Railfest 2012



Engines on the tracks at Railfest at Steamtown NHS during Labor Day weekend, 01 September 2012.

La Festa Italiana coincided with Railfest at Steamtown NHS, so we walked over and checked it out.  I’m not a train fanatic, but I have a deep appreciation for them.  The era of steam locomotives was one of incredible technological feats.  They were huge and complicated, both built and controlled entirely without the electronics we depend on today.  Everything was mechanical.  There’s something remarkable about that – a true feat of engineering.

It’s a shame that we, as a country, allowed our rail network to be reduced and replaced by the automobile and interstate highway system.  But enough of that for now – this was a festival, and it was far more fun to admire the trains and marvel at the restoration work that’s been done on them.

Turntable area inside the roundhouse at Railfest at Steamtown NHS during Labor Day weekend, 01 September 2012.

Engines undergoing work in the roundhouse at Railfest at Steamtown NHS during Labor Day weekend, 01 September 2012.

Track repair craft at Railfest at Steamtown NHS during Labor Day weekend, 01 September 2012.

Private Wisconsin train car at Railfest at Steamtown NHS during Labor Day weekend, 01 September 2012.

Engines and cars at Railfest at Steamtown NHS during Labor Day weekend, 01 September 2012.

I love this last photo the best.  It evokes a sense of nostalgia in me, like the old photos of busy railyards at the turn of the last century, busy and filled with passenger and freight cards from all over the region.  Most of these cars won’t ever ride the rails again; they’re waiting to be restored, many barely holding together amid rust and neglect.  But you can’t see any of that here, so just for the moment it’s like stepping back.

© Copyright Brent Pennington: Photographer - Designed by Pexeto