The Flying Scotsman, April 1972

We’re a bit behind looking at the color images Joel made in various formats. Color photography was for the longest time considered a pass-time for tourists and amateur photographers. The printing technology was not there and fading or shifting of colors was the standard.

This didn’t keep Joel from experimenting with color and the different films at his disposal. We know about his Kodachromes from the 40’s that still look decent to good till now, some 80 years later.

Whereas the development process used by Kodachrome is beyond the means of amateur photographers and smaller photographic labs, Ektachrome processing is simpler, and small professional labs could afford equipment to develop the film. Even well-heeled amateur photographers were able to do their own development.

The downside is that over the years, Ektachrome doesn’t hold up as well as Kodachrome.

We can see this in some of the 35mm slides below. Few Ektachrome slides have shifted color significantly while others held up well. With digital darkroom technology, one can resurrect most of the coloring.

The location is San Francisco, on the train tracks in front of Pier 4, the subject is the legendary “The Flying Scotsman” circa March 1972. The slides were developed in April 1972

The Flying Scotsman, San Francisco, April 1972
The Flying Scotsman, San Francisco, April 1972

I did some research and yes, this Britisch train did a tour through North America and ended up on the Embarcadero in March 1972.

The two Pullman Cars, Observation Car and of course the locomotive complete with its two tenders were returned to Britain.

On the sides of the Cars remaining, was painted a legend ‘Exhibition Car A’, ‘Exhibition Car B’, ‘Exhibition Car C’ & ‘Exhibition Car D’, ‘Administration Car’ and ‘Reception Car’.

The Flying Scotsman, San Francisco, April 1972, Reception Car.

Few of the cars went to Universal Studios, to be used in the Victoria Station Restaurant there, from 1977 until it closed in 1997.

The Flying Scotsman, San Francisco, April 1972
The Flying Scotsman, San Francisco, April 1972, Coit Tower in the background.

And sadly enough, two cars ended up in the “Sharpe Army Depot” in Lathrop. When no buyers could be found for the two cars, the cars were burned after salvaging the metal, a sad fate for these historic cars. Two of the cast iron builders plates from two of the cars ended up in someone’s collection.

The Flying Scotsman, San Francisco, April 1972
The Flying Scotsman, San Francisco, April 1972

There’s interesting 8mm film footage posted from Hunter Lohse on YouTube of the Flying Scotsman tour through California with images of the Altamont Pass and Niles Canyon early on in the footage. There’s significant footage of the train along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Very worthwhile watching if you’re a train enthusiast.

Joel did manage to be there when significant events happened !

Cheers !


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