Category Archives: digital photography

There has to be Rain for a Rainbow.

One week ago, I was sitting in the North Tower of Conway Scenic’s North Conway Station. To the west the sun was shining. To the east it was pouring rain, and the rain was still falling all around. I said to Conway’s operations manager, Derek Palmieri, ‘There must be a rainbow.’

And there was!

Briefly it was a full, but faint, double.

Outside I went, where I made a variety of photos with my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 cameras.

This one is from the Lumix.

Sometimes where there’s a rainbow is a sign of change. A fortuitous signal for the future. And this is how I see it.

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Moose in the Night.

Elwyn of North Conway’s Moose Safari invited me to join him on one of his nocturnal tours searching for New Hampshire’s elusive Moose.

I say elusive, because in the nearly three months I’d spent in New Hampshire, including considerable time roaming the old Maine Central Mountain Division searching for locations and waiting for trains, I’d not seen any moose.

Elwyn knows the roaming patterns of these great animals and brings visitors to see them on a nightly basis. Like finding freight trains in New England, finding moose requires a detailed understanding of their patterns and paths. He explained that its not about simply waiting for the moose, but actively going to find them.

I joined Elwyn’s Moose Safari on the night of the full moon in front of Conway Scenic’s North Conway Station.

After a few hours of scouring New Hampshire’s highways and byways, we spotted a pair of moose. Elwyn illuminated the roadside with lights mounted to his tour vehicle and using that light, I made this photo using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens. The camera was set at ISO 6400; f2.0 1/30thof a second.

If you are interested in joining one of Elwyn’s Moose Safari’s contact him at: moosetours@yahoo.com

Tracking the Light Finds a Moose!

Moat Creek Trestle and a Bear!

I’d been eying Conway Scenic’s wooden pile Moat Creek trestle as a good afternoon photo location since I arrived at the railroad in May.

While I’d made a variety of angles from West Side Road that runs parallel to the line, until last Friday (August 9, 2019) I hadn’t hiked into the bridge.

As discussed in yesterday’s post ‘Rare Move During My Signing—GP9 works the yard,’ the necessity to move a few old freight cars posed some unusual photographic opportunities.

When I learned that GP7 573 would be hauling a flatcar down to Conway, New Hampshire for storage, I decided this would make for my opportunity to catch a train in low afternoon sun on the Moat Creek Trestle.

Old 573 was whistling for a crossing just north of the bridge when I heard loud rustling in a tree opposite the tracks from my location. A sizeable bear climbed down out of the tree and ambled through the undergrowth about a car-length from my position.

Of course, I’d selected a prime 27mm lens to frame the train on the bridge and this lens was less than ideal for photographing the bear.

The photographs of the train and bear were exposed about a minute apart.

Running extra to Conway, New Hampshire.

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Rare Move During My Signing—GP9 works the yard.

Sometimes when engaged with one task, something unexpected occurs that demands your attention.

Such was the situation last Friday while I was standing on the platform at North Conway, New Hampshire during my book signing event.

Conway Scenic’s GP9, 1751, still dressed in a New York Central inspired livery applied by former owner Finger Lakes Railway, was engaged to switch a few freight cars out of the North Yard.

In more than two months at Conway Scenic, the only freight car that I’d seen turn a wheel is a tank car that has been rigged up to supply water for steam locomotive 7470. So when I saw 1751 moving the two ancient flats in the yard, I excused myself from book signing tasks and made a few photos with my FujiFilm XT1.

There was gorgeous afternoon light bathing the North Conway station. The Valley excursion train was out on the line, so in one of the odd moments, the platform was almost empty and there few cameras in sight.

Later in the day, in a related incident I had a close encounter with an alarmingly large bear, but I’ll get to that in a future post.

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Rhonda Lee Summer Sunset.

Last night, August 8, 2019, I traveled on Conway Scenic’s Dinner Train for the second evening in a row.

The purpose of my trip was in preparation for some more involved filming in the coming days.

However, when we arrived at Bartlett, New Hampshire we were greeted by a stunning summer sunset, I reached for a camera. Well, actually three cameras. I reached for three cameras.

I then arranged with conductor Derek Palmieri to make a few photos.

Budd Vista dome  Rhonda Lee (née Silver Splendor) has only been recently re-lettered and made for a fine sight catching the summer sunset.

These images were the products from my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.

I also exposed a few images with my Lumix LX7. I’m sure someone will groan when they read that I made black & white views on Ilford HP5 with a Nikon F3.

