Daily Post: Aerial View of Pan Am

Fitchburg, Massachusetts, February 22, 2014.

We could hear a freight dropping downgrade toward Fitchburg on the old Boston & Maine mainline. I was traveling with Rich Reed and Paul Goewey. We had limited time to select a photo location.

Complicating matters, Pan Am’s dispatcher came on the radio and told the train it would be working at Fitchburg Yard.

The implication to this seemingly innocuous instruction was that it might be hours before we saw the train east of the yard. We needed to pick a location west of the yard as it might be our only chance to catch this train.

We drove into Fitchburg, and overtook the slow moving freight. After inspection of a few ground level locations, we decided to try the top of the parking garage near the MBTA station.

This offered a superb elevated view. And we arrived in time to check out several angles, before settling on the southeast corner.

Pan Am Railway's EDPO (East Deerfield to Portland) eases downgrade in downtown Fitchburg. Our vantage point from the top of the parking garage at the railway station offered a superb place to make photos. Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.
Pan Am Railway’s EDPO (East Deerfield to Portland) eases downgrade in downtown Fitchburg. Our vantage point from the top of the parking garage at the railway station offered a superb place to make photos. Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.

I made a series of photos using my Canon EOS 7D with 100mm telephoto and Lumix LX3. One of my favorite images is the unconventional down-on view of the old SD45-2 (now effectively converted to an SD40-2, having had its 3,600 hp 20-cylinder 645E3 replaced with the 3,000 hp 16 cylinder version of this engine). This angle shows the great length of the locomotive.

Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.
Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.
A view made with my Lumix LX3 takes in the panorama of downtown Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
A view made with my Lumix LX3 takes in the panorama of downtown Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
I turned the Lumix vertically to make this photo. I didn't get the level perfect, so I made a minor adjustment in post processing (in other words: I cropped the photo.).
I turned the Lumix vertically to make this photo. I didn’t get the level perfect, so I made a minor adjustment in post processing (in other words: I cropped the photo.).
Tight view of Maine Central 507 (a former Canadian National GP40-2L) exposed with my Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.
Tight view of Maine Central 507 (a former Canadian National GP40-2L) exposed with my Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.
My favorite of the sequence: an unconventional view of Maine Central 614, a locomotive built as an SD45-2, which featured  an unusually long frame. Lumix LX3 photo.
My favorite of the sequence: an unconventional view of Maine Central 614, a locomotive built as an SD45-2, which featured an unusually long frame. Lumix LX3 photo.
From the stairwell in the parking garage looking down on the MBTA station as Pan Am Railway's EDPO trails away. Lumix LX3 photo.
From the stairwell in the parking garage looking down on the MBTA station as Pan Am Railway’s EDPO trails away. Lumix LX3 photo.

We made a wise choice. Not only did Pan Am Railway’s eastward EDPO pick up at Fitchburg yard take more than two hours, but the crew finished before the train could continue east. At 1pm, it was still sitting in the yard.

 Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please spread the word and share Tracking the Light with anyone who may enjoy seeing it!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Enhanced by Zemanta

2 thoughts on “Daily Post: Aerial View of Pan Am”

  1. Good thing you shot that close-up of the 507 when you did… it suffered an electrical fire that destroyed the interior of the cab while idling at Rockingham Jct. last week. It has been towed to the Waterville shops, and we’ll see if it re-emerges…

    1. 30 years ago I learned to take each and every opportunity to photograph locomotives on Boston & Maine/D&H/Maine Central. In 1984, D&H ‘acquired’ (begged, borrowed, leased, bought??) a batch of Conrail U33Bs numbered in the 2900 series. Some of these actually received D&H lettering over faded Conrail blue. I made photos of these in service. They only ran for a couple of months (maybe?)—It was a very short period of time, anyway. But, I’ve had people tell me that these locomotives NEVER ran on Guilford. [Incidentally These shouldn’t be mistaken for the three former Conrail U33Bs that worked lettered for B&M/MEC during the same time.] The lesson: you never know when the locomotive that rolled by, will roll into history!

Comments are closed.