Nevada Northern Railway 2021 – The Prequel

Recall that a year ago, I ventured to Ely NV to participate in a photography workshop at the Nevada Northern Railway. I had a wonderful weekend with lots of great photography, so I returned for this year’s workshop. There was quite a difference in the shooting this year versus last. We had two running locomotives last year and only one this year. The attendees were different this year – an older group and not as mobile in some ways, limiting certain locations. And then there was the weather! Last year we had some older snow on the ground, but mostly just cooler temperatures. This year we got snowed on all day Saturday! You will see the snow in a future post. Shooting in snow has special challenges, but I’ll save that discussion. For now, the drive to Ely and the day before the workshop started.

The drive across U.S 50, The Loneliest Highway, was uneventful. I did, however, come across the best sky and light at Sand Mountain that I’ve ever seen.

Situated between Fallon and Middlegate, Sand Mountain is a popular recreation area. I took this photo from US 50.

The workshop didn’t start until 3 p.m., so I had some free time to fill. I had grand plans – a drive to Hamilton, a mining camp active from about 1868 for a couple decades, now a ghost town. Located 36 miles west of Ely and about 10 more miles off US 50, I headed out with high hopes. After five miles of interesting dirt road, I abandoned this quest and headed back to Ely. I caught this gorgeous view of the Diamond Mountains across the Newark Valley.

When the Nevada skies have character, they really have character! A great view from the Mokomoke Mountains in the White Pine Range.

I decided to see what was new in the East Ely Yard, so I grabbed cameras and tripod, checked in at the Museum Store, and headed into the Yard.

This sign is on the East Ely Depot. The information is correct, as those offices still exist on the second floor.

In the Yard, I found these cars. The NNRY is a time capsule as many of these cars were parked and haven’t moved in 30-40 years.

Heading into the Machine Shop and the Engine House, I found a couple surprises!

Locomotive 40 is sitting in the Engine House, waiting for its turn in the Machine Shop for boiler maintenance. My lovely bride and I were in Ely last October for its last weekend of operation.

Great light on the front of Locomotive 40.

I had the 100 mm Macro lens on the 6D II, so I shot some close ups and played with a little focus stacking. This image was made from multiple exposures and three focal planes.

Locomotive 81 is in the Machine Shop, nearing completion of its overhaul and coming back into service. The crew at the NNRY is painting the boiler jacket green, as it was in the 1950’s.

Stay tuned! There’s lots more coming – three more days of photography at the NNRY and then the drive home! Until next time – enjoy! PHOTOROGR