An Eastward Pan Am Railways Freight at East Portal.
I was working on my book North American Railroad Bridges for Voyageur Press and I’d been communicating via E-mail with the late William D. Middleton regarding the particulars of certain spans and photographs of same.
Bill asked a favor of me: He was working on article for TRAINS Magazine and hoped that I could travel to the Hoosac Tunnel to make some contemporary images to help illustrate his article.
A few days later, I met Tim Doherty, Pat Yough and Otto Vondrak at East Deerfield for a day’s photography. I needed some images of the former New Haven Railroad Whipple Truss span over the Connecticut River at Montague (now a walking trail).
Later in the day we went west against an eastward freight. This provided me ample opportunity to photograph both east and west portals of Boston & Maine’s famous tunnel under the spine of the Berkshires.
As it turned out, the eastward freight was led by one of only two locomotives painted for Pan Am Railway at the time.
As the train approached and exited East Portal, I exposed a series of images. I sent the best of the slides to Bill via the US Postal Service. One of my photos, exposed with a wide-angle of the Pan Am Railway’s GP40-2L emerging from the tunnel wearing the experimental light blue and black paint, appeared in Bill’s TRAINS Magazine article.
I prefer this view, moments before the freight exits the inky black depths of Hoosac Mountain. For me this better conveys the experience of watching a train at Hoosac Tunnel.
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