This is “Waumbeck”, the last of the coal fired steam locomotives making the trip up Mount Washington, New Hampshire.
Throughout our lives, hiking the southwestern flanks of the Presidential Range in New Hampshire was accompanied by the Mount Washington Cog Railway, originally started in 1869. There was no ignoring these beasts. With piercing steam whistle blasts and the clanking of the rails, hiking solitude was broken on a frequent basis. The most noteworthy part of the railway were the huge clouds of billowing, black smoke coming from the smokestacks. And at any time, there could be three, four, five trains on the mountain at one time, and each train burned one ton of coal for the trip. If you hiked anywhere near the tracks, you’d often be enveloped in the choking black smoke.
Hikers came to nickname the train, “The Cumulus Bituminous.”
“Waumbeck” is the only coal train still running, and it only makes one trip up the mountain, the first of the day. All other trains running up and down the mountain are now powered by biodiesel fuel. (Now it’ll smell like french fries, I suppose.) Although the venerable coal trains have long been a tradition on the mountain, I’m glad that we can all breathe easier now.
To see this image larger, click on the image above to chug over to the Planes, Trains & Automobiles Gallery.
This image was derived from several different HDR processing programs: Photomatix Pro 4, HDR Expose, and HDR Efex Pro. (You can get discounts on these programs on this blog.) Each program provided a component that was best suited to the image I had in mind. After creating the composite image, which involved a fair bit of masking and adjustment, I did a little grunge work with onOne Phototools Professional, and then added a bit of vignetting using NIK Color Efex Pro.