DAILY POST: Pan Am Southern at Millers Falls, Massachusetts, October 2013

Along the old Boston & Maine’s Fitchburg Mainline.

At Millers Falls, New England Central and Pan Am Southern run parallel for a short distance. In this view Pan Am’s westward freight symbol 190ED with a pair of leased SD40-2s (wearing old Burlington Northern paint) has just passed the junction with New England Central. (NECR’s mainline is immediately to the left.

 

Pan Am Southern symbol freight 190ED passes Millers Falls, Massachusetts on October 22, 2013. Canon 7D with 40mm pancake lens.
Pan Am Southern symbol freight 190ED passes Millers Falls, Massachusetts on October 22, 2013. Canon 7D with 40mm pancake lens.

Bright overcast autumn days can be one of the most rewarding times to photograph trains. Soft warm light accentuates the fading foliage, while the lack of directional sun allows more freedom to select angles that favor railway operations.

Had the sky been completely clear, I’d have been fighting the sun, which would have shadowed the train and put harsh light on the colored trees in the distance.

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4 thoughts on “DAILY POST: Pan Am Southern at Millers Falls, Massachusetts, October 2013”

  1. As a resident of Amherst, I really appreciate all the photos you take here in the region.

    I wonder what the access and view angles are like to get pictures of an NECR or Amtrak train coming south on that parallel section and then up and over the fly-over.

    As I remember, there is a pull-off on 116 just north of the NECR fly-over bridge, and a footpath to a ridge overlooking the tracks.

    1. Thank you for the comment; I think you mean route 63, not route 116. Anyway, yes there used to be a place to pull in off Rt63 south of Millers Falls. It’s been a good few years since I last looked at that angle, but the last time I checked the brush had grown up quite a bit. While the fly-over between the former CV (NECR) and B&M (Pan Am) has always intrigued me, I’ve never been able to make a satisfactory ground-level image. Perhaps a view from an airplane would work?

      As an aside. The Vermonter will only be using the NECR route through Millers Falls for about another year or so, then it will revert to the Conn-River route between Springfield, Mass and East Northfield.

    2. Right, that is of course Route 63.

      Funny, I was thinking “airplane” this morning as I was writing that note.

      Isn’t amazing how rapidly New England has gone back to brush and forest? Even pictures taken along the CV in the 1950s–I’m thinking about the north and south approaches to Amherst–show a more open landscape. Let alone 150 years ago, when all this looked like a farming empire, and profits for railroads, or so they hoped.

    3. I’ve noticed a dramatic change in the amount of brush since the 1980s. At least since the big October storm in 2011, many Massachusetts railroads have taken a more proactive approach toward brush. (It’s not just about the photographs, but leaves and trees landing up tracks is a serious issue.)

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