Ride The Rails

The 7 PM freight just rolled through. So it should be safe enough to walk out there…

This railroad bridge over narrow stretch of the Mississippi has connected Nicollet Island to the rest of Minneapolis since 1876. It’s been reworked and modified a few times over 146 years, with a major rebuild in the 1920s. A nice view of the city, and nothing stops you from walking out on it (well ok one little sign saying something about “trespassing”).

I’d photographed this bridge in the past but wanted to revisit it in the late day light, and with an extreme wide-angle lens to take in even more of the rails and girders. Just as I got there, a freight train rolled through – so there probably wouldn’t be another train for a while. Perfect.

You need to watch your feet, there are some gaps in the deck. And not to worry – there’s a little catwalk on each side of the rails in case you get surprised by a train – just hang on to a guard rail and hold your ears until it passes. Ok, I’m kidding – that’s not going to happen.

Standing out on the bridge, late in the day, the structure of the bridge seems to connect with the sky. And then there’s the Mississippi, running underneath – it’s quite a junction. Stand in the right spot and the tracks seem to head off into nowhere… and everywhere…

The low sun created beams of light angling across the rails, and the 7 blades of the lens aperture produced a dramatic set of 14 rays. This time, I got exactly what I was after – bridge tracks, sun, sky, and river, all converging. And I wanted to hop on the next freight and head off into that vanishing point…

4 Replies to “Ride The Rails”

  1. That lens is proving very useful and this is a great location to use it. All the verticals curving round give a great feeling of scale and the sun really adds to it.

    Must investigate these lenses!

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