Listen to that lonesome train engine whistle…meet you on the midnight railway tracks…

Railroad crossing

She’s a railroad lady

One round railroad window

Just a little bit shady

Freight car at sunset

Spending her life on the trains

The art of Dawn

She’s a semi good looker

Illuminated fright train...

The fast rails they took ‘er


Now she’s tryin’

Empty freight car

Just tryin’

"Talk to the hand"

to get home again.


Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker

Golden rails to you...until we meet again...

Sing it again, boys…

May you enjoy the railroad photos, dear reader.  May you interpret them as you will.

I often hesitate to add my story.  Sometimes I hesitate to add my story.  OK, I hardly ever hesitate to add my story.

To interrupt the purity of the photos which tell their story no matter what the blogger attempts to share.

It was dusk.

The sun threatened to hide behind low clouds.

We had one half hour to take railway photos.

Kathy stepped from the car and ran joyously toward the train.

She immediately stepped in a puddle of water.

Her left shoe soaked in six inches of puddle.  She frowned.  It was 42 degrees.  She had a long night at the football game.  How could she have stepped in a puddle of water?

She smiled gleefully nonetheless.  Who cared when one could take train photos?

She ran alongside the train.  She snapped.  This view and that.  Here and there!  But where was the sun?  Wouldn’t it come out, please?

And then it came out.  Her heart soared.  She left her husband listening to National Public Radio and wandered the tracks.  She looked for odd angles.  She looked for the fickle light.  She patted the train’s beauty.  She admired graffiti  (also known as tagging, for you train buffs, you.)

She prompted her driver when to drive and when to stop.  Her heart beat faster than the train.  She felt free.  She felt exquisite.  She felt boundless.

She is still out there on the tracks, somewhere, heading toward the Western Sun.  She knows you are there too.

Listen to that lonesome train whistle. 

Where we disembark, no one knows.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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35 Responses to Listen to that lonesome train engine whistle…meet you on the midnight railway tracks…

  1. Elisa's Spot says:


    Out of these,I like the illuminated one best so far, no maybe the golden tracks…

  2. Dawn says:

    These are wonderful. They belong in a coffee table book. On my coffee table. My favorite…toss up between the art of Dawn (of course) and the one right under that of the lined up angled cars. Love the hand too, and the light on the back of the car…and and and….what a great opportunity you had; angled sunlight and an interesting subject and a helpful partner to drive!;

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, what a lovely thing for you to say! I like that one under “Dawn” too…and of course, Dawn…OK, these are my faves of the 50 photos I shot! It was so fun. It was so fun that the angled sunlight came out and that Barry waited so patiently in the car. (Although he wondered where I was those last ten minutes! But he gave me his extra pair of dry socks to wear, the wonderful guy.)

  3. Carol says:

    You really should look into a coffee table book you know. I’ve found to be the least expensive and they do a really nice job, as well as giving you the option of listing your book for sale.
    Lovely photos – if you’re a train buff, go see

    • Kathy says:

      Very cool link, Carol. I will check out that, as well, although I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine publishing a coffee table book! P.S. I am not a train buff like some folks. I am a buff of the unknown. To have photographed where never photographed before. That is my joy.

    • Cindy Lou says:

      I’m with you, Carol, and suggested that last year with Miss Kathy’s outdoor blog…I think it’s a fantabulous idea! 🙂

  4. “I often hesitate to add my story. Sometimes I hesitate to add my story. OK, I hardly ever hesitate to add my story.”

    Kathy, you CRACK ME UP!

    I enjoyed ALL of the photos. My favorite is “talk to the hand.”

  5. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I love it, just love it. There is obviously something about trains that sends your heart soaring!! And I’m still chuckling…..”I’m a buff of the unknown”. Actually I’m laughing out loud and Rick just pried himself away from the ball game to come in and see what’s up.

    • Kathy says:

      I’m still not sure it was the trains per se, Colleen. Perhaps. Maybe. But it’s doubtful. Because if it were the trains per se, wouldn’t I want to be taking pics of trains again? Some time? And I’m not inspired to do it again. Isn’t that WEIRD? Aren’t we humans weird? I understand myself less every day. Do you understand yourself less, too? P.S. I love that you laughed. Because you laughed, I laughed. I laugh all the time reading funny comments, don’t you?

      • Colleen says:

        Hi Kathy, maybe just the pure joy of being in that particular moment?? At least that was how it spilled into my day. The wonderful photos and words were just icing on the proverbial cake.

