re-engined by Alco.

Another view of N&W 7901

N&W 621 is an EMD GP9 while N&W 1003 is an Alco C425.

Dialing Up Another Erie Lackawanna Monday

March 2, 2020

Courtesy of the wayback machine we’ve been transported back a few decades to another time when the Erie Lackawanna was still a vibrant railroad.

In the top image, a westbound EL freight is in Akron in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Notice the interesting signal mast.

In the next image, EL Alco C424 No. 2408 is in the yard in Kent in the late 1960s. Trailing in the motive power consist is GE U25B No. 2515.

Below that we see four EL E8A locomotives in Kent in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Finally in the bottom image the photographer is standing beneath the overhand of the Kent passenger station to capture an eastbound train.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

What Memories This Locomotive Made

December 10, 2019

Former Grand Trunk Western No. 4070 was a mainstay in the early years of what today is known as the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

But back in the 1970s and 1980s the railroad was known as the Cuyahoga Valley Line and the 4070 steaming along with its train was a common sight.

Here it is putting on a show southbound in Brecksville along the Cuyahoga River on Oct. 27, 1979.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Twilight of the Central

November 26, 2019

The photographer said he made this image sometime between 1967 and 1969, so it’s possible that it was made in the Penn Central era.

Nonetheless, it was the waning days of seeing motive power still wearing the NYC cigar band livery that was prominent in the 1960s.

This photograph of EMD E7A No. 4012 was made at Collinwood Yard in Cleveland, where the NYC also had a locomotive shop.

No. 4012 continued to wear this roster number into the Penn Central era.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Black and White Kind of Day

November 14, 2019

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35-3 No. 102 is headed westbound in Brewster on Nov. 5, 2019.

While the image was shot in color, the front of the train was in shadow and the back in sun. It made an OK color photo but a much better black and white.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

When the Lighting is Less Than Ideal

October 19, 2019

There are times when the good news is that you’re trackside with camera in hand when a train is approaching.

The bad news is the lighting is not favorable for photography.

In those instances your best option is to take the resulting image with its subdued colors and convert it to black and white.

The top and middle images are westbound Norfolk Southern trains in Alliance that were photographed on Aug. 24. The bottom image is a CSX eastbound captured in Akron on the evening of Aug. 23.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

The Art of Black and White Photography

October 19, 2019

Digital photograph has many advantages but one of most underused one is the ability to transform an image from color to black and white.

I seldom see this done and I’m just as guilty as anyone else in not thinking about doing it.

What I have learned, though, is that recognizing when to convert an image from color to black and white is an art in itself.

It works well in situations in which the colors are subdued, often to the point of the image virtually being black and white anyway.

When I was processing this image of Amtrak’s westbound Blue Water at Durand, Michigan, it all but called out for conversion to black and white.

There is strong back lighting from the sun that washed out the color.

Making the image black and white helped to draw out the contrast and enhance the mood.

Train No. 365 is waiting for time. It arrived in Durand a little early and all of the passengers have boarded.

A few onlookers are gathered along the fence waiting to see of a Boy Scout troop that boarded.

The conductor is standing by a vestibule waiting to give a highball and accommodate any late arriving passengers.

Note also the contrast in shapes of the Amfleet and Horizon coaches in the train’s consist, a testament to competing philosophies of passenger car design.