Posts Tagged ‘farms’

SD40-2s on the Prairie

November 17, 2020

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.

Famed Helmstetter Farm for Sale for $1.1M

September 20, 2019

The farm located on a well-known curve on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is for sale.

Trains magazine reported that Helmstetters’ Farm in Corriganville, Maryland, is on the market.

The asking price is $1.1 million. That includes a farmhouse, barn, and 125 acres of property split by the railroad and the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail.

The property is listed with Charis Reality Group.

Real estate agent Steve MacGray told Trains that members of the Helmstetter family are looking to retire from farming.

The farm has provided a background for countless photographs of WMSR trains and is widely known as Helmstetters’ Curve.

Although MacGray said properties adjacent to active rail lines usually are difficult to sell, the proximity of the Helmstetter estate to a rail line and bike trail might be selling points.

“A lot of times, people will ask to be as far away from the railroad as they can be, but being a scenic railroad, it’s a different case,” he told Trains. “The railroad’s location is actually an integral part of the of the asking price for the farm. We also have people who want to be as close to the bike trail as possible, so it’s a very attractive property.”

However, MacGray said more than likely success in selling the property will hinge on finding someone who wants to farm.