about about search support browse contact

Locomotive Reflected on a Rail (editor's title)

Diesel Locomotive Reflected on Rail
A Milwaukee Road freight train waits on the main line to enter the Portage, Wisconsin, yards on a late afternoon, detained by yard congestion. The orange and black locomotive is very near the center of the frame, and its image is reflected in the shiny left rail of the track. The photographer was the locomotive engineer, who "set camera on rail...I was always looking for a way to get different photos." Farence had the knack of seizing an opportunity in midst of boredom, forgetting the tieups and concentrating on his hobby. Such rail-reflection images are rare because of the obvious dangers involved. Since Farence was the engineer, he could take his time to compose a very satisfactory photograph. The photographer/engineer--and the rest of his crew--were very much aware that the Milwaukee would not survive long. As he stated ironically, " because in those days the MILW was so average and we all knew it would be around forever." His comment reflects the affection that railroaders had for both their lines and the industry in general. The Soo Line railway acquired the Milwaukee on January 1, 1986. In the linked MP3 audio file, Farence talks about why he took photographs during his working days.
Source Tom Farence
Coverage Spatial, Portage, Wisconsin; Temporal, 1976
Rights Tom Farence
Date Created 1978
Resource Type
Extent 35 mm
Depicted Railroad
Location Portage, Wisconsin
Image Type Art photograph of the railroad
Train Type Freight train
Equipment, Locomotive No. 2068, GP40
Builder, locomotive Electro-Motive Division, General Motors
Creator Description Tom Farence went to work for the Milwaukee Road in 1966. He continued his railroad career on the Canadian Pacific, I&M RailLink, and Iowa, Chicago & Eastern until retiring on disability in 2005. The photos here were taken while he was in engine service between Milwaukee and Portage, Wisconsin, through 1986.
Collection Tom Farence Collection
Or, go to the Search Page
You can search the photos and collections using the links at the top, or log in to use the Forums and other features of the site.
Create a Login
Forget your password?


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
and Trainmen

Brotherhood's Relief and Compensation Fund
California State Railroad Museum
Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Cleveland Memory Project (CSU)
Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Lake Forest College Special Collections
McLean County Museum of History
Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive
Norfolk Southern Corporation
North American Railway Foundation
New York Transit Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

  About Copyright © 2013 Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Major support provided by the North American Railway Foundation