Painter to share memories of Saluda Grade at upcoming Train Tales presentation

Published 10:10 am Monday, March 21, 2022

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Ed Painter, a railroad photographer and historian known as “The Man Between the Tracks,” will be giving a presentation on his favorite Saluda Grade memories at Train Tales on April 15th, beginning at 7 p.m. The doors open at 6:40 p.m. 


The presentation will take place at the Saluda Historic Depot and Museum, located at 32 W. Main St., in Saluda.

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Painter, a Virginia native, has spent the better part of 55 years photographing trains all over the United States. Now retired, he lives in the Town of Cohutta, Georgia with a beautiful home between two important Norfolk Southern Railway lines. Painter is also a passionate model railroad enthusiast and enjoys sharing his large collection of HO Scale trains with others.


With a career specializing in nuclear energy spanning 36 years, Painter’s position at both Babcock & Wilcox, Duke Energy and Westinghouse allowed him to travel the country while earning a living. During his travels, Painter would document railroads as a hobby, amassing a large collection of slide photos over the years.


Beginning in the late 1980s throughout the 90s, Painter lived in Central, South Carolina, and worked at the Oconee Nuclear Station. His close proximity to Saluda Grade allowed him to spend time on the “Mountain of Challenge” while visiting his girlfriend who lived nearby. Over the final decade of Saluda’s operation by Norfolk Southern, Ed documented hundreds of trains tackling the steepest mainline railroad grade in North America.


In his hour-long presentation, Painter will be sharing his favorite memories of Saluda Grade accompanied by many photos and videos of trains he recorded while trackside. A highlight of his presentation will be about the famed Norfolk & Western 611 steam locomotive which conquered Saluda twice in the early 1990s.


Join the Saluda Historic Depot & Museum on Friday, April 15th, for Ed Painter’s “Saluda Memories.” Admission is free and voluntary donations are appreciated. The Saluda Historic Depot & Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.


Submitted by Nita High