        Do I understand myself less? Smiling, smiling, smiling…… at times it feels as if I’ve reset back to zero and am starting from the beginning. Again. Sometimes disconcerting when I’m still 61 on the outside!

        • Kathy says:

          Yes, the pure joy of being in a particular moment! That was it. And the moment happened to be a train moment this time! How unexpected…
          You got it, girlfriend!

  6. Oh how I love you adventures and sense of humor!

    This sequence so reminds me of when I was 10 and used to walk the rails and check out the cars near the Mississipi Rivr In St Paul Minnesota….It is no wonder that we were safe?
    We would gather grain for our rabbits in the garage….

    I love the pic with the cars in stagger alignment….

    • Kathy says:

      Thinking of you walking the rails over there on the Mississippi and hearing those lonesome train engine whistles ring from years gone by. Thinking of you gathering grain for bunnies. Thinking about memories… and adventures…and humor. Thank you, Kim.

  7. John says:

    Context and perspective … it’s amazing how interesting and appealing these pictures are to us, but how resentful and annoyed the people whose property is adjacent to these tracks are. I think about the geometry, lighting and abstraction in these pictures and then I think about the letter that Sentinel ran about a year ago from the daughter of one of the property owners.

    The juxtaposition between your blog and Barry’s editorial page makes me smile. You are a very cool couple.

    • Kathy says:

      John, I read your comment to Barry this morning. I told him you said we were a cool couple. It is interesting about context and perspective. ((You want to know a little secret? OK. Here goes. I can remember getting all annoyed at the those trains and the railway companies, too. Snarlin’ mad. Annoyed mad. Irritated mad. I don’t know what changed. It’s when I started to see the lines and patterns and geometry and lighting. Then it suddenly got intriguing. So intriguing…)

  8. Susan D says:

    You do not disappoint! Like all the photos, but Freight Car at Sunset is my fave ….sigh. I am also thinking of every train song I know – a lot of good ones, including the ones you bring to mind… After reading John’s comment, seems like you were brave to capture these beauties…

    I think you managed to incorporate my hoped for football pics in there, too – well, at least the imagery … the round railroad window sorta resembles the shape of a football, and the hand, of course, is vital to the game. There are goal posts in the photos, as well …

    Thank you.

    Leaving you now with this poignant line: “If you miss the train I’m on, you will know that I am gone …. you can hear the whistle blow 500 miles…”

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, Susan, Susan! Oh ye of little football faith!! Hold your britches on. (Ha ha, does that sound like hobo talk?) I am going to show you football photos before the sun sets in the western sky. Of course, you’ve never ever seen football photos like THESE. That I promise you!

  9. Doris says:

    Kathy….Wow! would never have believed the trains looked soooooo good.
    Love the “hand”……Thanks! for showing us, there is beauty to be found if we only look……

    • Kathy says:

      Doris, you made my morning, stopping by to comment. The lighting DID make the trains look wonderful, didn’t it? (I suspect there is beauty everywhere. If we only look. Even at football games!)

  10. Robin says:

    Oh wow! I can see why you were so gleeful. My heart would have been soaring too, being able to explore (through photography) those trains. It was lovely of the sun to cooperate and give you that beautiful light.

    You captured them magnificently. I can’t pick out a favorite. I like them all.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, good, Robin, you understand! An understanding gleeful photographer with a soaring heart! It was so close to a Betrayal by the Sun. So close. But it came out and showed up and shined in its glory on the old train cars. Thank YOU so much!!

  11. Lucienne says:

    Great pics Kathy. I can almost smell the greese on the wheel one.

    Happy trails gurl!

  12. Karma says:

    I love your composition, Kathy. You have a great eye for what looks good in a photo.

  13. What fun, Kathy. Now, let’s turn you into a train chaser, taking pix of the motive power and capturing the whistles with sound!

    This is a long and boring video. I have a better one, but I haven’t posted it cause the soundtrack disappeared. Trains are all about the sound for me.

    • Kathy says:

      I can’t believe it, Carla! You really ARE a train chaser. I would have never imagined that about you. Don’t you love that there are so many sides to ourselves?

  14. Cindy Lou says:

    Your graphically beautiful photos and the words to song could have stood alone, but were oh-so-much more fun with your story! 🙂

    See how cool those boxcars are? Wouldn’t they make cozy little houses?

    • Kathy says:

      Barry insisted that I put the words to that song in. He even looked them up. I couldn’t disappoint him! Yes, yes…they would make lovely little cozy houses. In the summer. Not the winter!

  15. barb says:

    Kathy, These photos are wonderful – the lighting and your compositions spin a good yarn.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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