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Smudgy, a legendary steam train

Ano Gatzea railway station, Pelion, Greece, March 2015

Smudgy, photo essay by John Stratoudakis

“Smudgy” it’s the name of the legendary steam train of mount Pelion. The steam train was a railroad project of Evaristo de Chirico, an Italian engineer, who was father of the famous artist Giorgio de Chirico. The project played an important role to the development and history of Pelion as well as Magnesia itself. The whole railroad project was a combination of knowledge engineering and vivid imagination and began in 1894. The outcome was literally a masterpiece. The 6 bridges which the train would cross, the rail track and the steam train itself were all very inspired constructions, blended in perfectly with the surrounding unique environment of Pelion. By 1903, the railroad line had been extended to the village of Milies, covering a total of 29km, and operative until 1971. However, today Smudgy is back in operation. The steam train continues to provide an astonishing ride through the natural beauty of Pelion, passing through numerable scenes and villages such as Pinakates, Ano Gatzea and others, but also a ride back in time to over 100 years ago. (John Stratoudakis)

Pelion, Greece, March 2015

One of the 5 stone bridges, Pelion, Greece, March 2015

Passing of the iron bridge, Pelion, Greece, March 2015

Tunnel, Pelion, Greece, March 2015

Pelion, Greece, March 2015

Q&A with John Stratoudakis

Photography is…
Photography is a way of getting feedback by the experience of the everyday, a particular way for our self to converge or diverge from reality. But of course photography is many more things…

Photography and writing…
In our post modern world the boundaries between different media are not so distinguished. So, photography and writing are media for expression or information but also could be elements of new mixed, even multi-dimensional artworks.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
I cannot choose any individual as the highest inspiration for me. There are many people who inspired me, not only from the photographic world but also from other art forms or even other sectors of life. I believe that Life itself gives me the biggest impression.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
Make art within your everyday life. Stop looking for inspiration in places in which you do not belong. There is nothing for you there. On the contrary there are many small surprises even in your daily routine. Get them!

Pelion, Greece, March 2015

Pelion, Greece, March 2015

Pelion, Greece, March 2015

View of Pagasetic gulf, Pelion, Greece, March 2015


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John Sigma

I believe in the power of the image - it fascinates me. My father was a DP in film productions. Thus, due to stimuli… More »

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