Conway Magnificence: Budd Dome and Steam at Willey Brook.

I’ve just scratched the surface reviewing the many photos I made yesterday (June 29, 2019) of Conway Scenic’s Trains, Planes and Automobiles steam excursion over New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch.

This was the first public excursion with Conway’s new Budd-dome Rhonda Lee (formerly Silver Splendor) as featured on Tracking the Light. And the first time the car was teamed up with steam locomotive 7470.

I made this view of the iconic Willey Brook Trestle on the return run in the afternoon where the steam locomotive was trailing.

For years I’d admired photos from the vantage point on the rocks above the bridge, which has been used to photograph the railway since it was constructed in the 1870s.

I never realized how difficult it was to get up there until I had to make the ascent myself, with all my gear in tow.

This view was exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit mounted on a Gitzo tripod. I used an external Lee graduated filter to help improve sky detail.

By working in the vertical-oriented portrait format, I was better able to show the distance of the stream below the bridge and the great verticality of the entire scene. I’m specifically mimicking a 19thcentury glass plate view, while remembering a Kodachrome slide my friend Brian Jennison exposed here of a Maine Central freight.

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Saturday June 29 is Conway Scenic 7470’s Big Day!

Last night I made this sunset view of Conway Scenic’s steam engine 7470 that was being readied for its big outing over Crawford Notch today. It departs at 9am.

The final minutes of daylight produced a cosmic drop-under sunset.

To make the most of this wonderful light, I hand-held a Lee graduated neutral density filter over my 12mm Zeiss Touit wide angle lens.

In post processing, I worked with the camera RAW files to make minor adjustments to contrast and exposure.

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Boston & Maine F7As at North Conway.

Is this a rare view?

The other morning I was up with the sunrise at North Conway, New Hampshire, home to the Conway Scenic Railroad.

I noticed that the parking lot, often filled with cars, was all but empty and only one vehicle was obstructing the view of the two Boston & Maine F7A diesels that reside in the yard near the shop.

That one vehicle was my own.

So I moved it, and then made these photos in the rich June morning sun using my Lumix LX7.

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CSX: Early Morning Intermodal—five views and the Spirit of Ravenna.


Tuesday Morning (June 25 2019), I made my way to Palmer, Massachusetts to see how fared the old Boston & Albany.

Not long after I arrived at the old freight house location (the building was unceremoniously demolished by Conrail 30 years ago), I heard ‘Limited Clear CP83’ on my scanner. This transmission indicated that a train was about to take the controlled siding.

Modern six-motor GEs (an Evolution and a Tier IV—standard CSX road power on the Boston Line) rolled east with a short intermodal train, probably Q012 or Q022.

The trailing locomotive was CSX’s Louisville & Nashville heritage locomotive, identified by a tiny L&N logo on the cab and ‘Spirit of Ravenna’ in script. Lucky bonus to catch that in Palmer!

I made my photos at the west end of the yard, working with a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto lens and my Lumix LX7.

This was just the beginning of the morning’s photography.

Stay tuned!

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The Shay and the Segway.

Lumix LX7 in-camera JPG without adjustments—compare with photo below.



Last weekend, while visiting Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln, New Hampshire with Lisa King, I had the opportunity to make a brief journey on a Segway two-wheel self-balancing motorized scooter.
 
As I balanced on the Segway, I used my Lumix LX7, to make a view of three-truck Shay-type steam locomotive lettered for the Woodstock Lumber Company and owned by Clark’s railroad, the White Mountain Central.
 
In other words, while traveling on one relatively obscure wheeled device, I exposed a photo of another relatively obscure wheeled device.
 
Keeping the camera level was the tricky part.
 
On my return, White Mountain Central’s excursion train rolled by. While hardly an exemplary image, this one shows both a train and a Segway in the same image.
 
And so now for another story . . .  we saw some bears too!
 
