One cool Fall Sunday in the late 1970's, I jumped on the
MBTA trolley at Milton Lower Mills and headed into Boston on a mission to
find the most beautiful locomotive ever to grace the rails, the ex Santa Fe
Alco PA's. The Delaware and Hudson had leased the PA's to the MBTA for the
power short Boston commuter service, and for a short but glorious few months,
these beauties led commuter varnish in and out of Boston.
Unfortunately, for some reason, all the photos I took
with my Mamiya Sekor 35mm on this particular day were absolutely horrible.
Over-exposed, under-exposed, grainy, etc. and to make matters even worse,
there were no second chances because within weeks, the PA's were gone,
returned to the D&H, bumped by newly purchased power.
As disappointed as one could ever be, I took the cruddy
photos and the negatives and slipped them away into storage, with all of the
other "bad order" photographs and slides I took during that period.
Over 25 years later, I found the old ALCO PA negatives
and, with the help of a decent scanner and a wee bit assistance from modern digital image
enhancing software, I was able to bring this photograph back to life. Little
did I know way back when that patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to
photography and technology.
Still not a perfect photo for a number of obvious
reasons, Ex Santa Fe Number 18 still appears alive and well and maybe all
that effort to not throw out them negatives was indeed worth it. Oh what