My impression as history continues to unfold at Spencer

Posted by Chase Gunnoe
on Saturday, May 31, 2014

As the weekend festivities continue to unfold at Spencer’s historic gathering of over two dozen cab units and ceremonial start to the restoration of N&W J-Class 611, I’m now able to comprehend the reality of this exclusive gathering and the pride and happiness its created through leaders in the industry, participating organizations, and visiting enthusiasts.

Dodging raindrops on the evening of Thursday’s “Preview Day”, I watched a sliver of sun emerge from threatening storm clouds long enough to illuminate the noses of each cab-unit surrounding the roundhouse. The low evening sun accompanied with dark storm clouds enhanced the distinctive paint schemes on each locomotive pictured. Those brief minutes of full sun highlighted the small details in each of the distinctive paint schemes.


As a young photographer who didn't experience the era of first generation diesels in regular service, I have grown to appreciate documenting first generation equipment whether cosmetically restored or in operation on tourist lines, or in some rare instances, regular freight service. Understanding the concept of having such a diverse collection in a single location was unimaginable and even as announcements were released on equipment additions, I could not make myself comprehend the visual impact of this event until I arrived on the museum grounds this week.

Being able to document such a unique collection operating primarily on its own power has made the event even more indescribable. The superb coordination, support, and participation between all of the involved organizations, companies, and sponsors have created for a very well structured and enjoyable event.

I’ve been honored to exchange introductions between talented photographers, industry leaders, and preservationists throughout the weekend. Witnessing such an extraordinary amount of talent and inspiring leadership has impacted me as much as the photographing of the featured locomotives.

The Streamliners at Spencer event to me has signified that ideas and teamwork can result in surreal and dynamic outcomes…  My hat is off to all who made this weekend a reality! 


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