Retrospective in 3 Photos: Amtrak E60s in the Early 1980s.

In my early days, picturing former Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 electrics was one of my main photographic interests.

I held Amtrak’s newer E60 electrics is disdain.  These modern, boxy electrics appeared to be supplanting the GG1s. For me they lacked the historic connections, the elegant streamlined style, and the character of the GG1. They were bland and common.

I may not have been fond of the E60s. But I always photographed them. They were part of the scene, and important elements of modern operations.

Recently I rediscovered these E60 photos along with some other long-missing black & white negatives.

Amtrak E60 972 leads a westward/southward train at the PATH (Husdon & Manhattan) station in Harrison, New Jersey on a gray wintery afternoon in 1981.
Kodak Tri-X processed in Microdol-X.
The view from my grandparents’ balcony in Co-op City in The Bronx overlooked Amtrak’s former New Haven Railroad Hell Gate Bridge route. I made this view using a Leitz 200mm Telyt telephoto lens attached to a Visoflex reflex viewfinder. Although klutzy, this lens arrangement allowed me to attach the telephoto lens to my Leica 3A. Focusing on moving subjects was a challenge. I made this view hand-held and while I nailed the focus  my level was completely off. I corrected the skew in post processing.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.

2 thoughts on “Retrospective in 3 Photos: Amtrak E60s in the Early 1980s.”

  1. It may have been accidental, but I think the composition of that picture from your grandparents’ balcony is superb. The first inclination might have suggested letting the loco run onto the start of the bridge, but by shooting it on the embankment, despite the clutter of trees etc., you kept that lovely bright light on the water, which for me moves the picture from a record shot into a piece of art, despite the somewhat nondescript background.

    1. Perhaps I should post the un-cropped view to show the severity of the skew! It’s about 15 degrees off level. I wasn’t very good at finding the level when I was younger, or perhaps I didn’t care.

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