You’ll have to wait for the film photos, as it might be a few weeks before I have the time or facilities to process them.

Bartlett is one of my favorite places to catch Conway Scenic, and it seems I’m here almost every day, by road or by rail!

Don’t forget, today August 9, 2019, I’ll be signing books on Conway Scenic’s 1330 (130pm) Valley Train to Conway, and at the North Conway Station from 230 to 5pm!

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In the Shadow of Mount Washington.

For viewers on Facebook, you’ll need to click the link to Tracking the Light to get the view of the mountain.

Last night in the fading glow of a summer’s evening, Conway Scenic’s Adam Bartley and I made video and still of photos of the railroad’s Dinner train that was out on a demonstration run.

Adam worked the company video camera, while I used my Lumix, Fuji, Canon and Nikon cameras to make film and digital photographs.

Our final set for the evening was looking west at Intervale, where we caught the returning train led by former Maine Central 252, a classic GP38 and veteran locomotive on the line. I set my photograph to capture Mount Washington, New England’s tallest peak, looming large above the train.

These images were exposed using my Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. RAW files were adjusted for contrast, exposure, color balance and color saturation in post processing using Lightroom.

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Yesterday I Witnessed History at North Conway.

Sunday, August 4, 2019 was the 45thanniversary of Conway Scenic Railroad’s first revenue run.

To celebrate this event and to honor Conway Scenic’s founder, Dwight Smith, Conway Scenic’s president and general manager David Swirk presided over a short ceremony at the North Conway station to name locomotive 7470 after him.

In 1968, Dwight purchased former Canadian National 7470. Several years later he helped found the Conway Scenic, and in its early years this heavy 0-6-0 switcher was the heart and soul of the railroad.

Over the decades, Conway Scenic has carried hundreds of thousands of passengers, and locomotive 7470 has entertained countless visitors and is dearly loved by many people. Now it carries the name of the man who saved it and founded a railroad on which it could run.

North Conway, the State of New Hampshire, and the railroad’s many friends, guests and visitors are richer for Dwight’s foresight to preserve and present this precious bit of living history.

Today engine 7470 is the  Dwight Smith

Dave Swirk, Dwight Smith and George Small pose in front of 7470 during the locomotive’s naming ceremony on August 4, 2019.
Dwight Smith enjoys a trip on Pullman observation parlor car Gertrude Emma.

Conway Scenic road foreman of engines Mike Lacey sits in the engineer’s seat of 7470, now named for Dwight Smith.

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August 4th, 2019 is Conway Scenic Railroad’s 45thAnniversary!

On August 4, 1974, Conway Scenic carried its first revenue passengers from its historic North Conway, New Hampshire station south to Conway on the old Boston & Maine Conway branch. Locomotive 7470, then carrying abbreviated number ‘47’, did the honors.

Today, August 4, 2019 is a special day for the railroad and steam locomotive 7470.

See: https://www.conwayscenic.com

Since the locomotive was restored earlier this year, it has been among my regular subjects at Conway Scenic, and I’ve filmed it for several short videos.

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TV Crew Films Conway Scenic

Arethusa Falls grade crossing.

Among my assignments this past week on the Conway Scenic Railroad was to guide a TV production crew from Boston’s Channel 5 WCVB.

After they enjoyed a ride and a meal in dome car Rhonda Lee, I collected the crew midway up the mountain, and Conway Scenic’s President and General Manager Dave Swirk and I brought them to some of the most scenic vistas on the line to film the train.

They were able to benefit from my weeks of location scouting in order to film a segment on Conway Scenic that is expected to be broadcast in the coming weeks.

It was a beautiful bright day on the mountain, and they were able to get views of Mount Washington with Conway Scenic’s Notch Train.

Conway Scenic’s President and General Manager Dave Swirk describes the line at Crawford Notch as the TV crew prepares their equipment in anticipation of the train.


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Book Signing Next Week!

One week from today, I’ll be signing books at the Conway Scenic Railroad!

Book Signing: Meet the Author!

On Friday August 9, 2019, I’ll be conducting an ‘on-train and at-the-station’ book signing on the Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway, New Hampshire.

I’ll be traveling on the 130pm train to Conway with a pen in hand, and then visiting the Brass Whistle Gift Shop in the North Conway station from about 230pm until 5pm

Notice the author’s shadow? Friday, next week I’ll be at this station signing books from 2:30pm to 5pm. Where is this? North Conway, New Hampshire! That’s Friday August 9, 2019.
Platform view at Conway Scenic’s North Conway station exposed last night, August 1, 2019. Next Friday, August 9, 2019, I’ll be at this station signing books!