Processed JPG working from Lumix LX7 RAW file. Contrast, exposure and color balance adjusted for improved internet viewing. Notice the greater amounts of detail in the blast and shadow areas.
What’s a Segway? In this view you can see one in motion at the left. On right is the White Mountain Central excursion train. This view was made while in motion.


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TRACKING THE LIGHT TEST PATTERN

Although, I normally post new material daily, for reasons beyond my control or understanding, I was unable to upload photos today.

I don’t know if this is a problem with WordPress, my files, my host, the internet, or some complication in the interfaces between them.

I am traveling today and will attempt to post images later or tomorrow.

Conway Scenic 7470 Switches the Yard.

Lumix LX7 photo. Engine 7470 switches a tank car full of water at North Conway. (Note the blue placard).

FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Experiencing steam in action is always a thrill.

Over the last few weeks, Conway Scenic has been working its former Grand Trunk 0-6-0 on short runs in preparation for the summer season and for its big outing over Crawford Notch to the end of the line at Hazen’s Crossing near Whitefield on June 29, 2019.

Last Saturday (June 22), I was up early to catch 7470 working the yard at North Conway. Call me a purist, but I found watching this 0-6-0 switching freight and passenger cars in preparation for its daily excursion work more enchanting than the excursions themselves.

Why?

First of all, as an 0-6-0, engine 7470 was intended for switching, so what better assignment could it have?

Secondly, the crisp morning with rich low June sun made for nearly ideal photographic conditions.

I made these digital images using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 cameras.

This week, I’ll be scoping places on the old Maine Central Mountain Division looking for the best photographic vantage points to catch 7470 on its ascent of Crawford Notch. The train is scheduled to depart North Conway at 9am.

If you are interested, tickets are still available for the trip, which includes rare mileage from Fabyans to Hazens.

Call Conway Scenic for tickets: (603) 356-5251.

Or check out their website at:

www.conwayscenic.com

Tickets for the special excursion may be booked by selecting the ‘Notch Train’ for June 29, 2019 and choosing one of several seating options.

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Steam and Semaphores at Cobh, Junction—May 2000.

Cobh Junction on 11 May 2000. Nikon N90S with Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO).

Nineteen Years ago, I was traveling with Denis McCabe and Tony Gray to photograph Railway Preservations Society of Ireland’s annual ‘Two Day Tour’.

We stopped along the N25 opposite the water from Cobh, Junction, Glounthaune, Cork, where I used a telephoto lens to expose this view of former Great Northern Railway (Ireland) steam locomotive 171 hauling Irish Rail Cravens carriages on a trip to Cobh.

At the time, an overcast day photo of 171 working tender first didn’t excite me much, and I left this slide with the other ‘seconds’ from that trip

However, in May of this year (2019)—almost 19 years to the day after I exposed the photo—I rediscovered this slide. It was still in the original box in which it was returned to me from the lab. Time has improved my photo and I think it’s pretty neat now.

I scanned it using an Epson V750 Pro flat bed scanner and processed the file using Lightroom.

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Rare Move on the Mountain.

On Friday, June 21, 2019, Conway Scenic sent locomotive 1751 to Crawfords, New_Hampshire in order to position an excavator that had been working west of the summit.

This was 1751’s first assignment on the Mountain since repairs at North Conway earlier in the week.

Later the locomotive was sent west to Hazen’s at the far reaches of Conway Scenic’s operations on the old Maine Central Mountain Division.

I made these views from highway 312 using my Fujifilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit. In post processing, I digitally applied a graduated neutral density filter to make for better sky detail on the gray day.

On Saturday, June 29, 2019. Conway Scenic has a special Notch Train planned. This will run with steam locomotive 7470 all the way from North Conway over Crawford Notch to Hazen’s to participate in the Trains Planes and Automobiles special event.

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Mount Willard with a Commanding View of Crawford Notch!

A stream in the forest along our climb to Mount Willard.
Lumix LX7 photo.

