CSX Monday Traffic: Snow, Cold and Being There—a Dozen New Photos.

 

Back to the old,  ‘f5.6 and be there’. (While paying close attention to the signals and scanner).

Lately CSX’s freight operations on the old Boston & Albany have been largely nocturnal.

Mondays on the other hand can prove busy in the morning.

February 8, 2016: I wasn’t out for the day, but rather running some errands. As always, I had my Lumix at the ready. Snow was forecast and it was beginning to flurry.

On my way through East Brookfield, I took the time to check the signals at CP64.

These were lit: “Limited Clear” westbound. I knew a train must be close.

Soon I could hear the clatter of cars descending Charlton Hill. Then affirmation on the radio, ‘Q427 clear signal main to main CP60’.

CSX Q427 is the connection from Pan Am Railways that runs from Portland, Maine to Selkirk, New York via the Ayer-Worcester gateway. On Pan Am it’s called POSE.
CSX Q427 is the connection from Pan Am Railways that runs from Portland, Maine to Selkirk, New York via the Ayer-Worcester gateway. On Pan Am it’s called POSE.

I made my photographs. But a few minutes later I heard that Q427 had stopped west of milepost 72 owing to difficulties with the locomotives.

That’s Warren, 72 miles west of South Station, Boston.

I caught up with the freight as the crew was discussing its difficulties with CSX’s dispatcher in Selkirk. Soon, Q427, with its mix of CSX and Pan Am Railways locomotives. was again on the move west.
I caught up with the freight as the crew was discussing its difficulties with CSX’s dispatcher in Selkirk. Soon, Q427, with its mix of CSX and Pan Am Railways locomotives. was again on the move west.

 

Q427 had to meet two eastward trains at CP83 (Palmer).

I continued to follow west, while making photographs along the way. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

Pacing view along Route 67 in West Warren. Lumix LX7 photo.
Pacing view along Route 67 in West Warren. Lumix LX7 photo.
My favorite field west of CP79. The view from Route 67.
My favorite field west of CP79. The view from Route 67.
The old Palmer freight house location.
The old Palmer freight house location.
It's been a while since I saw a blue SD45 roll through Palmer on the Boston & Albany.
It’s been a while since I saw a blue SD45 roll through Palmer on the Boston & Albany.

 

I arrived at CP83 just in time to hear the first of two eastward trains call the signal; “Limited Clear”. Not a second to waste: I was out of the car and immediately into position—switching the Lumix ‘on’ as I ran.
I arrived at CP83 just in time to hear the first of two eastward trains call the signal; “Limited Clear”. Not a second to waste: I was out of the car and immediately into position—switching the Lumix ‘on’ as I ran.

I made a few photos of the first meet, then opted to head back up the Quaboag Valley rather than stay put.

CSX_Q427_meet_w_eb_CSX_stacks_Palmer_Ma_tight_P1370806

Radiator comparison. Lumix LX7 view.
Radiator comparison. Lumix LX7 view.

The snow was now getting heavy and it wasn’t getting any warmer.

At Electric Light Hill (near milepost 82) I photographed CSX Q264 (loaded autoracks for East Brookfield).
At Electric Light Hill (near milepost 82) I photographed CSX Q264 (loaded autoracks for East Brookfield).

This was a heavy train. And despite the snow, it was easy enough to follow up the grade to Warren.

The snow adds depth, but to keep the image from become purely abstract I opted to include the bush at the left. The roar of the train filled the valley.
The snow adds depth, but to keep the image from become purely abstract I opted to include the bush at the left. The roar of the train filled the valley.

It was just 18 degrees at the Warren station.

That’s good enough for my morning errands!

All photos nominally adjusted for contrast and saturation in post processing.

CSX Q264 passes the old Boston & Albany station at Warren, Massachusetts.
CSX Q264 passes the old Boston & Albany station at Warren, Massachusetts.
This is the site of the old Warren yard. What happened to the old coal sheds? For that matter what happened to Anthracite? Car wash anyone?
This is the site of the old Warren yard. What happened to the old coal sheds? For that matter what happened to Anthracite? Car wash anyone?

Tracking the Light is a Daily Blog on Railway Photography!

5 thoughts on “CSX Monday Traffic: Snow, Cold and Being There—a Dozen New Photos.”

  1. The dramatic meet photo at the Steaming Tender would look good framed and displayed there. Is it legit to process out that white roadsign and to boost the red signal lights a little more?

    My bet is that the crucial switch right in front of the Steaming Tender may be the reason Blake won’t be able to get his station to be the Palmer stop when commuter trains begin a Boston Springfield run, since CSX won’t be able to run around the commuter train when stopped there. Hope I’m wrong!

    1. Personally I don’t believe in editing photos for content in post processing; but minor alterations to color balance and saturation is probably ok.
      I have my own theories on the Palmer passenger service, but these tend to be influenced by those more in the know than me. (Don’t but a ticket just yet).

  2. I’d like to think Bob Buck was with you in the car on this chase… Doubtless he would have loved it and had the same questions about the Anthracite too.

    1. Hi Paul,
      I think he was in the dispatchers office and on the locomotives, thus orchestrating a near perfect sequence of events for me to get the best possible images.
      BS

Comments are closed.