On the Old Nickel Plate Road, April 1988.

New General Electric DASH-8s Nose to Nose.

In April 1988, I was exploring locations along Conrail’s former New York Central ‘Water Level Route’ west of Dunkirk, New York. Parallel to this line was the old Nickel Plate Road.

Where the former New York Central Line was a highly engineered grade-level route  and crossed the terrain on high earthen fills, Nickel Plate was built to a lighter standard and used plate girder viaducts over the valleys of rivers and streams.

Lighter engineering often results in more interesting photographs.

Exposed on black & white negative film using a Rolleiflex Model T with f3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens. By using a 645 ‘superslide’ insert, I obtained a rectangular negative size instead of the more common square associated with the Rollei T. This gave me a more conventional photographic aspect. In retrospect, I’ve found that I prefer Rollei photos made in the square format.
Exposed on black & white negative film using a Rolleiflex Model T with f3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens. By using a 645 ‘superslide’ insert, I obtained a rectangular negative size instead of the more common square associated with the Rollei T. This gave me a more conventional photographic aspect. In retrospect, I’ve found that I prefer Rollei photos made in the square format.

I caught this Norfolk Southern freight working toward Buffalo over a tower-supported plate-girder trestle near Westfield, New York.

At the time, Norfolk Southern had recently purchased a fleet of General Electric C39-8s and tended to work these long hood first. I found this arrangement fascinating and so I made a variety of images of the big GE diesels working ‘hammer head’ style.

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