Light Snow, East Ely Yard
9 x 12 Oil on linen
A winter snowstorm has settled into the mountains of Central Nevada. Here, the Nevada Northern Railway's main yard at East Ely is at the southern most tip of the Steptoe Valley. Just beyond the snowstorm is Saxton Peak. Further back in the mountains is the Ruth Mining District, home of one of the largest copper pits on the continent, and the reason this railyard is here.
Portrait of a Lady in Waiting
13.5 x 16.5 Oil on linen
Nevada Northern Railway's Locomotive 93 was delivered here, to the East Ely Yard, over 100 years ago. She is a heavy freight locomotive who spent most of her life hauling copper ore out of the mines and up to the smelter. Today she is in excellent working order and still hauls passengers on the same rails that she has used for over a century.
Her crew is getting her ready for a long Saturday. She will work her way up and back down the mountain three times today. Her crew has lubricated hundreds of points, filled her tender with over 7000 gallons of water, and fired her boiler to 180 lbs/sq.in. In a few moments she will move out of the engine house to pick up around 5 tons of coal, then couple up to the passenger cars for a run "up the hill" toward the Ruth mine.
14 x 11 Oil on linen
Backside of the water tower and coal towers at the East Ely Yard of the Nevada Northern Railway. The railway's main yard is just beyond the water tower.
These structures were built to service a roster of over 20 coal-fired steam engines serving central copper mines in the mountains of Central Nevada during the first half of the 20th century. Several steam engines built new for this railroad 100 years ago have been preserved, and are still in operation today.
This property has been acclaimed as the best preserved standard-gauge short line in America by the Smithsonian. Just to the right of this scene, sheep are gently grazing in a wonderful spring-fed pasture.
Sidetracked in Abilene
12 x 12 Oil on linen
Three strings of empty hopper cars await their call to duty in the Santa Fe rail yard at Abilene's CO-OP grain elevator.
11 x 14 Oil on linen
An Autumn view of the Nevada Northern Railway's East Ely Yard from the shelter of the historic freight house. It has been a stormy day with more rain on the way. At a mile high in elevation, it will not be very long before stormy days like this produce a heavy layer of snow.
16 x 16 Oil on linen
This was one of my favorite structures. It was materials yard near a railroad siding in the harbor area of Long Beach until it was torn down in 2015. The mixture of coastal fog with a bit of industrial smog created an interesting atmosphere.
Green! Though Devore
12 x 16 Oil on linen
Returning from a NHRS convention a few years ago, Santa Fe's 3751 steam engine leans into the last curve as she descends off of the Cajon Summit.
Ahead, track signals show green for as far as the eye can see on Santa Fe's main line into San Bernardino. As evidenced by the quickly disappearing plume of smoke, the crew wastes no time reaching the speed limit through Devore since they will be very close to their mandated 12-hour workday limit by the time 3751 delivers her consist of 18 coaches to the Los Angeles Union Station later tonight.
All Is Safely Gathered In, Ere the Winter Storms Begin
16 x 12 Oil on linen
My son and his family now live in Kansas. I love to drive across the state, following lines that the prairie railroads laid over a century ago, which followed the covered wagon trails laid even earlier.
Every 15 to 25 miles or so one finds what remains of a small farming community. Their local co-op grain elevator served as the epicenter of the region's economy.
Here, on a cold, overcast day, an early winter storm approaches. So, here's to all of the brave men and women who lived their lives on the prairie, and each year, gathered the fruits of their labors into this grain elevator.