Wednesday, 14 November 2012

....mostly Westward Ho!

Grand Central Terminal (NOT Station or Depot!) in New York is one of the great indoor spaces in Manhattan. Seen here in 1949 in a time exposure, it is still one of the main transport hubs in the city.

Here seen at an unidentified location, 4451 powers what looks to be the Afternoon Daylight along the Californian coast. 4451 has long been scrapped and 4449 is the only member of the class to be preserved and was retired from service in 1957. Restored in 1974-76 it has been largely operational since then, with its 15 year overhaul scheduled to start in 2013.

An unidentified location is seen here in a Kodachrome transparency. There are clues to the general location in the shot. The car dates it to the late 1930s/early 40s (I am not an expert on American automobiles, 1930s British are my thing!) The lack of ANY other traffic marks it as c1930/40s too (although that is not by any means a certainty as suburban streets such as this would be quiet most of the time). The palms suggest it is hot and the architecture of the houses again suggest a Spanish influence. The lake at the bottom of the road looks to be a reservoir, again suggesting a hot, dry climate. A best guess is California c1941

Although it is hot in the image above, it is not always so in California, the mountains can be treacherous. 

Donner Pass is one such place, named after a group of California bound emigrants who had to overwinter there in 1846 due to their route being blocked by snow, of the 45 survivors of the group (originally 81 strong) some resorted to cannibalism to survive. Bleak is probably the best way to describe the high Sierra Nevadas in the winter, and even as late as 1952 the train the City of San Francisco was slowed in a blizzard and eventually stuck in a snowdrift there for three days.

The Mountains are unforgiving as can be seen in the image of the car below. That is a brave driver!

After our American interlude we will travel back to Europe on the 1938 built Nieuw Amsterdam, of the Holland-America line seen here mid Atlantic in 1950.

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