July 30, 1987: Conrail SD45-2s downgrade at Bennington Curve.

Less often photographed than the famous Horseshoe Curve, is Bennington Curve further up the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line grade toward Gallitzin, Pennsylvania.

Back in July 1987, my pal TSH and I camped near the curve. I was kept awake by the roar of uphill diesels and the ear-piercing flange squeal of wheels in the curve. At sunrise I was track side to photograph the action.

One of my first images of the morning was this black & white view of a light helper set returning down grade toward Altoona to assist a westward freight.

In 1987 my choice film was Kodak T-Max 400, then a relative new emulsion. After about a year of work with T-max, I returned to using older emulsions such as Kodak Tri-X, which I felt produced better results.

At that time Conrail routinely assigned its 13 former Erie-Lackawanna SD45-2s as helpers based at Cresson near the top of the hill on the West Slope.

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