The view of Crawford Notch from Mount Willard. Highway 302 can be seen at the center of the image, Conway Scenic’s former Maine Central Mountain Division is at right. Lumix LX7 photo
Lumix LX7 view of Crawford Notch from Mount Willard with Conway Scenic’s Notch Train ascending at lower right.
This is a FujiFilm XT1 photo with 90mm telephoto lens. Notice the tiny train on the line deep in the valley below. I made several more photos, which I’m saving for special purposes!

I’d spied some rocks high on Mount Willard above the old Maine Central trestle at Willey Brook.

Conway Scenic’s Lisa King offered to bring me on a hike to those rocks for a commanding view of New Hampshire’s famous Crawford Notch.

“We’ll start at Crawfords Station. It takes about an hour!”

So last Saturday, we departed North Conway about an hour ahead of the Notch Train, and drove to Crawfords, where I was surprised to find about 100 cars parked along the road.

I was astounded to ‘discover’ that one of New Hampshire’s most impressive views attracts hundreds of hikers on bright warm weekend mornings!

We walked up through the forests, fording streams, avoiding bugs, dodging potential encounters with bears (we didn’t see any, but I’ll bet some saw us, since, earlier in the week, I’d spotted a bear cub on the line).

At the top, Lisa brought me a great view looking down the valley, and down onto the famous Willey Brook bridge.

I’m saving the bridge photos for a rainy day.

Next Saturday, June 29, 2019, Conway Scenic has scheduled a special Notch Train to be led by its steam locomotive 7470. This will depart Conway at 9am and run over the Notch and beyond to Hazen’s Crossing near the White Mountains Regional Airport for an event called Trains, Planes and Automobiles.

(I’m told tickets are still available, but get yours soon!)

Call: 603-356-5251 or check Conway Scenic’s website:

https://www.conwayscenic.com/notch-train/

Look under ‘Notch Train’ and click on June 29.

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New Orleans Streetcar—December 2018.

It was a little more than six months ago that I made this view of a heritage streetcar in New Orleans, Louisiana while walking to the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal to board Amtrak’s Sunset Limited.

I exposed this digitally using my FujiFilm XT1 with my zoom lens set at 110mm.

Lately, I’ve shied away from using the zoom and instead prefer to work with my prime lenses. However, the zoom is well suited for street photography owing to its variable focal length.

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Conway Scenic Video to Promote Rare Mileage Trip on June 29, 2019.

Earlier this week, Dave Swirk, president and general manager of the Conway Scenic Railroad, enlisted my skills to help promote the railroad’s June 29, 2019 special steam trip over Crawford Notch to the Trains, Planes & Automobiles event near Whitefield, New Hampshire.

Dave explained how this excursion is a rare opportunity to see Conway’s only operating steam locomotive reach Crawford Notch—which is beyond its typical operating territory— but also offers the opportunity to travel all the way to Hazen’s Crossing at the western limit of Conway Scenic’s operation of the former Maine Central Mountain Division. The Airshow / Carshow is an extra bonus!

Using my FujiFilm XT1 camera with 12mm Zeiss Touit, I recorded Dave speaking about the railroad’s steam locomotive 7470 that was recently restored to operations and its role in the special June 29th trip.

I edited the video output from the camera using Apple software on my Macbook.

This event is a big deal for Conway Scenic. It has been nearly five years since 7470 regularly worked Conway Scenic’s  excursions, so this trip represents an exciting opportunity and there’s no one better than Dave himself to capture the enthusiasm for this special event. 

Locomotive 7470 is a heavy 0-6-0 built in 1921 by the Grand Trunk for service in Canada. It is significant as the first locomotive to provide service on the Conway Scenic and of great personal significance for Dave.

On June 29th, the special Notch Train will depart North Conway behind steam at 9am.

To book tickets for this event call: 603-356-5251.

