Southern Pacific freight train switching out empty Pacific Fruit Express cars at Edison, California, at dusk on June 21, 1985. On the following day, the train will deliver the empty cars to the potato packing shed at Arvin for loading. The deep crimson sky is the result of lingering ash from the El Chichon volcano in Mexico, which had erupted over three years earlier on March 28, 1982. At the time of the photo, tensions exited between the railroad and the potato growers and packers due to an insufficient supply of cars to ship the harvest. The Southern Pacific had a long history of mixed relations with the agriculture markets it served, and was vilified under the name "Pacific & Southwestern Railroad" in Frank Norris's 1901 novel The Octopus. The photographer had hoped to sell a story on the harvest to the railroad, but did not due to the conflict. She did, however, receive a large crate of potatoes from the packing shed (but only after explaining that was not affiliated with the railroad).