The Conway Scenic’s Brass Whistle Gift shop has a host of my titles for sale and ready to be signed by me.

My titles for sale will include:

Vintage Diesel Power

Electromotive E units & F units

Streamliners

Railway Guide to Europe

Railway Depots, Stations & Terminals

GE & EMD Locomotives

Classic Railroad Signals

I only do a couple of book signings a year, so this is a great opportunity to travel on Conway Scenic’s Valley Train and buy a signed book!

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Thalys at Antwerp.

In February 1999, I exposed this view of a Thalys TGV-style high-speed train at Antwerp, Belgium using my Nikon N90S with Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO).

To make the most of the angular high-speed train against a backdrop of traditional brick buildings, I used a moderate telephoto lens and a relatively slow shutter speed (probably about 1/60thof a second). This has the effect of keep the train sharp while softening the background and foreground.

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Sunrise at Cookshire, Quebec.

The other day on the Conway Scenic, I was telling film student Adam Bartley about a photograph I’d exposed on the former Canadian Pacific at Cookshire, Quebec.

I have relatively few photos on the old CP line in Quebec east of Montreal, and this one is one of my favorites.

I made it with very little set up time, and using something less than my sharpest lens.

This appeared as a full page image on page 102 of Railway Photography, a book authored with the late John Gruber in 2003. We dedicated the book to the memory of our friend the artist Ted Rose, who had passed away the previous year.

Here’s the un-edited caption I supplied to my publisher for the photo:
Get up early and be ready to photograph: if you’re not there. you won’t get the shot. Photographers George S. Pitarys and Brian Solomon spent several days in January 1998 photographing Iron Road Railways’ Quebec Southern. On the last morning of the trip, they hit the road well before sunrise and followed an eastbound train in the sub-zero gloom. This exposure was made at Cookshire, Quebec at sunrise. The clouds that made for the rosy morning glow would soon prevail leaving for a flat gray day. Sometimes your first shot of the day is your best. photo by Brian Solomon
Nikon N90S; Fuji Provia 100 (RDP)

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Patched, Tired and DIrty—Old Cabra Road Dublin.

In March 2016, I exposed this view of Irish Rail 072 leading a per-way panel train up the Branch from Islandbridge Junction toward Dublin’s North Wall.

At the time, 072 was still wearing the black and silver livery introduced to Irish Rail’s 071 class during the Celtic Tiger years.

Old 072 was looking patched, tired and dirty as it worked up through the cutting near the Old Cabra Road.

I exposed this view using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Sunset Saco River Crossing

Last night I ventured along the banks of the Saco River to make this sunset view of Conway Scenic’s dinner train on its westward run toward Bartlett from North Conway, New Hampshire.

Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm Lens.

Why a back lit view?

Two reasons: Backlighting helps illuminate the trees, create greater contrast on the rocks in the Saco, and helps to better illustrate the bridge.

But, more important to this photo: I’d intended to try for a more traditional view, but was unable to find an easily reachable and suitable location on the far side of the bridge in the few minutes of set up time before the train arrived. Complicating matters was that I was also working with a video camera and carrying lots of equipment along the riverbank was limiting my agility.

So now you know!

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From Real Train to Lego Train: A Short Video Production.

Dawson Santoro with his Lego model posed in front of Conway Scenic’s train.

Conway Scenic’s David Swirk asked if I could be available to photograph Lego model builder Dawson Santoro, who had built the Lego model of Conway Scenic’s excursion train that is displayed at the North Conway, New Hampshire station.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to make a short documentary video of Dawson’s visit. Members of the Conway Scenic railroad assisted by moving Dawson’s skillfully built model train into the yard, where we posed it alongside a Conway Scenic consist specifically assembled to resemble the model.

I felt like Bob Dylan, composing a song, singing, playing guitar and harmonica all the same time. I was arranging two tripods, two video cameras, and three still cameras pretty much simultaneously, all the while trying to interview Dave and Dawson and stage manage the relative positioning of the model and scale train. I did have some help carrying the tripods in between shots.

Complicating my filming was the July heat, plus gusty winds and the cacophony of noise that characterize operations around North Conway, not to mention some complicated lighting.

Sometimes we just have to do these things when the opportunity presents the time!

