China : Beijing Photo Gallery Update

The Beijing City photo gallery has been updated with 14 new pictures taken in November 2012, featuring locos of classes DF4B, DF4BD, DF4C, DF4D, DF7C, DF10F, DF11, HXD3C, SS7E, SS9 and SS9G.

go to Beijing City gallery

China : Industrial Photo Gallery Update

The Chinese Industrial Railway photo galleries have been updated with more than 70 pictures from the November 2012 trip to Bajiaotai and the mining railways at Fuxin, Pingzhuang and Sandaoling.

go to China Industrial Railway galleries

go to Fuxin Mining Railway gallery
go to Pingzhuang Mining Railway gallery
go to Sandaoling Mining Railway gallery

Switzerland : Autumn Photos

Seven new galleries and over 120 photos have been added to the Switzerland photo section. These were taken on a couple of autumn trips in 2012 and feature the Gotthard main line, various routes in western Switzerland that were likely to have a few Ae6/6 workings and metre gauge operations on the Furka-Oberalp and Brünig routes, including 70 year old class 110s on InterRegio services.

go to Swiss photo galleries

10 Years of Railography

It's 10 years since my first foray onto the web, the report of a 2002 trip to China. The original Tractive Efforts site became Railography and has since grown to include over 2800 photos, almost 100 trip reports and the details of more than 2800 Chinese steam locomotives. To mark the 10th anniversary, the site has been given a new look, increasing the horizontal space and allowing more flexible presentation of content. The potential can best be seen on the home page and in a couple of new pages in a more magazine like style About Railography, which contains some background information about the site, and 10 Years Online, summarising some of the changes in railways, photography, the internet and Railography over the past decade.

There is one cautionary note: Internet Explorer 6 can't handle the new pages very well. Hardly surprising as it's even older than Tractive Efforts and didn't even comply with web standards when it was new. If you're still using IE6 please consider upgrading to a more modern, standards compliant browser. The latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera have all been tested and work successfully.

China : New Trip Report

The last few years have seen many of the best Chinese steam locations dieselise, electrify or abandon their rail systems altogether. Just enough survived to justify one last trip in November 2012. This report covers what we found at Bajiaotai, Fuxin, Pingzhuang and Sandaoling during an 18-day trip. There are also extensive observations of the current Chinese rail scene from journeys totalling over 6000km.

go to report

Switzerland : New Trip Report

Despite numerous trips to the Rhätischebahn over the last few years, I hadn’t really done much photography in the rest of Switzerland. With the veteran class Ae6/6s in serious decline it was time to address the photographic deficit. This report covers two trips in late summer and early autumn 2012. The main objectives were the Gotthard and Ae6/6s, but I also wanted a good selection of shots of Swiss main-line operations generally.

go to report

German Photos : Allgäubahn

Over the past few days I’ve added 40 pictures taken in April and June this year to the München - Kempten, Immenstadt - Lindau and Immenstadt - Oberstdorf photo galleries. The new photos show 2143s, in red and blue liveries, and 223s on ALEX trains, 218s on EC, IC and RE services and even a 294 on a pick-up goods, all in the glorious scenery of the Allgäu.

go to München - Kempten gallery
go to Immenstadt - Lindau gallery
go to Immenstadt - Oberstdorf gallery

German Trip Report

Engineering work on the Buchloe - Memmingen line resulted in the diversion of three pairs of EC trains over the scenic route via Kempten from 10 June to 8 July 2012. This report covers a five day trip to the line in late June. The Allgäubahn from München to Lindau via Kempten abounds with superb photo positions but is usually rather short on loco-hauled trains, especially west of Immenstadt. The diversions filled the gap admirably.

go to report

German Photos : Gäubahn

Photos from my April and May/June 2012 trips to the Gäubahn (KBS740 Stuttgart - Singen line) have been added to the Photo Galleries.

go to photos

German Trip Report

A report covering a short trip to the Gäubahn in late May and early June 2012. The Gäubahn, as the electrified Stuttgart to Singen line is known, runs through attractive countryside along the Neckar Valley on the eastern edge of the Black Forest and sees loco hauled InterCity and Regio passengers and some freight. The aim of the trip was to photograph the handful of Stuttgart - Singen InterCity services worked by class 115 or class 181 locos at weekends. The 115s were of interest as survivors from the 1960s while the 181s, dual-system machines designed for cross border services to France and Luxembourg, were operating well off their beaten track.

