Pennsylvania Dutch Amish Photographer Motorcycle Travel Images
Michael ONeill Photographer Writer Motorcyclist Adventurer
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Pennsylvania Dutch Amish Photographer Motorcycle Travel Images

One of my favorite destinations on my motorcycle is the Amish Mennonite Pennsylvania Dutch area near Lancaster, PA and one of the great attractions nearby is The Strasburg Railroad in Ronks, Pennsylvania. The Strasburg Rail Road is one of Lancaster County’s most popular tourist attractions and is recognized as one of America’s most significant examples of early 20th century railroading. This photograph is of one of the collection of steam locomotives that operates here: Engine #90. Built in June of 1924 for the Great Western Railroad by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, engine #90 is one of just two operational Decapod class locomotives remaining in America. I photographed this train with a Nikon Z digital mirrorless camera body and a Nikkor zoom lens. The conversion to black and white was done using Adobe Lightroom software in post processing. The original image was captured using a polarizing filter on the camera which added the depth and drama to the white clouds in the dark blue sky. Adjacent to the Strasburg Rail Road complex is the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania featuring a world-class collection of more than 100 historically significant locomotives and railroad cars – made and/or operated in Pennsylvania – as well as a collection of more than a half a million photographic images and documents, and over 17,000 smaller artifacts, including tools, uniforms, tickets, station signage, telegraph and signal equipment, works of art, and many other items used to build and operate railroads serving the state. Though I’ve spent a great deal of time in The Amish Country documenting the lives of the people as a photographer and writer, I always make time to visit the rail road attractions. On this day engine #90 was in operation pulling the train of tourists on its path through the Amish farmlands. Other locomotives operate here as well, with some engines making temporary "guest appearances" from other areas in The United States. Elsewhere on this web site you will find photographs captured of these other pieces of equipment. The rail road attractions are just one of many interesting things you will find to explore when in the Amish Country of Pennsylvania. I’ve spent a great deal of time there documenting the lives of The Amish and Mennonite people as, not only a professional photographer, but as a writer/author. The back stories behind some of my travels here can be read in my book, "Road Work: Images and Insights of a Modern Day Explorer", available in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon and as an Apple Book in The Apple Store. The Strasburg Rail Road runs on a set schedule (sometimes hourly during prime tourist times) and passes numerous road crossings on its round trip excursions through the countryside. These crossings provide convenient spots at which photographers can position themselves to capture great pictures regardless of the time of day. One hint: the locomotives pull the trains in their westbound travels. When moving eastbound the locomotives push the train’s cars so they aren’t really as visible and makes for a less-than-ideal photograph.