See: https://www.conwayscenic.com/notch-train/

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Check out the video on Facebook:

Lower Quadrant at Dusk

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made this view of Conway Scenic’s lower quadrant semaphore in the fading light of evening.

This is an example of a Union Switch & Signal Style-B mechanism powering twin lower quadrant blades was an early type of signal used in automatic block service and once common on Boston & Maine and Maine Central lines in New England.

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New Haven Railroad Geometry at Port Chester, New York.

Exposed with a Rolleiflex Model T set up with a ‘super-slide’ 645-size insert; Verichrome Pan black & white film. Image scanned in May 2019 using an Epson V750 scanner.
Reformatted version of the same image at top. Some viewers indicated they were unable to see the image in the original format. Both should appear the same.

August 1987; with Rolleiflex in hand, I spent an evening at Port Chester, New York along the former New Haven Railroad four-track electrified main line.

Port Chester offered several attractions. The nearly north-south alignment of the track made it a great place to catch eastward trains in the evening light.

Metro-North was operating a variety of trains using its venerable FL9s (dual-mode diesel-electric/third-rail electrics), and these tended to face outbound (east) in the evening.

It was along the portion of the line still equipped with New Haven’s distinctive triangular catenary.

Although I focused my efforts on the FL9 powered trains, I also photographed Metro-North’s more common multiple units.

Among the images I made was this high-structured composition that frames a Grand Central bound multiple unit in the structure of the catenary and its supports. There’s a lot of angles here!

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Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited in the 1980s.

Amtrak 448 approaching milepost 84 in Monson, Massachusetts. March 1986.

On March 16, 1986, I hiked west of milepost 84 on Conrail’s Boston & Albany route to photograph Amtrak train 448, the eastward Lake Shore Limited(Boston section).

This was just a few months before Conrail single tracked the line between Springfield and Palmer, Massachusetts.

I was keen to document the Boston & Albany’s line that passed through the northern reaches of my home town, Monson, Massachusetts, in the railroad’s traditional directional double track configuration.

This lone image is part of my much more extensive project to document the Boston & Albany route on film.

I exposed the photo on 120 roll film using my father’s Rollei Model T. In May 2019, I scanned the negatives using an Epson V750 flatbed scanner. For presentation here, I adjusted contrast and exposure using Lightroom.

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Steam and Smiles: 7470 on the Move!

Yesterday, Friday June 14, 2019, Conway Scenic Railroad fired up locomotive 7470 (its former Grand Trunk 0-6-0) and assigned it to an afternoon run down the old Boston & Maine line to Conway.

This was its first revenue run on a scheduled train in many years.

There were surprisingly few people around to witness the event.

Railroad President David Swirk took the throttle on the return run which arrived under sunny skies. His grin from the cab beamed liked that of the Cheshire Cat!

Today the plan for 7470 was to display this engine at Conway for an event.

Photos exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.

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First Trains of the Season at Crawford Notch.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 12mm lens, file adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 90mm lens, file adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.

Monday June 10, 2019, Conway Scenic Railroad operated an employee-special to Crawford Notch in preparation for commencement of its regularly schedule excursions, which began the following day.

Trains to Crawfords station from North Conway, New Hampshire operate on supremely scenic and steeply graded former Maine Central Mountain Division.

Last used for regularly scheduled freight in 1983, this route has been a highlight of Conway Scenic’s excursion program since the mid-1990s.

I made these views at Crawfords station of Monday’s excursion using my FujiFilm XT1. Compare the relative perspective offered by a wide-angle versus that with a medium telephoto from a distance.

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Conway Scenic’s Notch Train—low and wide.

The other evening I made this view of Conway Scenic Railroad’s Notch Train at North Conway, New Hampshire.

I wanted to make the most of the low sun, while featuring the railroad’s former Maine Central GP38 and the lower quadrant semaphore at the south-end of the yard.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with my super wide angle (12mm) Zeiss Touit, I used the camera’s adjustable rear display to compose my image while holding it at arm’s length close to the ground.

