|Houston from Tower 26,West Street, 5th ward (250mm ƒ/5.6 Hasselblad Sonnar lens, yellow-green filter)|
Three railroad lines cross at a junction in northeast Houston called Tower 26. There is no tower there any more, but the name has lingered. It appears to be a popular spot for railroad photographers because it has public access via West Street. Serious freight trains thunder by on regular intervals.
I had been looking for an interesting place to photograph railroads and drove to Tower 26 on December 17 of last year (2022). A fellow came up to me rather excited and asked if I was there to see the classic xxx rail cars. I was not quite sure what he was describing, but in a few minutes, the Polar Express trundled by, complete with restored passenger cars containing kids wearing their pajamas and at least one Santa Claus. OK, I had not expected that. What timing.
|Modified Polar Express rail car with picture window (80mm Planar-CB lens, no filter)|
|Polar Express en route back to Galveston|
|View east from Tower 26 junction (80mm Planar-CB lens)|
|Rail line junction, view east to downtown Houston (50mm ƒ/4 Distagon lens)|
Tower 26 is northeast of the downtown in the district formerly known as the Fifth Ward. Some of it is pretty rough. I saw some abandoned cottages near the tracks of the type that remind me of west Jackson (Mississippi).
|1510 West Street (med. yellow filter)|
|Facing the tracks, no address|
|Ready to move in, 2404 Brooks Street|
Update March 26, 2023: These little cottages have recently been demolished. The land is bare and freshly scraped. Tractors and trucks were parked near the site.
Standby for more photographs in the Fifth Ward.
I took these photographs on Kodak Panatomic-X
film with my Hasselblad 501CM medium format camera. Praus Productions in Rochester developed the film. I scanned it on a Minolta Scan Multi film scanner using the Tri-X 400 6×6 profile. The Silverfast software does not have a Panatomic-X profile, but the Tri-X showed the right tonality.
|My Hasselblad 501CM with 80mm ƒ/2.8 Planar-CB lens and correct hood|
Update April 15, 2023: I returned to Tower 26 on March 26. I met a gent (an MD from MD Anderson Hospital) taking photographs. When I told him I had taken some frames of the Polar Express, he said he was on that ride with his young son. He sent me a clip from the video he took during the ride. It can be a small world among photographers.
|Dorky photographer with his Hasselblad at Tower 26|
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