Busy Afternoon at Palmer, August 22, 2019.

Yesterday I met fellow photographer Mike Gardner at the Steaming Tender restaurant in the old Palmer Union Station for lunch.

I had iced tea and the Reuben.

Except for the New England Central switching all was quiet for the first couple of hours.

Just after 2 pm, I said “Let’s head outside, I have a feeling it’s all about to happen.”

Luck, intuition or experience, call it what you like.

At first the trains didn’t favor the light. A New England Central local crossed the diamond northbound. CSX B740 was working deep in the old Boston & Albany yard. The Mass-Central came down from Ware long-hood first. Then everything stalled.

“I’ll bet everything is waiting for the Lake Shore.”

At 3pm Amtrak 449, the westward Lake Shore Limited appeared at the east end of the long tangent on the old Boston & Albany. On queue Mike announced, ‘Headlight!’

I made a series of photos of enthusiasts on the old station platform rolling the train by.

After the Lake Shore, the illusion of a lull continued, and most everyone else got bored and left. CSX B740 had pulled up and was poised waiting for signal. Mike and I decided to hold on. And sure enough 15 minutes behind the Lake Shore was a westward CSX freight—Q427.

After this passed, B740 pulled ahead through CP83 and then reverse back into the yard, meanwhile the Mass-Central was getting ready to head back north again.

All in all in was a very successful day in Palmer. But the keys to our success were timing and patience. If you left after the Lake Shore rolled west, you missed most of the show.

Amtrak 449 westbound.
CSX Q427.
CSX B740.
Massachusetts Central 1751 with interchange traffic.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

3 thoughts on “Busy Afternoon at Palmer, August 22, 2019.”

  1. Yes, Brian, patience is the virtue. You try waiting track-side for Scotland’s only remaining coal train!!

  2. Sad that this minimal amount of RR activity is what passes for busy on a weekday. The previous Thursday I went from Boston to Springfield in the morning and back late afternoon and encountered one traffic jam after another on the turnpike, far more than in previous years. No passenger train options other than Amtrak one train each way at inconvenient times, and too many trucks as well as too many cars. As a recent article in the Boston Globe suggests, even putting faster and more frequent MBTA commuter service Boston-Providence on an already electrified line appears to be a herculean task. Sad.

Comments are closed.