Adam Bartley assisted in post production, and in little more than a week we produced a very short video about Dawson, his train and the Conway Scenic prototypes. We put this up on Conway Scenic’s YouTube channel yesterday.

Please check out the video and tell your friends!

See Conway Scenic Lego Train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ADkU8bOx78

Dawson Santoro with Conway Scenic President and General Manager Dave Swirk.

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Videographer on the Roof!

Conway Scenic’s Valley Train arriving at North Conway, New Hampshire.

Among the finest railroad vantage points in North Conway, New Hampshire is from Conway Scenic’s station roof.

Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

On several occasions over the last few weeks, I’ve made arrangements to access this rooftop to film Conway Scenic’s trains as part of on-going promotional efforts.

One afternoon a few weeks back, I was joined by Adam Bartley, a qualified Conway Scenic Trainman and film student. While he made video, I exposed a few still photographs.

Like other elements of Tracking the Light, this is a work in progress.

You can see some of the videos that I’ve helped film on Conway Scenic’s Facebook Page:

and on its new YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq6vcQzv2ys

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Pudding Pond Posed Panoramic.

If you are not viewing this on post on Tracking the Light, you’ll need to click the link or you’ll miss the panoramic photo.

This is the single-frame conventional view of RDC 23 Millie at Pudding Pond.

Last Friday (July 19, 2019), we traveled on Conway Scenic Budd-built RDC 23 Millie east toward Redstone, New Hampshire on the former Maine Central. On the return we paused at Pudding Pond so that I could make some photographs.

Once I was off the car, by arrangement it moved forward so the front of the RDC was catching the sunlight.

In addition to conventional photos, I also made this panoramic composite using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera. The camera has a panorama preset that requires you to make an even sweep across the scene while holding the shutter release. The camera sews together the images and outputs them as a completed panorama.

Panoramic composite view at Pudding Pond exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.

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Meet at Mountain Junction

On Select Fridays, Conway Scenic operates an RDC trip for children out on its Redstone Line—former Maine Central Mountain Division running east from Mountain Junction. Last Friday, July 19, 2019, I took the opportunity to travel with the crew on this run.

At Mountain Junction we cleared for the Valley Train led by GP7 573 that was on its return run from Bartlett to North Conway, New Hampshire.

When the Valley Train passed us, I made this view from the cab of Conway Scenic’s former Susquehanna (originally New Haven Railroad) RDC number 23, named Millie.

You know, I could have named this post: The Valley Meets Millie at Mountain Junction.

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Every Day is Sunny in North Conway . . .

 . . . except when it rains!

Tracking the Light posts Daily, rain or shine!

Last week at North Conway, New Hampshire hot humid afternoon gave way to rain forest-like torrential rains.

In the twilight of early evening, I exposed this raining view using my Lumix LX7 handheld.

The slight blurred effect is a combination of the cascading downpour and relatively slow shutter speed. For me the combination of heavy rain, dusk, and slight camera blur makes for a painterly effect that helps transcend the decades.

The Gateway Cut at Crawford Notch.

Near the summit of the former Maine Central Mountain Division at Crawford Notch, the line passes through a deep rock cutting in a natural low point in the mountains known as the Gateway.

Conway Scenic’s normal operations of its Notch Train to Crawford’s Station finds the train passing the Gateway at the peak of high sun. In other words,  one of the most difficult times for photography using natural lighting.

Fires in the West resulted in particulate matter and haze, which last week provide a great degree of diffusion, making these condition an ideal time to catch the Notch Train on its uphill run.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I exposed this view from the railroad east end (compass south) of the famous cutting. Having locomotive 1751 in the lead was an added bonus.

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Short and Steep; views from the Ascent of Mount Washington.

Last Saturday’s excursion atop Mount Washington lent to some precipitous views of the line.

Over its 150 years, I imagine that every inch of this short but steep railway has been photographed.

Not withstanding that, I’ve added my FujiFilm XT1 photos to the mix. Here’s a selection as we rode up on the train. Special thanks to our brakemen on the way up who allowed me to make a few photos from the door at the end of the car.

Tracking the Light Rode the Mt. Washington Cog Railway!

Distant Raging Fires Make For Rosy New Hampshire Sunsets.

Fires in Canada and as far away as Alaska have resulted in layers of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere.

During the day this has resulted in gausy skies that diffuse the sun.

At dusk the dust and ash contribute to some stunning sunsets.