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Archival Materials on the International Space Station—update.

NASA photo of CTech archival media on the ISS.

Last month on Tracking the Light (See: ARCHIVING, RESEARCH AND A NASA LAUNCH.) I wrote about a project that I’ve been involved with to develop very long term archival digital storage media. 

Last week NASA forwarded a photograph (above) of our media on the International Space Station, where it is being exposed to various types of radiation as part of testing. 

Among the requirements of these tests was that the materials be delivered to NASA using ground transport to avoid unnecessary exposure to gamma rays and etc, prior to the beginning of the tests that began with the launch in May 2019. 

As a result, my father and I traveled by train across country to deliver materials to our NASA contacts in Houston, Texas. These were carried in a specially designed box for storage on the International Space Station. We traveled on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, Crescentand Sunset Limited. At all times the box was in our sight.

Richard Solomon holding the special case containing CTech archival media for testing on the ISS with Malcom Simpson near Houston, Texas.

Amtrak’s Sunset Limited at Beaumont, Texas on the way to Houston.


Amtrak’s Sunset Limited at Houston.

Summary of my earlier Tracking the Light Post:

Several years ago my concerns over the lack of long-term archival storage for my growing collection of railroad photographs (and those of my fellow photographers) led me to begin working with scientists at Creative Technology LLC, including my father Richard Jay Solomon, Clark Johnson Jr., and Eric Rosenthal, in order to find a means of preserving photography, especially digital photography, by using proven technologies.

This evolved into a much larger project aimed at preserving and storing all digital media using silver technology—similar to that used to make photographs.

NASA took an interest in Creative Technology’s concept and offered to send examples of Creative Technology’s storage media to the International Space Station to test its ability to withstand the rigors of the space environment.

CTECH/WORF-NASA Press Release

Can data survive in space over extremely long times and multiple human generations? The possibility of human colonies on other planets may ultimately depend on just such data stability. Now, a patented innovative long-term archival data storage system created by a Delaware-based firm will be tested on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2019 for up to a year. 

The system developed by Creative Technology LLC (CTech) of Hockessin, DE, is called WORF, for Write Once, Read Forever. WORF applies a century-old tested archival media for photography in a completely new way for storing high-density computer data in perpetuity. Inherently secure, low-cost technology is used for WORF that cannot be hacked or altered. WORF media can be used to store critical DNA and healthcare records, financial information and contracts, family photos and records which need to preserved for multiple human generations.

NASA’s ISS test will determine if WORF-stored data can survive a hostile space environment during long-term space missions, such as the mission to Mars and beyond. Today, conventional media, such as hard drives, magnetic tape, and solid state memory, are vulnerable to decay and bit rot due to gamma and cosmic rays and age deterioration. 

WORF media is a green technology which can be stored for long periods in normal room environments without excessive energy for cooling or maintenance, opening up a new opportunity for storing secure data for extended periods of time without the need for energy. 

CTech is a group of technologists with over 300 years collective experience in human perception, image capture & display, photosensitive media, data storage & compression, and video and telecomm applications and technology. CTech sponsors have included NSA, the Naval Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, NASA, & DARPA. 

All media used today have to be continually replicated and authenticated in order to be readable even in less than one human lifetime, and that process alone incurs new errors each time the data is copied. WORF avoids that problem, saving enormous labor and energy costs over long periods. 

Copyright 2019 – All rights reserved – Creative Technology, LLC

https://techport.nasa.gov/view/94998

Contact:
Eric Rosenthal, 732-580-9555 eric@creative-technology.net 

See: 

http://www.creative-technology.net/CTECH/WORF_NASA_Press_Release.html

Quiet Evening on The Mountain

At the end of May 2019, I paused briefly at Crawford Notch, New Hampshire to expose some photos in the evening light of the former Portland & Ogdensburg (Maine Central) Crawfords station.

