Conrail Trailvan along the Mass-Pike

December 1987.

Exposed on Kodachrome 25, using a Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron.
Exposed on Kodachrome 25, using a Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron.

Scenes like this were once common: piggyback trains on their final lap to Boston running along traffic on the adjacent Massachusetts Turnpike. But, not any more.

A few years ago, CSX finally closed its yards at Beacon Park, having expanded its intermodal facilities in Worcester and West Springfield.

I made this view on bright, brisk clear afternoon at Newton, Massachusetts. Polarized sunlight can be typical Boston weather in early winter.

It’s nice to get clear sunny days, yet the area’s low humidity combined with other elements can make the light too contrasty. Not all sunlight has the same qualities, and I’ve found that sunlight can vary greatly from region to region and at different times of the year.

But when autumn fades to winter, more changes than just the leaves. In eastern Massachusetts stark midday wintery lighting presents its own of visual challenges.

The cold razor’s edge Boston’s winter sunlight makes for blinding bright highlights and opaque shadows. But is it too harsh? I’m much fonder of softer mid-autumn sun.

Stark light, not withstanding, I’m happy to have made this view of a Conrail piggyback train on the Boston & Albany. The Conrail Trailvan trailer behind the locomotives makes it a more interesting image.

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