Last night, I noticed a rosy glow in the west as I sat editing video in the North Tower of North Conway’s former Boston & Maine station.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I exposed these views in the fading light.

The sky had a magenta hue that reminded me of Stockholm sunsets after the Icelandic volcano eruption of 2010.

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Mount Washington Cog Railway—Revisited

Many many years ago.

In the dusts of time.

Before  I carried a camera!

I traveled on the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

I was very young and it was bitterly cold at the summit, so the charms of the railway were lost on me.

Last Saturday, my friends and I revisited this world famous attraction.

The Mount Washington Cog is 150 years old this year and the oldest cog railway in the world. It is built almost entirely upon a wooden pile trestle with an average gradient of 25 percent (1 in 4).

The views get more impressive as you gain in elevation.

Although largely operated with ‘bio diesels’, there are still some steam locomotives.

I made these photographs from the base station as we were getting ready to board. I largely focused on the diesels, as the steam was only being prepped and not working the mountain.

More soon!

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Card Read Error!

These are not the words I want to see at the back of my camera screen.

Let’s back up:

Yesterday, after traveling to the top of New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain via the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway with my friends, I made a series of cosmic photos of the surrounding scenery.

However, during my photography all of a sudden as I was reviewing photos the words ‘Card Read Error!’ came up on my camera screen.

This is bad news: it means that the recording media has been damaged or corrupted. 

When this happens to you, don’t panic, but follow these instructions:

1) DO NOT attempt to expose more photos using the damaged card. Doing so can greatly complicate your future ability to retrieve the images that you’ve already exposed.

2) Turn your camera off.

3) Take the card out of the camera.

4) Replace the card with a fresh spare. (I always carry two or three spares with me).

5) Test the camera using the spare card. If it seems to work as normal, you can probably resume photography. If it doesn’t, there may be a more complicated problem.

6) Before downloading, do not ‘format’, ‘erase’ or take any action that will add/subtract information / data to or from the card.

7) Later, when you are home, attempt to download your card using an external device. In my case I have a card reader that inserts into my MacBook using a USB port.

8) After you successfully download the card, put it aside and mark it ‘defective’. Once recording media goes bad it is unwise to continue to use it. Buy a new card.

In my situation, I waited until evening, I first downloaded the new card that I’d inserted into my after the first card went bad. Only after all the photos from the new card were successfully downloaded and backed up on an external hard drive, did I began downloading the images from the damaged card.

I was lucky and all my images were downloaded with relative ease. I marked the suspect card ‘BAD’ and put it away. I will not use the card again. If I could not download the card using my normal software, I’d have to go through a more complicated procedure to attempt to retrieve missing photos.

Incidentally, camera-recording cards are only designed for short-term storage. I routinely download my cards nightly. While, I hold on to the cards for future re-use, I do not use them for long-term storage.

I suggest that all digital and digitized images be stored in triplicate and in different places. Further, since all hard drives will eventually go bad, it is wise to periodically re-backup data on new media. At least once a year I back up older files on new hard drives and check to make sure that files transfer successfully.

This is among the images that was recorded on the defective card in my FujiFIlm XT1. I was able to retrieve it without too much difficulty, but I was careful not to interfere with the storage media in the field in a panicked attempt to search for photos or continue my photography with the defective media.

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Mountain Division—Bartlett Sunset.

Wednesday evening July 10, 2019, I made this sunset view of Conway Scenic Railroad’s dinner train at Bartlett, New Hampshire.

The dinner train uses largely the same consist as the railroad’s Notch Train, but operates in the evening from North Conway to Bartlett and return.

Owing to the extreme exposure contrast between the darker areas of the car’s undercarriage and the highlights in the sky, I carefully balanced my exposure using the camera’s histogram to retain the maximum amount of detail, and later adjusted the RAW file in Lightroom in post processing to allow for the most pleasing image.

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Connecticut Southern Reflections—four photos.

Traditional ‘wedge’ photo of Connecticut Southern 2011 at Palmer.

Bright orange locomotive against heavy green trees.

83.20 infers the relative distance from milepost zero in Boston.

Simple image to show the relative orientation of the locomotive to the signal box.

Last week CSX’s B740 brought CSOR 2011 to Palmer, Massachusetts for interchange with CSOR’s Genesee & Wyoming sister railroad, New England Central.

I made these views of the locomotive in the yard near the site of the former Boston & Albany freight house.

