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A Little Background Info About Me

I have always been facinated by trains. The town I grew up in had a spur line from the L&N that was supposed to be a through line, but building a bridge over the river was just too costly. We saw train traffic usually 3 days a week with one four axle road switcher and a hand full of cars. It seems it was mainly lumber, sand, and grain for or from the feed mill. Over time the traffic really cut back and eventually the line was abandoned. The small depot building still stands today, a testiment to the fact, we did have rail service at one time.

My father's parents lived in Bowling Green right across the street from the L&N mainlines through Bowling Green. I remember sitting on the front porch watching trains and waving to the crews as they flew through town. My uncle used trains as a way to help foster counting and classifying cars in my head, a way to push the brain to new limits, even to a very young boy. I could do it then, but probably couldn't do it today.

I was volunteering at the Bluegrass Railroad Museum when one day in the Spring of 2003, I was asked to either stay and be in charge (had only been there a few operating months, I don't think so), or go get pictures of an engine that had been donated to the museum and was being moved that day from eastern KY to Louisville, to later be shipped to Evansville, IN. Having been interested in photography since high school, as a hobby only, chasing the train sounded like a much better deal to me. I went home and got my camera and headed to Lexington to meet up with another member who knew the route real well but didn't have that reliable of a vehicle, so I drove. We caught the engine, dead in tow, several times that day and were having a great time, even met up with others in Frankfort who joined the chase. Then we got to Bagdad. I found a hole, filled with water, that would have swolled a VW Bug. My right front tire buried itself in that hole and poor Thomas bounced off the roof of the truck. Camera equipment, scanners, snacks, it all went flying, but we did get the pictures at that location. However, the damage was done. I was able to drive the truck some, but not well. Ended up with a busted shock, broke a sensor off the front axle (4X4), shorted out part of the electronic ignition, and seems like there was more. We ended up riding with someone else and actually got into Osborne Yard to see the engine arrive. After that run, even with a busted up truck (we are not going to talk about the repair bills), I got interested in railfanning in earnest. I had lived less than a mile from the NS Louisville District and had heard trains all hours of the day and night for several years, and had just never thought about, didn't have time, wife would not understand (take your pick), but I had the bug so I started off railfanning the NS Louisville District from a DeLorme map. I bought a scanner and got the frequencies for NS in this area, and I was off and running. I kept hearing about this one guy who knows the NS Central Division pretty well, but some don't seem to get along with him too well. I kept an open mind and when I met him at Talmage for a parade of trains, he didn't seem that bad to me. We have been railfanning together since, and most all I know of the NS Central Division I have picked up from him or through him.

I started out with a Pentax camera that I had from high school days. I just was not getting the quality I thought I should be getting, so I bought a newer Pentax (still a lower level budget minded camera) with autofocus, autowind, and a few other nifty items in the summer of 2003. I still was not happy with the quality of photos I was getting, not real consistant. While on vacation November 2003, I jumped into the deep end of the pool, and I don't swim, and bought a Canon Digital Rebel. All train pictures since then have been made with the Rebel, with Canon and Sigma lenses and the difference in quality really shows. The equipment will not make a photographer, but it sure can ruin one.