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.
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.