Prototype photos are an excellent tool to help modelers capture the appearance and details of the prototype we are modeling. It is easier today than it has ever been to view photos of locomotives and rolling stock with several websites that have thousands of pictures right at your fingertips. Some of my favorite railroad photograph sites are http://railpictures.net, http://rrpicturearchives.net, and http://www.railcarphotos.com. These sites are possible only through the generous and dedicated photographers that post their images and provide information about the subject in the photo.
Recently, I received Georgia Northeastern Railroad photos from friends Keith Armes, Scott Chatfield, and Scott Perry. These photos, taken over the past two decades, highlight the scenes, industries, locomotives and rolling stock of the GNRR. Without these photos I would not have been able to replicate GNRR #81, a NW 2 that was in service on the GNRR only until 2003, and get detailed shots of numerous other locomotives for reference in my modeling. Once the locomotive meets the fate of the scrapers torch, or a railroad structure is demolished, photos are the only way we can see the details that we need to model that specific locomotive or structure.
While many railfans are not model railroaders, they play an important role in helping us with our model railroad layouts and those railfans that take and post pictures are in invaluable resource. Railfans can provide prototype information not found on-line, details about operations, and other historical information that is not widely known. If you are modeling a specific prototype railroad, I highly recommend joining a historical society or fan club for that railroad. You may find that one piece of information or photograph you have been seeking or meet someone that can answer a question you have had for years.
I have posted prototype photos of the GNRR on my website under the Prototype tab at the top of the page. While I have been able to take many of the photos I needed of the GNRR, I don’t live very close to the area where the GNRR operates and only have limited opportunities to photograph the prototype. I truly appreciate those friends that have passed along photos of the GNRR from their own collection over the years and allowed me to post them on my website.