This classic resort station is now seasonally served by Conway Scenic Railroad, and that season is about to begin!

Stay tuned!

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Conway Scenic 7470 Awakes From Hibernation.

On June 1, 2019, after several years of slumber, Conway Scenic Railroad’s 0-6-0 7470 made its first steps, moving under its own power around the railroad’s North Conway , New Hampshire yard.

The sights and sounds of this former Grand Trunk 0-6-0 have delighted visitors and residents of North Conway since the early 1970s, so having the locomotive back under steam represents a milestone event for the railroad’s 2019 operating season.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7.

Among the challenges of photographing excursion railroads is working with high-summer light. Operations favor the schedules of the majority of the visiting public, and during summer often this tends coincide with the dreaded midday sun.

Black steam locomotives make for an extra challenge as the drivers and other reciprocating gear tend to be masked by the inky shadows of the highlight.

In this circumstance high-thin clouds diffused high-sun and resulted in better contrast than on a completely clear day. Working with my RAW files in Lightroom I made further adjustments to shadow areas in order to make my images more appealing.

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Maine Central 573 at Bartlett—Two Days, Two Photos.

Here’s two photos of Conway Scenic Railroad’s former Maine Central GP7 573 running around the Valley Trainat Bartlett, New Hampshire on the old Mountain Division.

One was made from the train on a cloudy day, the other from the road near the section house as the engine was cutting off from the train.

Some contrasts: Cloud versus sun; vertical versus horizontal; traditional versus interpretative; road versus rail.

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Some viewers commented that they were unable to see the ‘cloudy’ photo. For this reason, I’ve rescaled and re-uploaded a version of the original vertical photo plus an EXTRA horizontal image from the same sequence.

By the Balls!

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit.

Yeah, it’s a cliché.

But so what.

So, there I was in Whitefield, New Hampshire last week for the first time since the early 1990s, and the old Ball signal was basking in the evening sun.

Once a common variety of signal in New England, often used where one line crossed another, the Ball signal is all but history now.

Whitefield’s Ball is the last on a common carrier, but the lines are so infrequently used that the old signal has virtually no function other than serving as an historical decoration.

However, it’s not the only surviving Ball signal  in New Hampshire. The Balls that once protect Waumbek  Junction (near Whitefield in Jefferson) are now displayed at North Conway, and will soon feature in Tracking the Light.

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Near the End of the Line.

Last week, I made these photos of disused former Boston & Maine tracks north of Littleton, New Hampshire.

This had been B&M’s line that ran from Wells River, Vermont via Bath and Littleton to Whitefield, New Hampshire.

The section from Littleton to Woodsville and Wells River had been abandoned and lifted in 1996.

Abandoned railways make for forlorn photographs, that are sad yet compelling.

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Rails Along the Old Connecticut River.

North from White River Junction the former Boston & Maine line runs toward Wells River and Newport, Vermont.

It’s been nearly a century since B&M conveyed the line north of Wells River to Canadian Pacific, but I’m old enough to remember B&M operations White River to Wells River, although I don’t have many photos to show for it.

Last week I followed Vermont Rail System’s freight operating northward from White River Junction. Unfortunately for photos, many of my preferred locations were suffering from excessive vegetation.

Here’s a few photos exposed digitally. More to come.

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Two Railroads at the Junction—panoramic composite

Click on Tracking the Light for the full view!

Last week, I made this panoramic composite using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm fixed-focal length (‘prime’) telephoto.

New England Central on the left; Vermont Rail System on the right; the station at White River Junction between them.

By ‘composite’, I mean that the camera exposed numerous single frame images as I swept across the scene and then assemble them internally using pre-programmed software. This feature is offered by both my XT1 and Lumix LX7 digital cameras.

If you would like to board a train from White River Junction for a leisurely ride along the river on June 15th:
http://massbayrre.org/Trips/GreenKnightTrain.htm
Photography encouraged!

