"When American freight train graffiti began to gain popularity in the early 1990s, the concept of watching trains in search of graffiti was again adopted by only a handful of writers throughout the country. Because the North American freight system is so vast, watching freight trains in the early 1990s was at best, bleak. Over the course of an hour, if one throw-up or tag was spotted it was a big deal. When North American writers began to paint more freight trains, naturally the volume of graffiti increased. Shortly thereafter, writers earmarked locations in their city to watch trains. In what can be classified only as homage, freight writers called these train watching locations “the bench”. Just like the glory days of New York City subway graffiti, the bench is where the folk heroes of the Writing culture were born. Graffiti on trains was again counted, critiqued and documented. Photographing freight train graffiti presented different challenges. Besides the challenge of most freight benches being on private railroad property where there is no convenient bench, freight trains don’t stop to pick up and discharge passengers, so there is no window of opportunity to set up the perfect photo. In many cases the photographer has to shoot a masterpiece traveling at speeds of up to 40mph."
excerpt from the upcoming book Steel Wheels 1985 - 1997
Coming Spring 2010
hollar if you were out there benching and painting when there wasnt shit running!!!