The month of April is always busy, and this year it has been that and more. During April I have managed to visit and take photographs in 13 states on three separate trips. Somehow since April 1 I have traveled from New Jersey and visited Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kansas, and Missouri! The New England states were pat of a trip including family to Massachusetts to visit a cousin and his family and watch my brother run the Boston Marathon. It's been a month filled with wonder and with new experiences, as well as some grounding experiences with fear and with frustration - all in all, an intense and balanced experience.
A trip with wonderful friend Jon Kayes to Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas early in the month yielded some great photo opportunities. One of them was the Canton, NC paper mill job on a picture-perfect morning.
The South is loaded with great railroad opportunities if you know where to look, and Jon does. I am glad to travel and be part of the trip, and excited to be able to record images like this. One of the really neat opportunities in the coal fields is that NS still uses cabooses in some operations, thanks to long shoving moves on many of the mine runs. Here's one of the rebuilt NS cabooses with a heritage N&W decal at Frisco, VA.
At a glance both of these photos show that even in 2023 there is a lot of interesting railroading left out there - you just need to take the trip!
The month ended with lots of model railroad activity, where auxiliary light installations continued as well as operations on a variety of railroads. Lighting installations are adding more than I expected to the atmosphere of the Onondaga Cutoff.
And thanks to good graces with my family I have also been able to attend a few operating sessions locally, including one at Tony Koester's home on his incredible Nickel Plate Road. Jim Leighty offered to snap a photo, and got me and Tony together with Tom Schmieder and Ed Bush in the background. Operating sessions are a time to come together and help make the owner's railroad come to life.
As time goes on, change rolls along, and it is important to document moments in photographs and in words to ensure the long journey of life is remembered and enjoyed. We are fortunate to be able to live in a time when so much is possible. As April comes to a close, I wish you health and the best fortunes for May and the warmer weather coming soon!