Chasing Trains:

Railroad Photography by Paul Flaherty

I chase trains.

Railfanning is one of those things in life that you either understand, or you don't understand at all. The attraction has elements of anticipation (waiting several hours trackside in the snow), thrill (the thunderous low bass tones of the engines and the rumble of the wheels) and romance (railroads are both a part of the past and future of America). Tom Wolfe once wrote of the train as the ultimate evidence of man's creative ability -- moving a 20,000 ton train at 70 mph though river gorges and underneath mountains.

I started watching trains with my Dad and older brother when I was 12. One year later, I started taking pictures and chasing trains all over Minnesota. School pressures forced me to give up the hobby, but you never forget the anticipation and thrill. Finally, In 1997, after a gap of 15 years, I returned to railfanning and photography.

Like most fans, I have a favorite railroad, the Great Northern, which became the Burlington Northern in 1970 and is now the Burlington Northern Santa Fe. I'm a member of the Great Northern Railway Historical Society, and I volunteer on the Niles Canyon Railway as the Assistant General Manager. My primary interest has always been photography of trains (I'm a lousy modeler), and so this section of my site deals mostly with pictures taken both recently and in the past.

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Copyright 2004 Paul Flaherty All Rights Reserved