Mass-Central at the Crossing, Autumn 1984.

It was an exciting time. Mass-Central had just recently acquired a former Santa Fe CF7, which to me seemed like a really exotic locomotive, and was running excursions over the old Boston & Albany line from Ware to Palmer, and Ware to South Barre.

My friend Bob Buck of Warren got involved with publicity while I made a point of both riding some of the trains and photographing them from the ground.

 Exposed on 35mm black & white film using a Leica 3a with 50mm Summitar; exposure calculated with the aid of a Weston Master III photo cell. Film processed in D76.

Exposed on 35mm black & white film using a Leica 3a with 50mm Summitar; exposure calculated with the aid of a Weston Master III photo cell. Film processed in D76.

This image was probably exposed on a Saturday afternoon in late September or early October. I’m not sure of the exact date because the individual negative strip has been separated from its original sleeve and my notes from the time are a bit minimal (and filed about 4,000 miles away). However judging by the foliage on the trees, it wasn’t too late in the season.

I’d followed the train down from Ware. It made a spirited run and approached each crossing with the bell ringing and horn blaring. Here a man has jumped off the engine to flag the difficult Route 181 crossing in Palmer, Massachusetts, where the tracks cut across the road at a difficult angle.

I’ve always liked this location because the line angles toward the road down a gently curving ramp with a row of trees beyond that makes the whole scene seem like a big diorama.

Back then, my photography was entirely inspired by the spirit of the moment and I didn’t put a lot of forethought into details such as location, lighting and composition. My mode was to ‘get ahead of the train then jump out and grab a photo or two.’

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/