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844 Crosses the Mojave | by Kurt Lawson
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844 Crosses the Mojave

Union Pacific 4-8-4 steam locomotive 844 glides over the Mojave River in the second bridge in Afton Canyon. I love the way the smoke is in and out of the girders on the bridge, and UP's colorful consist blends well with the splash of green and yellow in the river bed. A beautiful sight.


I took a break from my usual landscape shots to indulge my childhood fascination with steam locomotives. In the electronic age it's crazy to think of how much power is controlled by purely mechanical means here. It's hard to imagine something like this being built today, and yet in 1944 such a beautiful locomotive was made without any of the modern computerized tools we all take for granted today.

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Taken on November 20, 2011