Limited time only: Get Pro member benefits for $59.88/year. Access Stats, Priority Directory listing and more!Upgrade now

Back in Time

Published February 26th, 2012

With the recent demise of Kodak, it got me thinking of a day back in 1980. Pretty much everything depicted in this story's pictures is long gone. The GP50 diesel locomotive is in a scrap yard, the steam locomotive is in a museum, Southern Railway is now part of Norfolk Southern, the Nikon FM2 I shot this with is long gone, and my friend's Ford Pinto that took us to this place is just a memory.

Thanks to great scanning from ScanCafe, these old slides came back to life.


Hot Shot No More

When I took this picture, this particutlar locomotive (an EMD GP50) was the newest and hottest engine on the Southern Railroad. It was pulling the fastest and highest-priority trains (like this piggyback train). Today, it and the beautiful Southern Railway paint scheme are just a memory.

  • June 26th, 1982
  • Nikon FM2

Hot Stuff Again (for a while)

Back in 1980, this steam locomotive (Norfolk & Western Class J Number 611) was once again a hot commodity on the railroad. After only being in service for about 10 years, it was retired in 1960 and relegated to the Roanoke (Virginia) Transportation Museum. That's where I got to know it, and love it, as a kid. I used to visit the museum with my Aunt and Uncle, where I was able to climb in the cab and pretend I was running the locomotive on the mainline. I dreamed then that some day 'the J' would be back running again, but did not really think I would actually happen. Sure enough, it did, and 'the J' enjoyed a great resurgence of popularity in the early 1980s, running all over the Norfolk Southern system. I was lucky enough to get to see it i places like this (Lawyers, Virginia).

  • June 26th, 1982
  • Nikon FM2

Not So Hot

OK, two out of three isn't bad. The other two pictures are awesome due to the amazing subjects included, this was great for sentimental reasons. This little car took my friend and I to many great places, including to see two great locomotives in Lawyers, Virginia.

  • June 30th, 1980
  • Nikon Nikon super Coolscan 5000 ED

Login or sign up to comment.

Robert Potter  over 6 years ago

I like your little "down memory lane" photo story.