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.