go to report

Switzerland : RhB Photos

47 photos taken on my March 2012 trip to the Rhätischebahn have been added to the Swiss photo galleries, virtually all of them in the galleries covering the Albula (Chur - Bever) and Surselva (Reichenau - Disentis) lines.

go to Swiss photo galleries
go to Surselva photo gallery
go to Albula photo gallery

German Trip Report

A four week trip to southern Germany for diesels and electrics on freight and passenger workings. The lines covered included the Gäubahn with 115s and 181s on some IC trains, the Füssen and Oberstdorf branches with 218s and an ex-ÖBB 2143 on regional passengers, the lines from Nürnberg to Marktredwitz and Schwandorf where freights are still worked by 232s and the Rhein Gorge where almost every conceivable class of electric works freight.

go to report

Czech Trip Report

The summer-only loco-hauled services on the Ceske Budejovice - Nove Udoli line were supposed to be worked by class 754s this year but they hadn’t taken over completely when I visited the line for three days over the May Day holiday. Much to my surprise, class 749s were still in charge of half the loco-hauled trains on this very scenic line that runs into the heart of the Sumava.

go to report

Swiss Trip Report : RhB Ge4/4i's Last Stand?

A trip to the RhB for the last week of the Winter Timetable with its additional trains for skiers, snowboarders and sledgers. The continued use of a handful of the venerable Ge4/4is provided the incentive for this visit and, fortunately, the last three locos were more active than expected, covering a wide variety of workings and routes. Other classes weren't ignored but the Ge4/4is took priority.

go to report

Spain : FC de Soller in Snow

A handful of pictures and a brief report from the FC de Soller on the frozen Mediterranean island of Mallorca in February 2012. This remarkable line continues to operate its services using 1929 built, wooden bodied motor coaches and includes street running in downtown Palma.

go to FC de Soller gallery

go to FC de Soller report

China : Pingzhuang and Sandaoling Photos

The China photo gallery updates continue with a new gallery covering the mining railway at Pingzhuang and a major update of the Sandaoling gallery with photos from visits in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

go to Pingzhuang gallery
go to Sandaoling gallery

China : Chengzihe and Didao Photos

Two of the Jixi galleries have been updated with new photos, covering the Chengzihe and Didao mining systems in 2010. Jixi was an outstanding place for steam photography with some of the best industrial backdrops anywhere in China, attractive scenery and plenty of action.

go to Chengzihe gallery
go to Didao gallery

China : Fuxin, Fushun and Fula'erji Photos

More updated photo galleries featuring the mining railways at Fuxin and Fushun and a completely new gallery of photos from Fula’erji.

go to Fuxin gallery
go to Fushun gallery
go to Fula’erji gallery

China : Beipiao and Beitai Photos

Two new photo galleries have been added to the China Industrials section, covering visits to the Beipiao Mining Railway in late 2010 and to Beitai Steelworks in late 2011.

go to Beipiao gallery
go to Beitai gallery

China : Huanan Photos

The Huanan photo gallery has been updated with many more photos from trips in winter 2009 and 2010. This narrow gauge forestry line was very difficult to photograph successfully, with frequent closures and chronically unreliable engines but it had real character. Now that it’s closed, I’m really glad that I made the effort.

go to Huanan gallery

Behind the Scenes

Over the past couple of years a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to improve the quality of the photos on Railography and to streamline the whole website production process.

Hopefully you’ll have already noticed that the more recent photos are sharper and clearer than before and that the colours are more true to life. This is the result of completely revising my photo workflow. I now use Nikon Capture NX2 to process the RAW images, meaning there’s much less to do in Photoshop. Another new tool is the PictoColor iCorrect EditLab Pro plugin for Photoshop, which makes fine tuning the colour balance much easier. RAW file to finished image usually takes less than 15 minutes now, round about what I could achieve in the darkroom many years ago.

The whole website is now produced using Rapidweaver software. It’s taken a long time to transfer everything over but it should speed up the production of pages and photo galleries while still maintaining the distinctive Railography identity. If you wondered why some pages had an orange theme while others were green, it was so I could easily tell which pages had been moved over to Rapidweaver. Now that everything has been transferred, look out for much more content appearing over the next few months while I try to reduce the backlog of material waiting to be published.