DAILY POST: Hampden Terminal Railroad featured in O-Scale Railroading Magazine


Making a Model Railway Seem Full Sized.

Boston & Maine 1220 is a locomotive I recall well. The full sized machine was a regular at East Deerfield Yard in the early 1980s.
Boston & Maine 1220 is a locomotive I recall well. The full-sized machine was a regular at East Deerfield Yard in the early 1980s.

Earlier this year, my friend Dan Bigda asked me to make photographs of his magnificent O-scale layout for a feature article in the January 2014 issue of O-Scale Railroading (recently published).

I made several visits and with the help of Dan Bigda and Dylan Lambert, I exposed several hundred digital images with three cameras.

For close ups and macro views I used my Lumix LX 3 and my father’s Lumix LX-7, while for telephoto images, I worked with my Canon EOS 7D.

Most of the scenes were artificially lit with hot lamps. I positioned twin Lowel halogen lights on tripods to emulate natural light. Depending on the scene, I worked with blend of direct light with light diffused with photo umbrellas.

Almost all the photographs required long exposures and most were made with the aid of a tripod.

Dan’s layout features some fascinating structures, and I made a special effort to capture these as well as making images of the trains. Also, Dan has a great collection of O scale freight cars and well weathered locomotives.

The layout recreates the setting of New England industrial railroading as it looked from the late 1960s until the early 1980s.

It's a look back on the early Penn Central years when GP9s still ruled New England branch lines. Canon EOS 7D photo.
It’s a look back on the early Penn Central years when GP9s still ruled New England branch lines. Canon EOS 7D photo.
Hamden Terminal Railroad blends elements from a variety of New England railroads. Equipment includes Mass-Central's Whitcomb 44-ton diesel as well as a good variety of Penn-Central, Conrail and Boston & Maine equipment.
Hampden Terminal Railroad blends elements from a variety of New England railroads. Equipment includes Mass-Central’s Whitcomb 44-ton diesel as well as a good variety of Penn-Central, Conrail and Boston & Maine equipment.
The layouts main attractions include complex mills, factories and warehouses typical of New England mill towns such as Ware, Holyoke, and Lowell, where I often photographed years ago.
The layouts main attractions include complex mills, factories and warehouses typical of New England mill towns such as Ware, Holyoke, and Lowell, where I often photographed years ago.
I exposed this view of Dan's model of the Bondsville trestle using my Canon EOS 7D fitted with 100mm telephoto. I've set up two Lowel halogen lamps; one with an umbrella for an overall diffused light, the other I've focused on the train to simulate afternoon summer sun.
I exposed this view of Dan’s model of the Bondsville trestle using my Canon EOS 7D fitted with 100mm telephoto. I’ve set up two Lowel halogen lamps; one with an umbrella for an overall diffused light, the other I’ve focused on the train to simulate afternoon summer sun.
Freight cars are an important part of Hamden Terminal, so I staged a variety of images that focus on the cars rather than on the O-scale locomotives.
Freight cars are an important part of Hampden Terminal, so I staged a variety of images that focused on the cars rather than on the O-scale locomotives. For these extreme close-up views I used my Lumix LX3 and focused the camera manually. I then set the self-timer to minimize vibration during the exposure. I set the aperture manually, and selected the smallest possible sized aperture hole (which confusingly is identified with the largest ‘f-number’), in this case ‘f 8’. In addition to my lamps, this image has caught a bit of daylight from the windows above the railroad.
I'm partial to pairs of switchers running cabs out.
I’m partial to pairs of EMD switchers running with cabs facing out.

 

Erie Railroad Mallet compound steam locomotives neither fit Dan's period or location, but since he had one of these locomotives on hand, I included it anyway. I'll admit, that the Erie 0-8-8-0 Camelback Mallets are among my favorite steam locomotives and I couldn't resist posing one on the Hamden Terminal!
Erie Railroad Mallet compound steam locomotives neither fit Dan’s period or location, but since he had one of these locomotives on hand, I included it anyway. I’ll admit, that the Erie 0-8-8-0 Camelback Mallets are among my favorite steam locomotives and I couldn’t resist posing one on the Hampden Terminal!

 

For this view I opted to emulate the lighting on a bright overcast day. Penn-Central black seemed to photograph well on dull days so I went with what worked best on the prototype.
For this view I opted to emulate the lighting on a bright overcast day. Penn-Central black seemed to photograph well on dull days so I went with what worked best on the prototype.
I often use the backlit 'glint' effect for my prototype photos, so I thought I'd try this on the O-scale railroad as well. As with the Erie Mallet, Dan's Boston & Albany tank engine doesn't exactly fit with the period, but I like it anyway! For this view I surrounded the engine with New Haven Alco road-switchers since these locomotives may have coexisted in Framingham or South Boston.
I often use the backlit ‘glint’ effect for my prototype photos, so I thought I’d try this on the O-scale railroad as well. As with the Erie Mallet, Dan’s Boston & Albany tank engine doesn’t exactly fit with the period, but I like it anyway! For this view I surrounded the engine with New Haven Alco road-switchers since these locomotives may have coexisted in Framingham or South Boston.
Penn Central makes for a fascinating subject to model. Here I've emulated late afternoon sun using the halogen lamps. Canon EOS 7D photo.
Penn Central makes for a fascinating subject to model. Here I’ve emulated late afternoon sun using the halogen lamps. Canon EOS 7D photo.
Dan's Hamden Terminal is really a big model railway. While many of my photographs are focused on specific scenes, this view gives a sense for the greater railroad.  Lumix LX3 photo.
Dan’s Hampden Terminal is really a big model railway. While many of my photographs are focused on specific scenes, this view gives a sense for the greater railroad with the tracks extending out of the frame at the top right. Lumix LX3 photo.
I exposed this image with natural light. Dan's Warren truss crosses in front of a window making for a nice silhouette.
I exposed this image with natural light. Dan’s Warren truss crosses in front of a window making for a nice silhouette.

 

Check out January 2014, O-Scale Railroading and their website:  http://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com

Special thanks to Dan for the privilege to photograph his models.

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One comment on “DAILY POST: Hampden Terminal Railroad featured in O-Scale Railroading Magazine

  1. I got Isabelle to think one of the pictures was real. What an awesome layout, cant wait to visit it. He definitely captures the mood of New England Railways, love the late 50s Chevy Pickup trucks. Also you capturing the afternoon sun look on the pictures is pretty cool. Keep trying to make it look real!