RAILROADS ILLUSTRATED ANNUAL 2016: Enjoy 100 pages of exciting railroad photography from yesterday and today. This year’s edition features Gordon Glattenberg, Sam Philips, Ron Flanary, Alex Mayes, plus Day in North America 2015 and 2016!
My earliest railfan memories are of seeing endless coal trains rolling over former Norfolk & Western and Virginian trackage. Growing up, I spent most of my time close to home along Norfolk Southern’s Christiansburg District between Roanoke, Va., and Bluefield, W.Va. Back in the early 2000s, it was nothing for my dad and me to see 10 to 15 trains climbing Christiansburg Mountain in a single afternoon, most of which were empty hopper trains — just another day on the railroad.
Following a frigid and snowy winter in Northern Virginia, my wife Teresa and I decided to take a much-needed vacation in May 2015 to an intriguing destination to enjoy some spectacular scenery, wildlife viewing, and of course, lots of rail photography. After exploring several options, we decided to head to western Canada, taking VIA Rail’s outstanding Canadian from Toronto.
In 2001 Cartier had ordered 12 new General Electric AC4400CW locomotives for delivery the following spring. I elected to make the pilgrimage to remote northeastern Canada to shoot the mining firm’s 21 large six-axle Montreal Locomotive Works M636 models, three Alco C636 units, and a lone C630.