I took this photograph in 1976 in the early morning hours from one of the sand towers at Bakersfield near the completion of a midnight hostler shift. Notice that the water tank is gone from its former location between the roundhouse office in the foreground, and the crew dispatcher/RFE building near the center of the image. Note the Yard Office and switchman’s shanty at about the three o’clock position. Behind that are the Santa Fe transfer tracks.
The two locomotives at the crew dispatcher’s office are yard engines while the locomotive adjacent to the roundhouse is for a local (all yard engines faced west at Bakersfield).
About Thomas Bethune
THOMAS ALLEN BETHUNE
I have been interested in photography for most of my life. I started taking photographs with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was eight years old. My early subjects were trains and engineered structures as well as landscapes and family portraits. My interests and vision have matured, but the subjects that catch my eye continue to be of the same genre as my earliest visions.
A neighbor man had a darkroom, and he showed me the basics of camera operation and darkroom processing. I took courses in art and photography in high school and college. I worked as an apprentice to a commercial wedding and event photographer, and I was in charge of a recreational dark room while I was in the military. As an adult, I earned a bachelor’s degree in photography from Humboldt State University. My experience with film formats included 35mm, 2 ¼”, and 4”x 5”. I exhibited at galleries near my home in Arcata California, and in Santa Fe New Mexico.
All my current work is digital. I am scanning many of my legacy negatives and slides. I sometimes process and print the scanned negatives. I often post them on my blog. I process all of my prints with archival media.
An award winning fine art photographer living in a redwood forest.
Director, Redwood Art Association, Eureka CA
Co-curator, F Street Foto Gallery, Eureka CA