I'm old enough to remember the last few years of steam railways in the UK, but never became passionate about them the way some of my friends at school did. Until, that is, many years later when I made a film with a director friend about a team of Brits setting out to rescue a dozen locomotives from Arctic Finland that would otherwise have been scrapped. One of our locations was Haapajarvi, a rail transport hub and steam museum, where, sitting on a plinth outside the goods yard was a restored 'Risto' locomotive cut down the middle, lengthways. Having had to wriggle inside the firebox and the smoke box of an engine in the course of the filming, I finally understood - thanks to the exposed interior of this 'Risto' - the steam process in all its beautiful simplicity. So I have tried to seek out old locos for photography ever since, with respect and fascination, but without - I think - becoming a complete nerd about them. I don't usually go in for the whole-engine picture, the way many steam books do, but rather the detail shot, the 'creative' possibilities of the tangle of bits and shapes associated with the engine, often around the wheel area.
Closely observed locomotives