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Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1983

India has the greatest rail system in the world. I went to India to do an essay on how the train traverses South Asia, starting from the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, through India, to Bangladesh. One of the highlights of my trip was to photograph the Taj Mahal and this ancient steam locomotive in the same frame, which in fact had never been done before. Progress moves on, and now all the steam locomotives have disappeared. Where I’ve made this picture, the track has been ripped up, there’s a road there, and there’s houses which obscure the view, so this picture is really a piece of history. But I knew that this juxtaposition was going to be a really strong point for my essay, and I went back maybe 5 or 10 times to shoot the same view in different light and different times of the day, until I got the picture exactly where I wanted it to be.

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