Clearing Snow After the Blizzard: February 10, 2013

Railway snow removal
Shafts of morning sun illuminate exhaust from the Palmer yard office, while snow is blown from tracks at New England Central’s yard on February 10, 2013. Temperature = 0 Fahrenheit; image exposed digitally with a Canon 7D and 200mm lens; ISO 200.

The media loves storms; and they always have. New England’s first big snowfall of the on February 8th and 9th, seems to have made news everywhere. Friends from London called to say that the New England storm was a lead-in story on BBC.

New England Central at Washington Street, Monson—looking north before the storm, Friday February 8, 2013. Lumix LX-3 photo.
New England Central at Washington Street, Monson—looking north before the storm, Friday February 8, 2013. Lumix LX-3 photo.
Railway tracks covered in snow, Monson, Massachusetts
Two days later: New England Central at Washington Street, Monson—looking north after the storm, Sunday February 10, 2013. Lumix LX-3 photo.

On the morning the snow began, I made a few photos at Washington Street in Monson with my Lumix LX-3 (for later comparison). Historically this was the site of Monson’s railway station, gone nearly 60 years now. Blankets of snow fell on Monson, Massachusetts through the day on Friday and into Saturday. I spent Saturday clearing off cars and whatnot, as you do after a heavy snowfall. The railroads were quiet, and a general ban on highway travel, plus dire road conditions discouraged me from going anywhere to make photos.

Chruning blades of the snow-blower clearing Palmer yard. Canon 7D with 200mm lens.
Churning blades of the snow-blower clearing Palmer yard. Canon 7D with 200mm lens.

 

Snow removal at Palmer
Clearing New England Central’s Palmer Yard on February 10, 2013. Canon 7D with 200mm lens.
New England Central's Palmer Yard on February 10, 2013.
New England Central’s Palmer Yard on February 10, 2013.

This morning (February 10, 2013) I aimed for Palmer, where it was clear and bright, but all of 1 degree Fahrenheit. Between 18 inches and 2 feet of snow covered the ground, with drifts several feet deep in places. Yes, it was a good dump, but not a record by my estimation. I’ve seen more snow.

Clearing New England Central’s yard was a bucket loader fitted with a snow blower. This made for a few impressive scenes, which I’ve tried to capture here. However, in general, traffic on the railways was quiet. CSX sent a set of light engines east. These stopped about a mile west of Palmer (milepost 84.5) because what I understood to be an axle problem with one of the General Electric locomotives. After a few minutes, these were on the move, and I made some views of CSX passing the old Palmer Union Station at CP83—now occupied by the Steaming Tender restaurant—a favorite eating place of mine.

CSX in snow at Palmer.
Mid-morning on February 10, 2013, CSX light engines roll eastward passed CP83 in Palmer, Massachusetts. The old Palmer Union Station is now the Steaming Tender restaurant. Canon 7D with 28-135 zoom lens. Exposed at ISO 200 f10, 1/1000 second, metered manually.

NECR_Palmer_IMG_2551

About noon, New England Central dispatched a pair of GP38s south as ‘Extra 608’. Although once standard, today finding a pair of New England Central’s yellow and blue GP38s together is a rare treat. These ambled southward through Monson over Stateline Hill (so named because it crests near the Massachusetts-Connecticut border), which allowed ample opportunities for photographs. Extra 608 was destined for Willimantic to help clear the line and collect interchange left by the Providence & Worcester. All in all, this was a productive day for photography. I worked with my Lumix LX-3, Canon 7D, and Canon EOS-3. The Velvia 50 I exposed won’t be processed for a while; I’m on the big green bird tomorrow afternoon! Perhaps while traveling, I’ll write a detailed post on my experience exposing railway images in the snow.

Railway locomotives in Monson, Massachusetts
New England Central extra 608 approaches Bridge Street in Monson, Massachusetts on February 10, 2013. Canon 7D with 100mm f2.0 lens.
Railway locomotives at Stafford Springs, Connecticut.
New England Central extra 608 at Stafford Springs, Connecticut on February 10, 2013. Lumix LX-3 photo.
Stafford Springs, Connecticut.
Trailing view of New England Central GP38s passing Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Canon 7D with 40mm pancake lens.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Clearing Snow After the Blizzard: February 10, 2013”

  1. Nice pics as usual, Brian. Thanks for sharing. Safe journey and see you next time you’re stateside. D.

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