ESCANABA & LAKE SUPERIOR 1221, ONTONAGON, MICHIGAN, MAY 20, 2010
Sigma 17-70 at 21mm
1/500 sec. f11
A generation ago, railroad photographers raced to document the steam locomotives of America, fast disappearing under an onslaught of modern diesels. Today my age cohort is hustling to capture those first-generation diesels, now working mostly on short lines, before they, too, vanish. I was 16 years old when this classic 1,750-horsepower SD9 emerged from the Electro-Motive Division shops at La Grange, Illinois, in September, 1956, and went to work for Reserve Mining Co. around Duluth, Minnesota. Now Reserve Mining is gone, but wheezy old 1221 still labors for the bankrupt Escanaba & Lake Superior short line in upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin. Click the photo for a large version.