Warren, Massachusetts, February 25, 1988.

Now and Then.

At 3:35pm on Thursday, February 25, 1988, Conrail C32-8 6617 and C36-7 6622 chugged eastbound upgrade through Warren passing the old Boston & Albany station.

Conrail SEPW at Warren on February 25, 1988. Exposed with a Rolleiflex Model T with a 75mm Carl Zeiss 3.5 Tessar. Kodak Verichrome Pan (VPX) black & white film exposed at ISO 100 f4 1/250th of a second, processed in D76 1:1 with water. Scanned on an Epson V500 flatbed scanner. Image cropped slight from a 645 size 120 negative.
Conrail SEPW at Warren on February 25, 1988. Exposed with a Rolleiflex Model T with a 75mm Carl Zeiss 3.5 Tessar. Kodak Verichrome Pan (VPX) black & white film exposed at ISO 100 f4 1/250th of a second, processed in D76 1:1 with water. Scanned on an Epson V500 flatbed scanner. Image cropped slight from a 645 size 120 negative.

Waiting for trains at Warren, you can hear heavy freight coming for several minutes, as they labor on the grade up the Quaboag River valley. General Electric diesels make a distinctive sound as they gain speed. Usually by the time the train passes downtown Warren, the train is making a pretty good clip.

This freight was Conrail’s SEPW (Selkirk to Providence & Worcester), a working through freight that typically dropped cars at West Springfield and Palmer.

I’d been trackside since the morning, but spent several hours following a Central Vermont local freight working to Belchertown, and this was the first eastbound Conrail train I’d photographed, although I put several Amtrak trains on film.

After SEPW went east, I headed over to Tucker’s Hobbies (which was then on Bacon Street, within sight of the old station) to visit with Bob Buck.

I heard chatter on the scanner that hinted at a 4th eastward freight. Not wanting to repeat my efforts at Palmer, I went up the Quaboag Valley to Warren and waited there. I was rewarded by yet another eastward intermodal train. Word to the wise; rarely I have I ever seen four eastward intermodal trains in daylight on the B&A route in modern times. Lumix LX7 photo. (Adjusted for contrast in post processing).
CSXT eastward intermodal freight at Warren on October 20, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo. (Adjusted for contrast in post processing).
Warren Station on Ocotber 20, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.
Warren Station on Ocotber 20, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.

Compare the 1988 view, with these photos I exposed few weeks ago at almost exactly the same location. (I posted a version of the action image in an earlier post, but I thought it made for a nice contrast.)

Since 1988, the old westward main line was lifted (it was out of service since late 1986), the code lines were taken down, the station has fallen into disrepair (it hadn’t served a passenger train since the 1950s) and the line has become rather brushed in. Step back to 1888, and there was grade crossing at this location, but that’s another story altogether.

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Tomorrow: A long lost box of slides; located, opened and scanned!

 

2 comments on “Warren, Massachusetts, February 25, 1988.

  1. John Smoots on said:

    Nice contrast in time! BTW, what are the gables on the depot called? Or, what is the style of architecture of the depot?

    • The station was designed by Boston architects Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, who assumed the contract for Boston & Albany stations from noted architect H.H. Richardson who died prematurely c1885. Richardson designed stations in Palmer, Chatham, and elsewhere along the B&A route, as well as railroad stations in Holyoke and New London. The style of the station is considered Richardson Romanesque and characterized by use of heavy stone blocks. The roof ‘gable’ you noted is a feature of many of the B&A stations. I believe this is called an ‘eyelid’ window. Brian Solomon