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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography


Date: 08/31/18 04:05
Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: SOUCF25

How much, if at all, does flash at night bother crews?  I'm not talking about Winston Link lighting; just hot shoe flash.



Date: 08/31/18 09:15
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: WAF

It can scare them, think a car was coming at their side. Also blind them fort a moment



Date: 09/01/18 12:16
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: Trainhand

one morning  I got photographed by a group at Folkston, they had lights set up for about50-75 ft. triggered by a laser switch. I hit it running about 40mph was in the usual 4 to 5 am funk, and it scared the bejesus out of me.



Date: 09/01/18 19:11
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: radar

Maybe the  most compelling reason not to do this is it makes for lousy photos.  A single, camera mounted flash won't light up a locomotive well enough to bother.  Try it on another, large object, such as a house, and you'll see what I mean without bothering a train crew.



Date: 09/02/18 12:39
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: sp3204

March and April 1990 was the last year the SP used the trackage rights over the Altamont (old WP then UP) for the sugar beets coming off the SP Westside line. The next year they ran
in the pool via the Mococo line. I was the senior of two Tracy engineers to bid the seasonal job in. The beets were worked by a generally 12 hour daylight job on duty at 8am in Tracy. They
would distribute empties and pick up loads on the Westside tieing back up in Tracy. The engineer would cut off his usual combination of GP9 and SD9 locomotives and put on my four SD45's
(T2's were common and I found one set that had a rebuilt SD40-7300's). We were on duty at 9PM (air test completed previously). We would go down to and pick up 5 to 10 loaded beet cars
at a small beet dump in Lathrop. At that point we would make a u-turn and head west on the UP. My time books show most trains of loads in the 7 to 8 thousand ton range of the old wooden
plain bearing beet racks. Now any Hoghead reading this will know what I am talking about. I am grinding up the 1% grade of the Altamont westbound generally on greens with my feet up on the heater and
in a relaxed position. It's now about midnight and I am coming up to Altamont Siding where I will crest the hill and start working dynamics, So there I am in a very relaxed state still grinding up in run 8 with
most of the train in the ascending grade and boom the world turns white! I come straight out of the chair damn near, throwing open the windows to try and see who was doing the night photography. I must
admit I never did see who the photographer was (I definitely would love a copy of the picture), and started throttling down to get into dynamics. In this case, and I was not asleep by any means. my heart
damn near explosded with the instant shot of adrenalin. I have had other pictures taken while I was working at night, most of us feel that's all we worked! I however believe that this was the only time my
heart damn near stopped! We did make it to Salinas where we would tie the train down around 5am where a Coast Division crew I believe on duty at 7am would take it on it's next leg to Santa Margurita and
hand it off to a crew that would take it to Betteravia.



Date: 09/02/18 16:13
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: WAF

A betting man would say the photographer had the initials"TB"



Date: 09/02/18 20:12
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: E25

If a photographer called the dispatcher to advise nearby crews that he was setting up a flash array at a specific location, should he / she expect a visit from someone with a shiny badge?

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/18 10:06 by E25.



Date: 09/03/18 13:06
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: LarryDoyle

OK, Photographer....     Imagine yourself driving down a highway at night and some flashes lights in your face.

-John



Date: 09/03/18 16:27
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: Chico43

Trainhand Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> one morning  I got photographed by a group at
> Folkston, they had lights set up for about50-75
> ft. triggered by a laser switch. I hit it running
> about 40mph was in the usual 4 to 5 am funk, and
> it scared the bejesus out of me.

I hear you Brother! And when you recover your senses you have a momentary desire to shoot somebody in the knee.



Date: 09/03/18 19:21
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: PHall

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, Photographer....     Imagine yourself
> driving down a highway at night and some flashes
> lights in your face.
>
> -John

Red Light Camera!   Same thing!



Date: 09/04/18 11:47
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: jst3751

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> LarryDoyle Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > OK, Photographer....     Imagine yourself
> > driving down a highway at night and some
> flashes
> > lights in your face.
> >
> > -John
>
> Red Light Camera!   Same thing!

No comparison



Date: 09/07/18 14:54
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: PatternOfFailure

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, Photographer....     Imagine yourself
> driving down a highway at night and some flashes
> lights in your face.

Must be tough in thunderstorms.



Date: 09/10/18 07:11
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: ChessieSystem

First - If the light is directly in the face someone is doing this incorrectly. 
Second - Crews I have asked say they typically don't notice.

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, Photographer....     Imagine yourself
> driving down a highway at night and some flashes
> lights in your face.
>
> -John



Date: 09/10/18 08:52
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: RRBadTrack

It has never been a problem for me. I've been "blitzed" many times with single and multiple strobes. I've experienced traction motor flashovers and lightning storms that were far brighter than any night photo.

Keep those awesome night shots coming!!!



Date: 09/10/18 16:44
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: Trainhand

I'll agree flashovers can be a lot brighter and a whole lot louder than a flash, but it's the surprise that gets you.



Date: 09/20/18 11:15
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: Bob3985

One night in the wee hours I was headed west out of North Platte with our usual 3 unit Grain train, 75 loads. We were making about 45-50 along the Platte valley but once we hit Julesburg, CO we began the slow climb up out of the valley and headed toward SIdney Nebraska. Still in the 8th run and grinding away at about 40 mph we were passing thru Kinball Nebraska with its tall white concrete grain elevators. Just as we were passing them We had a loud bang and the elevators lit up bright white just before the bells began to ring in the cab. Well, our unit had flashed a traction motor and that was the culprit that scared the heck out of us. We struggled on and the dispatcher had an eastbound give us another unit west of Bushnell.

Another time we were eastbound one night with a heavy train and the second unit cooked its dynamic brake grids, also by large white grain elevators in Chappell Nebraska. That really gets ones attention as well, as the second unit looked like one of those fireworks fountains going off shooting sparks up into the air.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 09/23/18 23:41
Re: Engine Crews and Night Flash Photography
Author: SP8100

Bob3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Another time we were eastbound one night with a
> heavy train and the second unit cooked its dynamic
> brake grids, also by large white grain elevators
> in Chappell Nebraska. That really gets ones
> attention as well, as the second unit looked like
> one of those fireworks fountains going off
> shooting sparks up into the air.

Bob,

You mean like a "roman candle"???

I have had units act like a roman candle when starting them up from being cold...


SP8100



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