CSX’s had recently installed a new signal box/cabinet, and I made photos of the bright orange locomotive reflecting in the shiny metal.

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Budd Car Sunset.

FujiFilm camera JPG with color profile ‘Velvia’.

The other evening I exposed this trailing view of Conway Scenic’s RDC number 23, Millienear Glen-Jackson on its evening run up to Attiash .

On of the best kept secrets among Conway’s scheduled trains are its RDC runs for Attitash that depart North Conway on select evenings at 6pm.

I like the RDC, a typical Budd Car, that was common to New England passenger services when I was growing up in the 1970s and early 1980s.

For this photo, I was working with a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm prime telephoto. The camera color profile was set to Velvia (see photo above), but ultimately I worked with the camera-RAW file in Lightroom to adjust color temperature, contrast and saturation (see photo below).

Jpg file created from adjusted camera-RAW.

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Weedy Summer: New England Central 611 at Vernon, Vermont.

Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

Warm sunny summer mornings are very pleasant. However with the warm weather comes rapid plant growth which can complicate railroad photography.

Take for example these views that I made at Vernon, Vermont at the end of June, 2019.

New England Central’s 611 crew was taking Brattleboro-Palmer turn southbound with locomotive 3476 in the lead (a one upon a time EMD SD45 re-built to a SD40-2/’SD40-3’ configuration.)

To get a bit of elevation, I scaled a mound on the east side of the line, near the grade crossing at the switch for the old power plant.

I liked the cows grazing in the nearby field, so working with my Canon EOS-7D with 200mm lens, I made a distant view. Unfortunately for the, the brush had grown so much that it seems like the freight is emerging from the undergrowth!

I also made a few photos with a FujiFilm XT1 and 27mm pancake lens. Of these, the more distant view seems to work better from a compositional standpoint. SD45 enthusiasts make argue otherwise!

FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm lens.

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New England Steam: 7470 SundayS and MondayS this Summer!

Through July and August, Conway Scenic Railroad plans to assign steam locomotive 7470 to their North Conway to Conway Valley Train every Sunday and Monday. 

The train departs North Conway at 1030 am and 130 pm, with the locomotive running tender first toward Conway (boiler facing the home station).

The locomotive is turned on the turntable at the roundhouse in the morning and afternoon.

For information/tickets send email to: info@conwayscenic.com

Check Conway’s website:

www.conwayscenic.com

or call : 603-356-5251

I made these photos Sunday, July 7, 2019 using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Vermonter passes West Northfield Grave Yard.

On our rambles on Friday July 5, 2019, we paused at the trackside grave yard in West Northfield, Massachusetts (railroad south of the junction at East Northfield), to roll by Amtrak 54, the northward Vermonter.

I was giving my cousin Stella a tour of New England curiosities, sights, and infrastructure.

We’d hoped to catch New England Central’s northward 611, a train that we spotted a few minutes earlier, but we ran out of time before it crossed the Connecticut Bridge (located less than a mile from this spot on NECR’s line that runs between Palmer and East Northfield.)

I made these views using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.

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Fortuity at Bardwell’s Ferry: Lenticular Truss and an Eastward Freight.

Or call this ‘DASH-9 in the Woods’.

Friday (July 5, 2019), I was rambling about with my cousin Stella—visiting from California—when we paused at Bardwell’s Ferry,.

The ferry is long gone. Instead a well-preserved pin-connected lenticular truss bridge carries the road over Massachusetts’ Deerfield River.

While we were photographing the bridge and river, I thought my ears tricked me; the rushing water sounded remarkably like a distant freight.

Since this wasn’t a serious rail-photo excursion, I hadn’t brought my scanner.

I went back to the car to get my omnipresent notebook, when I heard a whistle!

The flashers on Bardwell’s Ferry road illuminated, and sure enough there was an eastward Pan Am Southern freight approaching!

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens, I exposed this series of photos.

I assume that this was symbol freight 16R which forwards Norfolk Southern traffic from Enola (Pennsylvania) and East Binghamton (New York) to Pan Am’s East Deerfield Yard. Without a scanner or positive confirmation, guess is all I can do.

An eastward Pan-Am Southern freight approaches the crossing of Bardwell’s Ferry Road.
I anticipated the window of sunlight east of the crossing and adjusted my exposure accordingly.

As the freight approached, I pulled back the zoom lens to widen my field of view. Not all railroad photos can be exposed in full sunlight, but in this case I think the shadowy effect works well.

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