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New England Central 437 Works White River Junction.

Last week, I made these photographs of New England Central 437 and Buffalo & Pittsburgh 3000 working a local freight at White River Junction, Vermont.

Old 437 wears some tired looking Florida East Coast paint, revealing its former owner.

This local made numerous passes of the old station, making for ample photographic opportunities.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.

Bellows Falls ‘Dusty Diamond’ Found!

Several days ago, I posted a view of a dusty diamond in the Bellows Falls, Vermont yard that I exposed way back in 1978. Tracking the Light readers wrote in and wondered if this disused section of track survived, and one suggested that it did still exist.

So, the other day, I stopped over in Bellows Falls while driving northward and searched for the old diamond at the southeast area of Vermont Railway’s former B&M/Rutland yard.

I’ll admit that I drove over the section of  track in question before I finally spotted it, well buried in dirt and partially covered by a puddle.

Making matters difficult, was that in my youthful focus on the diamond, I completely cropped the building next to it, which if I had included in my earlier photo, would have made finding the location easier.

Below are several comparison views plus a scan from the original slide.

Site of the ”dusty diamond’ in May 2019. This is as close of an angle as could manage and is nearly a direct comparison. Keep in mind the 1978 view was made in late autumn and in the afternoon, while the above photo was exposed on an overcast morning.
1978 view at Bellows Falls.
Close-up view of the diamond, which has been nearly absorbed by the road since my 1978 photograph.

An overall view showing the factory building at left. Apparently this factory didn’t impress me at age 12, and I completely omitted it from my 1978 view. It would have made a good reference point had I included it.

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Conrail Classic: Caboose Rolls West.

Check out my selection of Conrail photos on Flicker at:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/163833022@N05/n8ua9g

Conrail westward freight passing the old Boston & Albany station at Warren, Massachusetts. Notice the old freight house at the left. Today there’s a lot more vegetation around the railroad than back in 1984.

On April 18, 1984, I was photographing Conrail’s Boston & Albany at Warren, Massachusetts, an activity that undoubtedly coincided to a visit with my friend Bob Buck at Tucker’s Hobbies.

Early in the afternoon, I caught a westward train with three (then new) SD50s rolling by the old Boston & Albany Warren station.

This was in double-track days, when Conrail still operated train in the current of traffic in accordance with rule 251 and the long established automatic block signals that protected movements on the line.

Cabooses were still the norm on through freights, but not for much longer. Within a few months caboose-less freights would become standard practice on the B&A route and across the Conrail system.

I made this view on Kodak 5060 safety film (Panatomic-X) using my 1930s-era Leica 3A with 50mm f2.0 Summitar lens. I processed the film in the kitchen sink using Kodak Microdol-X and then made the unfortunate choice of storing the negatives in a common paper envelope, which is where they remained until last week.

Panatomic-X. Now if there was one great black & white film, that was it. Slow as molasses, but really great film. It was rated at 32 ISO (or ASA as it was called in those days) and tended to result in some thin negatives, but it gave great tonality, fine grain, and scans very well.

I’m glad I have these negatives, ignored and stored inappropriately for all these years. If only there was still a Conrail, cabooses on the roll, and Bob Buck at Tucker’s Hobbies to tell you all about it!

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Check out my selection of Conrail photos on Flicker at:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/163833022@N05/n8ua9g

My Amtrak Photos on Flicker


I recently opened a Flicker account under the name: briansolomonauthor.

Among the various albums is one devoted to Amtrak. This features a very modest selection from the tens of thousands of images I’ve made of Amtrak trains during my travels since the 1970s.

Even if you do not have a Flicker account you should be able to enjoy my Amtrak photographs.

This is a work in progress I hope to post new selections on a regular basis.

Click the following link to go directly to my Amtrak Flicker page:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/163833022@N05/sEJb24

In addition to Amtrak images are more than a dozen other rail albums with lots of wonderful images.

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