Palmer, Massachusetts from Amtrak’s Vermonter.

Tracking the Light offers four views.

Many times I’ve photographed Amtrak’s Vermonter in Palmer; so here are some recent photographs of Palmer as seen from the train. I thought one last ride on this ‘temporary routing’ would be in order.

Keep in mind the Vermonter operated via Palmer for just under 20 years; a span of time only slightly less than the famous Burlington-Rio Grande-Western Pacific California Zephyr on its run from Chicago to Oakland. The two trains had virtually no commonality except the span of time operated.

The view of the Palmer Diamond looking south from Amtrak train 56 as it arrives in Palmer on December 17, 2014.
The view of the Palmer Diamond looking south from Amtrak train 56 as it arrives in Palmer on December 17, 2014.
CSX CP83 at Palmer as seen from Amtrak 56 as it used the connection to the New England Central. On the right is the Steaming Tender Restaurant, Palmer's old Union Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
CSX CP83 at Palmer as seen from Amtrak 56 as it used the connection to the New England Central. On the right is the Steaming Tender Restaurant, Palmer’s old Union Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
A former Southern Pacific SD40T-2 'Tunnel Motor' in Genesee & Wyoming family paint crosses the Palmer Diamond as Amtrak 56 glides northward on to the New England Central mainline. Every day for the last 19+ years, Amtrak's Vermonter has reverse direction at Palmer to go from the east-west former Boston & Albany mainline to the former Central Vermont line. Lumix LX7.
A former Southern Pacific SD40T-2 ‘Tunnel Motor’ in Genesee & Wyoming family paint crosses the Palmer diamond as Amtrak 56 glides northward on to the New England Central mainline. Every day for the last 19+ years, Amtrak’s Vermonter has reversed direction at Palmer to go from the east-west former Boston & Albany mainline to the former Central Vermont line. Lumix LX7.
Back in the 1990s, I'd never have guessed that a locomotive I'd photographed crossing Donner Pass would be crossing the Palmer diamonds! When the Vermonter began its operation in 1995, SP was still a railroad (as was Santa Fe, Burlington Northern, Chicago & North Western, Illinois Central, Wisconsin Central, and many others swept away by merger).
Back in the 1990s, I’d never have guessed that a locomotive I’d photographed crossing Donner Pass would be crossing the Palmer diamonds! When the Vermonter began its operation in 1995, SP was still a railroad (as was Santa Fe, Burlington Northern, Chicago & North Western, Illinois Central, Wisconsin Central Limited, and many others swept away by merger).
Amtrak's southward Vermonter, train 57, photographed at Palmer on December 19, 2014. Soon this train will be taking a more direct route over the 'Knowledge Corridor' via Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. Lumix LX7
Amtrak’s southward Vermonter, train 55, photographed at Palmer on December 19, 2014. Soon this train will be taking a more direct route over the ‘Knowledge Corridor’ via Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. Lumix LX7

The Vermonter’s route via Palmer and Amherst is in its final days. See the following previous posts for details:

Tracking the Light Special Post: Vermonter to Amherst 

Vermonter at Three Rivers.

Knowledge Corridor Test Train—December 19, 2014

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2 comments on “Palmer, Massachusetts from Amtrak’s Vermonter.

  1. Ethan Haslett on said:

    Took this same leg on December 22nd to catch what may become somewhat “rare mileage”. Did a long one-day roundtrip BOS-> WRJ (by bus) -> New Haven -> BOS. No NECR power that day other than the WRJ switcher and passing a Pan Am train north of Bellows Falls.

    Sad to see the Amherst station go unused – I lived in an apartment right next door for a semester when I was in grad school at UMass in 1995, about 6 months after the CV changed over. Took many day trips down to Palmer or up to Vermont in those days, enjoyed the Amherst Railway Society meetings and of course the late Bob Buck’s thoughts on good photo spots.

    Looking forward to riding the Conn River leg sometime soon!

    Really enjoy your blog – found it a couple months ago. Don’t think I ever met you but Bob would invariably mention your name any time I spoke with him at Tucker’s Hobbies.