I’ve been digging through slides from 2010 as part of my epic task to sort, label and file my photographs.
The other night I came across a roll exposed 13 years ago on a trip to the old New Haven Railroad Shore Line Route that I made with photographers Tim Doherty and Pat Yough.
We finished the day’s photography at Niantic Beach on the Connecticut coast where I made this view of a westward Amtrak regional train led by AEM-7 919. I like it because it is an unusual trailing photo rather than a more common head-on angle.
I’ve been searching my slides for a view of AEM-7 915, the representative electric now displayed at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. When I find a suitable image of this now famous preserved electric, I’ll post it on Tracking the Light.
Yesterday morning, I walked from my office up to the trestle over River Road in North Conway, NH in order to photograph the Snow Train returning from Attitash.
The polarized blue dome and crusty snow made for very contrasty light. I compensated for high contrast in post processing by lightening the shadow areas and controling highlight detail. This made for a more pleasing image while make better use of the data captured by the camera.
Yesterday, I served as the media interface for Conway Scenic Railroad and the TV crew for New England Traveler who had come up for a wee visit.
I arranged interviews with railroad’s staff and the program’s host Greg B. In addition, I coordinated a visit of the musical duo Eastwood Station, sorted a variety of operational details including a trip on Snow Train, and made still photos for the railroad.
These photos were the producted of my Nikon Z7-II. I processed them in Lightroom for use in the company’s social media.
Last night I found a box of Kodachrome 25 slides from January 1998 exposed using my original Nikon N90s of trains in New England and Quebec. These were in order of exposure having never been labeled or projected.
The film was processed by A&I Lab in Los Angeles.
I made this view from the South Street bridge in West Warren, Massachusetts of Conrail light engines running west on the Boston Line. To the right of the train is the Quaboag River.
The photo was made in the late light of the day and the shadow from the bridge can be seen in the foreground.
Scan made using a Nikon LS-5000 Scanner driven by VueScan software.
During my visit to California in the summer of 2016, I spent several productive days photographing trains on the former Southern Pacific Coast Line.
On the evening of August 2, 2016, a friend and I visited Santa Susana Pass railroad west of Simi Valley, where I made this telephoto view of Metrolink Train #117 led by F59PH 857. This was one of many train trainsets operating with BNSF GE diesels at one end.
Operation of BNSF AC4400CWs on Metrolink trains was a temporary safety measure while repairs/modifications were made to push-pull cab-control cars during 2016.
I made two visits to the Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad about three weeks apart.
The first was on an overcast January afternoon, the second on an early February evening. On both visits, I made photos of the railroad’s antique locomotives using my Nikon Z7-II mirrorless digital camera.
The light was more uniform on the first vist, but had better color and mood on the second visit.
It has been about 15 years since I last photographed a M&H train on the move.
After landing at Farranfore, I spent a week in Tralee, then another driving around the West in a hired Citroen Saxo, before enbarking on a rail journey at Limerick for Dublin.
This was argueably the most significant train trip of my adult life. I never intended to visit Dublin. But upon arrival there, I realized that I’d found a special place.
All of Dublin lay in my future. For more than 20 years, I rented apartments in Dublin. And the city was my conceptual office and research library where I wrote many of my books and as used base to travel around Europe.
Between 1998 and 2019, I made tens of thousands of photographs documenting Irish railways.
Kris and I drove Pennsylvania Rt11 north from Clarks Summit to Nicholson to view the immense concrete bridge over Tunkhannock Creek built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western.
I wrote about this bridge in my book Railway Masterpieces. Here’s an excerpt of the text:
The bridge is made of ten vast arched spans, each 180 feet across. Each arch is supported by enormous piers, some of which are set as far as 95 feet below ground in order to reach solid ground. Some 167,000 cubic yards of concrete, and an estimated 1,140 tons of steel were used in the viaduct. The Lackawanna was a busy and profitable railway through the first decades of the 20th century, but its fortunes waned as the Anthracite business declined.
I exposed these photos digitally using my Nikon Z series cameras. Over the years I’ve photographed trains crossing the viaduct from various vantage points. Those photos were all made on film.
Yesterday (Saturday, February 11, 2023), Conway Scenic hosted a live radio broadcast from the North Conway, New Hampshire railroad station.
I’d organized Lakes Media to conduct the broadcast across their three radio stations: Lakes FM 101.5, The Hawk 104.9 fm and Mountain Country 97.3. This included interviews with railroad employees, promotional chats, etc.
As part of this event, I’d invited musical duo Eastwood Station to perform live in the station and on the railroad’s 1:30pm Snow Train in order to help promote the railroad and film for a video of their song Snow Train.
This was great fun and resulted in numerous photo and video opportunities.
On Sunday (February 5, 2023), Kris and I briefly visited the old Reading Company station at Palmyra, Pennsylvania.
We crossed the tracks on Railroad Avenue and spied the headlight of an eastward freight. By the time I got the car safely stopped, the grade crossing gates were down.
Although, I made a series of hastily composed digital images of the passing Norfolk Southern freight, none were to my satisfaction.
So I returned to the same crossing on Monday (February 6, 2023) with a vision of recreating what I saw the previous day.
Norfolk Southern provided an eastward intermodal train at almost exactly the same time as the day before. This time I was prepared. I made these photos using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens and adjusted the NEF (RAW) files in Adobe Lightroom for presentation here.
Four hours apart, I exposed pairs of photos of antique GP38s at two New England Railroad Stations using my Lumix LX7.
Just after 10:30am yesterday, I made a couple of images of the Snow Train departing Conway Scenic Railroad’s North Conway, New Hampshire Station. GP38 number 255 was positioned at the back of the train for the return run from Attitash.
Sometime around 2:30pm, I made photos of New England Central GP38 number 3845 at the station in White River Junction, Vermont. This is one of New England Central’s surviving original GP38s (with which the railroad started operations back winter 1995).
These mid-1960s era machine soldier on in regular service despite their age.
I find Amtrak’s old Metroliner cab cars a novelty.
These rolling antiques are vestiges of 1960s High Speed rail that have survived into the 2020s in regular revenue service.
On my exploration of the Lancaster area with Dan Cupper a few weeks ago, we stopped at Gap in the morning to photograph the westward Amtrak Keystone service No. 641, led by Metroliner cab car 9634 with ACS-64 634 at the back.
I wonder if I have a photo of this cab car in Metroliner service?
I made this telephoto sequence with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera fitted with a 70-200mm telephoto zoom. The yellow front works well with soft winter sun.
What are you supposed to do while waiting for trains?
How about take portraits of each other on the railroad platform.
That’s what we did two weeks ago at Paoli, Pennsylvania!
I made some views of my brother Sean and his partner Isabelle with my wife Kris as a westward Amtrak Keystone and SEPTA trains made station stops. Then Kris made a couple of photos of me with Sean and Isabelle using my Nikon Z7-II.
Hi ISO and auto white balance makes night photos easy!
Strasburg Rail Road is best known for its steam excursions, but the railroad is a common carrier and operates a thriving local freight business.
On our visit to the Strasburg, PA area last month, I was lucky to catch one of their freights on the move. This was led by the railroad’s former New York Central SW8 diesel 8618.
This classic General Motors Electro-Motive Division swticher was built for New York Central System c1953 and carried the number 9618. It is painted in a neo-New York Central scheme, and was Conrail 8618 for many years.
In the 1980s, I made many photos of Conrail switchers, and I wonder if somewhere among my slides and negatives I may have a photo of this locomotive in its former existence.