With the recent announcement that the rebuilding had finally been completed and the line reconnected, there is no longer a need to keep the outlying crew and train at Durbin. This means that Heisler #6 future may include a roof over its head and evening duties done by the night fireman, instead of the daily train crew. Beginning this spring Durbin will no longer be the origin, but a destination for a daytime station stop. The “Durbin Rocket” will be replaced by the “Greenbriar Express”, now departing from Cass.
But on this crisp, fall night the tracks were still separated and the crew of Heisler #6 went about their normal evening duties in a scene that reminded me of many faded black and white photos I had seen in history books. Scenes captured from Appalachian logging camps of proud but solemn faced men standing with their equipment. I’m a flash photography novice but in a nod to those bellows-bodied Lancaster plate camera and flash-in-pan early images, I felt it only fitting to attempt a capture of the crew and loco in classic, but colorized, early 20th century American Gothic style.
For the record, this was not a photo charter, also not 1929, and although this particular scene may not be repeated the future, the outlook for this operation is brighter than it has been in years.