One of my Flickr contacts, trainmanchuff, (as well as fellow group project member) has a passion for the British rail system. He often posts pictures of trains, rail workers and other interesting rail-related items.
Yesterday, after attending the Professional Photographers Association of Ohio event in Dayton, I strolled about downtown Dayton snapping some pictures here and there. This isn’t one of my more favourite things to do photography-wise, but I figured since I was already there…….you know…..when in Rome. I was on my way back to my car, which was parked at the base of an elevated section of rail track, when I heard and then saw a train rumbling along the tracks.
I thought how nice it might be for me to try and grab a few shots in honour of the Chuff Man, but when I raised my camera to my eye I quickly noticed that it was rather difficult to see much of anything of the train. The problems were twofold: (1) being elevated (about 25-feet) the angle cut down on the visibility of the lower section of the train cars, and (2) the train tracks were clearly a number of feet back and away from the edge of the elevated section, thus making even less of the train visible.
So what does one do under these circumstances? Simple: get in the car and haul ass after the train!
I quickly got into my car, buckled the seat belt, gunned the motor and spun around in the direction of the train and tracks. The downtown area of Dayton is rife with one-way streets, which made my mission more difficult as I would often have to travel an extra block out of my way just to be able to head in the correct direction. Add this to the fact I had no idea where the hell I was going (I’m not real familiar with the area) and things got a bit harried.
Eventually I found a road that ran parallel to the tracks, but the tracks remained elevated so that I didn’t have a perspective that was any better. I quickly ran into a new problem that also turned into a blessing. The Great Miami River (which it isn’t…”great” that is) cuts through downtown Dayton and I was quickly coming upon the river and the road upon which I was driving would be turning away from the tracks and then paralleling the river instead.
However, as I came to the point in the road where it turned away from the tracks I noticed that I could stop, park at some company’s now empty parking lot, and possibly climb the berm (built to hold back any potential flood waters) and snap some pics of the train as it rumbled across a train bridge.
Wow! Train bridge AND train! Won’t Chuff be thrilled?!
Well maybe not. You’ll notice that there is no picture embedded into this post and that is for a very good reason: I didn’t get a picture of the train. See, as I finally made it to the top of the berm (a steep and somewhat slippery climb of 15 or so feet) the last car of the train came into view and quickly disappeared across the train bridge.
Imagine the picture…..a mid-40’s man standing atop a berm in the late afternoon sun, camera in hand and yelling “Come back here you piece of shit! I gotta take your picture! Fucking crap!”
Not exactly a Norman Rockwell moment, eh?