January Sunset at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

Back in 1991, my brother Sean and I explored the former Pennsylvania Railroad electrified mainline between Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia. I recalled from that visit that the long tangent at Marcus Hook offered some interesting views and the potential for evening glint.

Earlier this month (January 2015) we returned to this location. SEPTA maintains a ground level station that provides easy access.

I like the location for several reasons: it is open, which allows late sun to reach rail level; there’s a long tangent and signals, that provide advance warning for trains; Amtrak’s trains can travel at top speeds; and it is relatively easy to get around obstructions such as poles and wires than might interfere with photography.

Amtrak AEM-7 919 leads a late-running train 93 at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak AEM-7 919 leads a late-running train 93 at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Trailing view of Amtrak AEM-7 train 93 at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Trailing view of Amtrak AEM-7 train 93 at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
A minute after train 93 passed, this eastward Acela Express was caught burning up the rail, you can still see 95 in the distance. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
A minute after train 93 passed, this eastward Acela Express was caught burning up the rail; you can still see train 93 in the distance. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Soft, rosy evening glint is an effect caused in part by pollution in the air resulting from large amounts of automotive emissions in the Northeast and filtration  from thin low clouds.
Soft, rosy evening glint is an effect caused in part by pollution in the air resulting from large amounts of automotive emissions and dust in the Northeast plus filtration from thin low clouds.

We arrived in time for a flurry of activity just as the sun was setting. These images were exposed using my Canon EOS 7D, but I also made a few images on Fuji Provia 100F using my old Canon EOS 3.

A new ACS-64 electric leads train 85 toward the setting sun at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. Except for scaling, there was no post-processing adjustment to this image. However, to retain the golden glint effect, I used the 'daylight' white balance setting on my camera instead of the 'auto white balance'.
A new ACS-64 electric leads train 85 toward the setting sun at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. Except for scaling, there was no post-processing adjustment to this image. However, to retain the golden glint effect, I used the ‘daylight’ white balance setting on my camera instead of the ‘auto white balance’.
A SEPTA Silverliner V accelerates away from the station at Marcus Hook on its way toward Wilmington, Delaware.
A SEPTA Silverliner V accelerates away from the station at Marcus Hook on its way toward Wilmington, Delaware. Except for scaling (necessary for internet presentation), there was no post-processing manipulation to this image.

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