Railroad Journal : In The Mood

October 2007  |  Silverton Colorado

Title: In The Mood

I remember taking this photograph like it was yesterday.

Denver and Rio Grande Western #315 is a class C-18 2-8-0 Consolidation type narrow gauge steam locomotive. DRGW 315 was also built in 1895 by Baldwin Locomotive Works. This was the first trip for 315 since it was retired in 1949 and placed on display in Durango Colorado in the early 1950s.

The Durango Railroad Historical Society worked on the locomotive from 2000 until 2007 when I saw it on display at Santa Rita park when I got to photograph 315 during the National Narrow Gauge convention in Durango Colorado in Aug 2006. In August of 2007 during Railfest 315 steamed up and ran on the turntable at the Durango roundhouse for the first time in over 50 years. In October 2007 a 3 day photo charter between Durango and Silverton Colorado was sponsored by Trains Unlimited Tours on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge RR.

After the first day of photographing we spent the night in Silverton Colorado. I woke up early the next morning to photograph #315 that was parked next to the Silverton Depot. I was dressed in shorts and sandals not very bright for early October weather in Silverton. At about that time I was just getting into digital photography and my camera was a 6-pixel Nikon Cool Pix point and shoot. After photographing for a while 315 whistle blew and the steam show began. Any railfan knows that when it is cold with a steam locomotive it is going to be a show and get the camera ready. Automatic or manual it dosn't matter steam locomotives don't wait for you to setup.

I just stepped back and pointed the camera and hit the button. Remember steam locomotives do not wait for you to setup. And yes, that is frost on the tracks and locomotive. What a show and boy it was cold. I took a lot of great photographs on this trip 3 days worth but this photograph has become a favorite of collectors and has also become one of my top sellers.

I call it In The Mood

Samuel E Howard

Denver and Rio Grande Western number 315 starts to move from her slumber in Silverton Colorado. Because of the cold and frosty...
In The Mood

Denver and Rio Grande Western number 315 starts to move from her slumber in Silverton Colorado. Because of the cold and frosty environment in the shade before the sun comes up over the mountains around Silverton this is exactly what it looked like. A deep blue color with frost. It was cold for the first week in October. In The Mood is one of my top selling photographs at the Caboose Gallery. It has also won several awards.

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