Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Twilight photo in the city of churches

Posted by Matt Van Hattem
on Friday, August 19, 2011

Canadian National freight crossing Broadway in downtown Waukesha at 8:28 p.m. on August 11

Throughout the month of August, I want to try a photography project that focuses on the trains in TRAINS Magazine's backyard. How many different pictures can be taken in a circle extending 10.27 miles from downtown Waukesha, Wis.?

Waukesha may not have a skyline the way, say, New York or Chicago does, but this small Wisconsin town has a collection of distinctive and photogenic church steeples, and I'll often try to work them into my train pictures.

Part of this is personal interest, too. My dad's a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church. That makes me the second PK (preacher's kid) to work for Trains, since longtime editor David P. Morgan's father was also a pastor.

Canadian National's main line through Waukesha seems more active at night. I took this twilight photo of a southbound CN freight crossing Broadway in downtown Waukesha at 8:28 p.m. on August 11. The towering spire of the first Congregational Church frames the scene on the right.

Those empty lumber cars are a common sight on CN's long freight trains, although the empties are usually headed north back to Canada, not southbound.

What I like:

The twilight lighting, and the town as seen through the blurred lumber cars.

What I don't like:

You cannot see the headlights of the waiting automobiles at the grade crossing because they're blocked by a pair of freight car wheels. I should have taken the photo about a second sooner. It might have made the picture more dramatic. What do you think?

Flickr: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS' backyard album
Facebook: Trains Magazine Facebook Page

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