Yesterday I visited the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia. I’ve been wanting to go there for a long time to photograph the historic trains they have on display. I was not disappointed. This famous steam engine Norfolk & Western RR Class A #1218 Locomotive was my favorite. Unfortunately, in the rather cramped quarters of the outside display area at the museum, I could not convey the massive size of this locomotive in this photo. Suffice it to say it was BIG! The museum has done a nice job restoring this train engine, and in fact it took a “run” in 2003 on a local rail line, to the delight of many (sadly not me since I missed the event). I mentioned briefly before in this blog, my love for trains. They were a part of my youth while growing up listening to the far off cry of the train’s steam whistle—a sound that’s hard to reproduce today. You had to actually hear it late at night to fully understand the mood it sent. I was transformed back in time yesterday when I stood next to #1218, remembering the last time I was so close to such a locomotive. That was long ago as a five-year old, tightly grasping my mother’s hand as she quickly escorted me along the crowded and steam–filled station platform in Cincinnati, Ohio, where we were to climb aboard as passengers on our way to a new home in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s strange in a way, that this is one of the few things I remember from when I was that age. I guess that’s why I was so moved yesterday. (This is a three–shot HDR image,1/10 sec, f14, tripod mounted, Nikon D300, and processed with Photomatix Pro and further developed in Lightroom 2.6).

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