January 25, 2013; Grade Crossing Images

Yesterday, January 25, 2013 proved to be a productive day for photography. My friend and fellow photographer Pat Yough had come up for the annual Amherst Railway Society ‘Big Railroad Hobby  Show’ at the ‘Big E’ in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and as this was the day before the show we spent the day photographing around Palmer, Massachusetts. I hadn’t intended to specifically make grade crossing photos, but as I was reviewing my results, I noted this as the theme to the day’s photography. I’ve included a few here.

 

Railroad Grade Crossing
Mass-Central’s weekday freight led by NW5 2100 crosses Route 181 in Palmer, Massachusetts on the morning of January 25, 2013. First out at the crossing is the company HyRail truck. Canon 7D with 40mm Pancake Lens; ISO 200 1/250th second at f4.5. In camera JPG without modification to the file except for scaling for web. A RAW image was exposed in parallel with the Jpg.

Grade crossings offer interesting venues to photograph trains; here modes cross and so this provides opportunities to picture the railroad in its environment. For many observers, the grade crossing is the only place where they see trains. Unfortunately, crossings are not always merely benign interfaces. In a world with seemingly infinite distractions, to the non-enthusiast it might seem that a train appears out of nowhere and crosses the road. Nor does everyone find the same thrill of watching a train a crossing. More startling is when a motorist sails through a crossing, oblivious to tonnage bearing down upon them. The results don’t always favor the hapless. Ironically, waiting for me when I got home yesterday was the link to a recent video of truck-train collision on the Vermont Rail System that occurred a few days ago.

Stateline Crossing
Near the Massachusetts-Connecticut Stateline, New England Central’s former Central Vermont Railway mainline cross Route 32 (which runs from Keene, New Hampshire via Palmer and Monson, Massachusetts to New London, Connecticut). Just north of the stateline New England Central freight 608 crosses Route 32 southbound on January 25, 2013. Canon 7D with 100mm lens; ISO 400 1/500th second at f9.0
New England Central GP38 3850 leads train 608 at Stafford Springs on January 25, 2013. A series of difficult crossings in Stafford Springs is the primary reason for a 10 mph slow order through town. Especially difficult is this crossing, where the view of the tracks is blocked by a brick-building. Protection is offered by a combination of grade crossing flashers and traffic lights. Canon 7D with 40mm Pancake Lens; ISO 400 1/500th second at f8.0. In camera JPG modified with slight cropping to correct level and scaling for web. A RAW image was exposed simultaneously with the Jpg.
New England Central GP38 3850 leads train 608 at Stafford Springs on January 25, 2013. A series of difficult crossings in Stafford Springs is the primary reason for a 10 mph slow order through town. Especially difficult is this crossing, where the view of the tracks is blocked by a brick-building. Protection is offered by a combination of grade crossing flashers and traffic lights. Canon 7D with 40mm Pancake Lens; ISO 400 1/500th second at f8.0. In camera JPG modified with slight cropping to correct level and scaling for web. A RAW image was exposed simultaneously with the Jpg.
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