Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge:
Public transportation (bus, planes, trains, etc.

One day, Owen met a guy who turned out to be a conductor on a train that runs through Worcester. It’s a very old narrow-gauge train and its maximum speed is 5 mph.

“Take pictures!” I told him. He had never taken pictures except for a few snapshots, so I wasn’t expecting much. And he still rarely takes pictures, but he could. The pictures are great.

The conductor climbs up the engine into the engine

Heading into the woods

Leaving the yard

This is our train. There are two of them and our Department of Transportation runs these trains three or four times a week to keep them functional. This is the train created to run through places where no other traffic could go.

Train in the yard

Through a meadow, passing the long stone fence

Heading into a curve as the rain begins to fall

There are no roads nor will there be. The train travels through woods, swamps, and meadows. It slowly passes long-defunct mills and factories, past sludgy canals and dark swamps. Not only is this a look at an old train, but it’s also a look at parts of the Blackstone Valley no one sees because it is inaccessible.

Passing trains

About to pass

Looking out the window into the rain

Pulling back into the yard

Welcome to the Blackstone Valley. Have a look at our history as the home of America’s industrial revolution. This is where all manufacturing industries began in the U.S. and why we are a historical corridor.


  1. Owen would know but these look like quite old types of diesel to me. Very similar in looks to ones that were built in South Australia in the fifties. I always think industrial lines are very interesting because you get to see things that you wouldn’t normally see. Owen was very lucky to have the opportunity.


    • I think these go back to the 1920s, maybe the teens. They look like my brother’s old Lionel trains. They are still running in many places. The tracks fall apart, but I think those engines can be repaired forever.


      • As long as there are people who know how to make the parts and fix them. They are not as complicated as modern locomotives. Australia did not really get a lot of diesels until after WWII. The Commonwealth Railways had a class of locomotive called GM that resembled the streamlined loco in one of Owen’s pictures. I know you had diesels in the USA much earlier than we did.


        • These narrow gauge trains aren’t made anymore, so they really have to keep them repaired. But they aren’t getting abused and aren’t hauling heavy loads … and you are right. Any decent machine shop can manufacture parts that need replacing.

          Liked by 1 person

              • There are many different narrow gauges and a couple of different broad gauges but only one standard gauge 4′ 8 1/2″. Still I guess if there were more than one it wouldn’t be “standard”. One of the first things I learned at school in Australia was that there were three gauges in use and that in South Australia we had all three of them. No railfan was ever going to forget that.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful tradition. I love trains (except when they’re blocking traffic at one of only three intersections to ‘the other side’ in town). Those pictures were amazing. I’d love to ride that train past those defunct factories and mills, and see the inaccessible parts of New England. Up here, there’s an old train called “The Heber Creeper” (because it calls Heber Valley ‘home’) which does similar runs (not that Utah has many inaccessible places left). They do an Autumn run where one is taken up the canyons and the autumn leaves are viewed. Box lunch provided. I’m glad some still value the slow, easy pace of the old time train. It’s good soul food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We really wanted very much to drive up into Utah from Arizona, but there was a lot of snow in the north when we were there last time in January 2016 and the time before that (2008), it was the middle of summer and we went south to Deadwood, Old Tucson, and finally to the Grand Canyon — and then ran out of time. Garry wants very badly to see Monument Valley where John Ford shot so many of his westerns.

      It’s hard to make arrangements there because it’s all Native-owned. You can’t do anything online and a lot of time no one is answering the phone. AND we would have needed a 4X4 and the prices rental places were asking were obscene.

      I hope we get out there one more time, though given one thing or another, I rather doubt it. I thought we’d fixed enough stuff to get through until next summer, but one of our toilets broke last night and both the toilet and the floor under it have to be replace. Owen can do it, but he works full time, so it’s difficult to find enough time to do it.

      It’s always SOMETHING, you know?


    • There are a lot more, but these seemed to look like they would translate better into black & white. I’ll do some more at some point. They also all need re-processing. I’ve come a long way since I first got these pictures 😀


  3. Marilyn, in your wisdom, since the U.S.A. has been to the forefront of so much change, and as Leonard Cohen sings, the great change Spiritually will take hold there, is there any cure to avarice and greed, before we ruin the planet altogether. Food for thought, ask your pals, this could be the start of the great debate, have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’ve already agreed that greed is the number one, with pride a hot number two. I have better-to-do friends who are statedly willing to pay more taxes just to get rid of our current administration. Not every person with money is as big a jerk as the ones currently in office.


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