IN THE FIELD: Railroad Museum

Recently I was honored with a private tour of the Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania, located in the eastern part of the state. The invitation gave me the luxury to photograph the site without the distractions from daily visitors.

And I will say, I am glad my mother taught me good manners, so when I was asked by yet another volunteer if I was “that photographer that came to take pictures”, I was able to graciously nod and reply with a smile, “Yes, it’s me.” Apparently, they are not used to seeing someone walk around their museum with a camera and lens attached to a tripod slung over his shoulder and schlepping a camera backpack.

The museum houses one of the most significant collections of historic railroad artifacts in the world. Inside the museum you will find steam, diesel, and electric powered locomotives, freight, passenger, baggage, mail cars, and cabooses that have, thankfully, been preserved for years to come. There is also a mock train station complete with an operating telegraph office and a few store fronts that would have been found near the railroad station.

Also depicted are dioramas illustrating the daily life of a railroad worker. Memorabilia such as tools, parts of machines, lanterns, benches that would be found at a typical train station, plus other artifacts and artwork were displayed as well. One room called the “Education Room” is provided for children and adults alike, to learn the operations of a railroad. Inside this room are small train layouts of various types and sizes that can be operated at the push of a button.

Lighting conditions for this shoot were, at times, a bit of a challenge. There are skylights through out the building along with overhead lights. With it being a sunny windy day with clouds passing over the skylights, the light was constantly changing. I was switching between flash or no flash, daylight to cloudy to flash white balance settings, along with shutter speeds, that were all over the map.

By now, you have probably figured out I am obsessed with trains and boats. And I promise, I promise, I promise…I won’t write the next 15 posts about trains. Although, when it comes to boats, all bets are off.

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  1. February 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Ah, no, I am very excited to read more and to see more posts about them, dear David 🙂 I am crazy with trains… and sounds it is amazing museum… I would like to see more from there. What a nice red colour! You are lucky to have a railroad museum in there. Thank you dear David, with my love, nia

    • February 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

      It is a really nice museum. They have a section outdoors also so you will see some photos from that area too. Trains and boats are my obsession!

  2. February 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Bring on more pics!!! They have got to be nothing but good you lucky ducky you!

    • February 29, 2012 at 9:50 am

      More pics are coming…they have an outdoor area…it was freezing and really really windy so it made it a little difficult to concentrate. Brrrrrrrrrr. This is a place I will be heading back to for sure!!!

  3. February 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    When I was in college my grandparents retired from Philadelphia to the Strasburg area. As a train fanatic I was in heaven. I know this place and visited often until they passed away. It’s an amazing place. There are few places you can go and see rolling stock in pristine condition. I remember, when I was young watching the GG1s blast past the platforms when we’d meet grandpa at the station. At this museum there’s one still looking shiny and new!

    • February 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

      It is a great museum! There is something there for everyone. There is another GG-1 outside also waiting for restoration…along with a bunch of other locos!!!

  4. February 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Wonderful. I’d really like to see more photos of trains please. We have many Steam Galas in England and it’s always a thrill to ride in a carriage pulled by one of the old engines. I’m a great fan of trains of all ages.

    • February 29, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Meanderer, more photos coming…this was just a teaser. I would rather travel by train than by airplane any day!

  5. February 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Looks like a fun place to visit. Love that beautiful red and gold!

    • February 29, 2012 at 9:57 am

      It’s a fantastic place to hang out…for days or weeks!!! The Pennsy had some really nice color combinations…freight locomotives were usually black or brunswick green (almost black) and passenger colors were tuscan red.

  6. February 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    What a wonderful experience for you! I like the crisp photo and the shiny red paint!

    • February 29, 2012 at 10:00 am

      It was shiny all right!!! Even when in use the railroad tried to keep them as clean as they could.Tthey had an image to uphold!

  7. February 28, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Sounds like you were in your element – love the pic, and look forward to seeing some more!

    • February 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Yup sure was!!! With me, everything stops for trains and wooden boats…more photos to come!

  8. Nandini
    February 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    All that sounds fantastic and such a fun for the camera as well! And nice photo, David. The red and golden combination reminds me of Gryffindor house from the HP books, with all the positiveness. Hehe, I don’t even know if you are familiar with all that. 🙂

  9. March 1, 2012 at 8:38 am

    It is a fantastic place to visit and ya know…it does have the same colors as Gryffindor House…gold lion and red shield!!! Good catch Nandini!!

  10. March 2, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Oh wow, that’s so cool, a private tour! Very nice! 😀 Great picture, it’s so difficult to take pictures of these shiny trains in museums, because of all those lights around them 🙂

    • March 2, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Yes it was pretty cool having the opportunity to wander around anywhere I wanted…with the guide of course. You’re right…those reflections on the shiny trains can be a challenge due to the lights!

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