Norfolk Southern ES40DC #7521 leads train 23G north through Rural Retreat, Virginia, on a cold January 26, 2013, evening. Remnants of the previous day's snowfall still blankets the ground.
This scene was made famous by O. Winston Link, from his 1957 version of a night photo here of the Birmingham Special. Fifty seven years later, the old depot and the mainline survives, but modern technology has upgraded the scene: High-tech, fuel effecient diesel locomotives have replaced the sleek J-class steam engines; electronic wayside signals have replaced the station agent and telegraph operators; and the long shiny streamlined coaches have given way to miles of doublestack container cars and automobile carriers.
It should also be noted that today marks the thirteenth anniversary of the passing of Mr. Link. His legacy lives on at the nearby O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, which celebrated their 10th Anniversary last weekend. Photographers from around the world are inspired by his works, he will always be remembered as a pioneer and a master in the art of rail and night-time photography. Photo by Casey Thomason. For more information about Norfolk Southern, visit www.nscorp.com