California State Railroad Museum [July 1999]

Railfair 1999

Billed as the largest gathering of live mainline steam since the 1950s, Railfair 1999 drew over 50,000 visitors per day at its peak on Father's Day. The Amtrak Capitols were filled to standing-room-only capacity. Aside from mainline steam, the event drew logging and switch engines, and diesels from other California museums. Amtrak provided an F59PHI along with an air-conditioned lounge car, and BNSF brought a brand spanking new C44-9W.

Although Railfair was a target-rich environment for photography, one had to cope with the mob of people, constantly moving in and out of view. However, people were an integral part of the event, so my goal for this session was to capture not just the machines, but the expressions of human beings being themselves.

Father's Day 1999. And what better way to celebrate
than to join the crowd at Railfair '99. This shot was
in the early morning hours, when you could still see
the ballast in the yard. As the day wore on, the crowd
reached sardine-can proportions.
BNSF C44-9W 4419, representative of modern
railroading, sparkles in the afternoon sun.
The ever-popular SP 4449 Daylight. Note the airhorn
mounted above the headlights.
The Pacific Locomotive Association proudly
presented their newly-restored 4-6-2 Pacific,
SP 2467.
The San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society's
Big New Santa Fe 3751, visiting from Redondo
"Yes Dear, big articulateds turn me on, too..."

The Union Pacific steam program provided two
engines, 4-8-4 844, and Challenger 3895.

From biggest to smallest, steam was everywhere. This
little guy, an 0-4-0 tank engine, is Edison Portland
Cement #3. This was later in the afternoon, notice how
the crowd in the background has grown.

[May 1999][June 1999]