A few more images of the Chicago and North Western railway to complement those I blogged recently. In some respects, the outside environment probably suits the film better (Kodak Safety Film again), as by modern standards it is incredibly slow with an ISO of somewhere between 8 and 16. However, taking pictures of moving subjects would have presented its own exposure challenges with such a slow film, so most of the engines appear to be static, moving slowly, or towards the camera where there is less relative movement.
As someone who was born and brought up in the heritage era of steam railways, it’s a reminder of how dirty the engines were when in regular service. Arguably this was accentuated by the rigours of war service, but it’s an interesting counterpoint to today’s beautifully turned out trains.
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I love these images…the bulk and greyness of the locos and the lettering which is so suggestive of Americana. I can almost imagine the mournful wail of the whistle. Interesting that the steam does seem to be blurred and wispy due to the film speed…how slow that was!
I think it’s great that these colour images were taken and that they survive for us to look at today. There seem to be very few colour photos of British railways taken in this era, in fact very few prior to the 50’s generally. I guess cameras and colour film were much more accessible in America than they were in Britain for a good few years.