Western Maryland No. 734 on Helmstetter's Curve
It’s early autumn and Mother Nature’s seasonal palette is beginning to show
hints of red and gold in the Allegheny highlands of Western Maryland.
Adding to those reds and golds in the bright afternoon sunlight, the distinctive Western Maryland Railway “Fireball” livery adorning the tender of steam locomotive No. 734, a 1916 Baldwin-built 2-8-0 as she pulls her “Mountain Thunder” passenger train through Helmstetter’s Curve on its route from Cumberland to Frostburg.
734, primary power for many years on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, is undergoing re-building in the railroad’s shops, but the mountains around the famous curve will soon echo an even more “thundering” sound, as the tourist railroad plans to introduce a huge, handsome and powerful articulated (two sets of drivers) 2-6-6-2 steam locomotive, Chesapeake and Ohio No. 1309, for its 2017 season.
This moment was captured on Fujichrome-100 slide film, pushed to E.I. 400, through an
EF 100-300mm F/4.5-5.6 USM lens, wearing a polarizing filter on my Canon EOS-1.
I'm happy to say this is my 1,000th photo published to F-C.
Natürlich, it has a story about how I chose it and
why it happens to have a life-long resonance for me.
You may read it here: