Boston & Albany at West Warren

Daily Post: Dusk at West Warren, September 1984.

Twilight, Change, and a Long Lost Negative.

 This was among the negatives lost for most of the last 30 years. Today, it interests me for several reasons.

Boston & Albany at West Warren
Amtrak’s westward Lake Shore Limited passes West Warren, Massachusetts in early evening in September 1984. At that time train 449 operated with a much later departure from Boston than it does today. Time exposure using a Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar lens, mounted on a Linhof tripod with ball head. Approximate exposure time: 8 seconds. Film: Kodak Tri-X. (Process information un-recorded)

In 1984-1985, I went through a phase where I made a lot of night photos. I employed a variety of techniques, and made hundreds of black & white images (and a few color slides too).

This image depicts Amtrak’s westward Lake Shore Limited (train 449) passing beneath the bridge at West Warren, Massachusetts on the Boston & Albany route.

I only vaguely recall making the photograph above. Today, it is more like looking at someone else’s work than my own. I like it because it features the highway bridge over the tracks while allowing the train to be just an incidental streak of light. The famous mill dam water fall (featured in many West Warren photos) is clearly evident at the right.

It is one of the few photos I have at West Warren that shows the double-track. Conrail discontinued the directional double track arrangement between Palmer and East Brookfield in 1986, two years after I exposed this photo.

Over the years I’ve made many photos at West Warren, and regular viewers of Tracking the Light should find the name familiar. Yet, this view is the only one I’ve come across from this angle. It puts a new perspective on the place. Would this viewpoint be conducive to a modern daylight image?

Compare with the photo I made in January 2014 from the bridge (and featured in an earlier post).

Amtrak heritage locomotive
Amtrak 449 at West Warren, Massachusetts, 2:03pm January 24, 2014. Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 40mm pancake lens exposed at ISO 200 f5.6 1/1000th of a second. Camera RAW file converted to a Jpeg in Adobe Photoshop.

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Tomorrow: 30 years later; Another Day, Another Bridge

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One comment on “Daily Post: Dusk at West Warren, September 1984.

  1. Jenn Dean on said:

    This is a very interesting photo. I know West Warren pretty well, it hasn’t changed much since this picture was taken back in 1984.