Here are two similar photos taken a few feet and a few minutes apart. Both were taken in Alliance, Ohio, most likely in late 1968 or in 1969.
Yard switcher Penn Central No. 8096 is a Baldwin S12 which is sitting just east of the old bridge that has now been replaced.
The top image is a three-quarters shot taken from the back of the unit. If you look closely, the crew member is turned toward the engineer making the crew member just part of the scene.
As well as adding interest to the scene, the wooden railroad building helps determine the time period in which this was taken.
Look above the front of the locomotive and you will see tell-tails hanging down to warn brakemen on the roofs of cars that a limited-headroom obstruction is coming.
In the bottom image, the crewmember is looking out the back window in what seems to be a purposeful stare.
The Pennsylvania Railroad gondola is more hinted at than seen, yet it catches your attention because of how worn it seems.
By including the gondola, this photo conveys an image of men working hard on the railroad.
Neither one can be repeated. Which one do you like?
Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas