Wednesday, April 18, 2012

012 The Utah Night Shift - Raining on My Parade

I seldom get days off.  It is even more rare that I get a day off and some free time to myself.  That is when I take off and go to the tracks.  Today it was cold, windy and much worse could it get?  The sky was dark and it has rained off and on for a few days.  I don't care...I'm taking the camera and going railfanning.

Today's project was to start collecting photos of industries, sidings and track work.  Shooting in the dark and in the rain gives a new perspective.  Normally I'll hike in and get the shot I want, but today I stayed close to the SUV since many of the shots wouldn't come out right anyway.

Here is what I to enlarge.

 Track is a model, just like any locomotive or structure.  Doing it wrong will be noticed by someone who knows, so I've started shooting track shots.  I'm not familiar with modeling concrete ties, so this is new.  Most of my shots are for reference, and probably won't be pretty.

 I love the super clean look of concrete.  Wider spacing, longer ties, less metal holding the rails down.  The color is more black than seen here...the lack of sun was throwing off the color.

 The trains are zooming by all morning....WHOOOOSH!  I was standing on a platform to take this.  I do NOT tresspass on tracks anymore after almost being killed twice.

 Here is a great, fancy track, older wood tie siding, and a very old out of commission siding.  Its a good template for how the track should look.  I did put in two dead sidings.

 Yes, that car has pink dust on it...its a colorful shot, and if the sun comes back tomorrow I may go shoot it again with a tripod.  These are plastic pellet hoppers in the transloading area.

 Silver Cup is a fish food mill.  I betcha never saw one of those on a layout we HAVE to model it.  This is a very big plant, and quite old.  I'll have to study it a while and build a highly compressed version.

 You have this old, old building with this beautiful sign painted on the brick. fun to look at.  I'll go back and get one in the sun where you can really see the colors.

 From across the street this is the transloading facility.  It can handle almost anything and has docks, ramps and collection equipment for spills.  It is fairly new and nice.

 There are about 30 plastic pellet hoppers in the site, and three trailers for hauling pellets, along with a tractor or two.

 I bought a pack of bumpers...they are all over this site.

 There is a short passing siding here...and I took this picture of a mainline to siding turnout for details in producing an AP turnout.  I've taken almost 100 photos of turnout hardware and details this morning.

 I was trying to take shots of the backs of buildings with their graffiti, damage, trash and general wear, but the rain was too bad and accessing the areas was too dangerous.  This is for another day.

 I'll start collecting photos of signs, signals and the physical plant details.

 This is Big Cottonwood Creek, just west of the UP bridge which you can barely see in the back.  They are building a road bridge a little east of here and I can't get to the Trax bridge, which I intend to model for AP points in Structures.

 Again, more detail shots of the wood crosstie turnouts on the concrete tied mainline.  I have enough shots to build a highly detailed turnout.

 This is a bright purple derail that I have shot a ton of photos of.  This goes to Gromore's facility, which may become an industry on the layout.  This is well maintained, so they must be using it, though there are no railcars around.

 Here is one of the prefab concrete buildings that are all over the area.  This one does not get rail service, but I photographed it because it is small and would look right on the layout.  It is a bakery.

 Derails and turnouts are all over the railroad and most are of the same construction.

 As I see signs, I shoot them.  These signs will add a lot of feel to the layout and are critical for a good model.

 I have friends that don't model graffiti, but I believe in modeling what I see...good or bad.  I'm having trouble getting the straight on shots you need in order to make decals...but maybe more when the weather is good.

This is a siding next to a concrete plant...but it actually looks more like a runaway train siding.  Behind these bumpers is a big impact barrier of concrete, wire rope and gravel.  It is not to far from the station.

All in all I shot 266 photos.  Much more to do though!  Need some SUNSHINE!


  1. You have a great idea in paying more attention to trackside features - buildings, sidings, track components, etc. Wish I had done so back in the 1960s and 70s while riding rail excursions and engaging in other rail fanning activities. Many of the smaller rail served businesses back then are no longer around along with the buildings that housed them and sidings that served them. Photograph them while you never know when they also might pass into history. I do remember a purple derail target on a low level switch stand on a PRR siding near Baltimore back then. It also had a round blue reflector on the target blade. First time I had ever seen a purple RR derail position indicator.

  2. Thanks for your post, David. Another thing I've learned is to take pictures of the sky, terrain, and everything in the general area of the train photographs. Little details like mountains come in handy when making backdrops or scenery. In the day of the digital camera, we should take 1,000 photos every time we go railfanning.


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