Category Archives: Gallery

This features recent work and exceptional images for display and discussion.

Monochrome at Mallow—13 October 2018.

More monochrome film photos: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s autumn tour at Mallow, County Cork last Saturday.

These were exposed on Kodak Tri-X using my Canon EOS-3 with 40mm pancake lens and processed in Ilford ID11 developer.

Black & white film is well suited to making atmospheric images on dull days.

Mallow, Co. Cork.
Irish Rail’s Noel Enright at Mallow, Co. Cork.
Irish Rail’s Noel Enright gives the green flag at Mallow, Co. Cork.

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Rails along the River Slaney—Killurin, County Wexford.

Irish Rail’s line from Dublin to Rosslare hugs the River Slaney north of Wexford town.

On our exploration of disused lines in county Wexford, Ken Fox, Donncha Cronin and I made a short detour to photography the ‘Up-Rosslare’ at Killurin as it ran along the west bank of the Slaney.

This is a pretty part of the line, and a place I hadn’t explored in almost a decade.

The last time I’d made a photo here, it was a 141-class diesel hauling the then ‘new’ weedsprayer. That wasn’t yesterday!

Telephoto view at Killurin.
From the Slaney bridge at Killurin.
This trailing view reminds me of Maine Central’s Rockland Branch.

These images were made with my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom, files adjusted for contrast and exposure in Lightroom.

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Railway Preservation Society Ireland—Fall Tour: Ten Lumix Views.

I described the failure of my trusty Lumix LX7 in yesterday’s post:
Final Frame? Lumix LX7 Coils Up

https://wp.me/p2BVuC-5Rm

Despite its failure on the day of the tour, I’d made good use of the camera right up to the end. This versatile picture making device had been a staple of my camera bag for more than four years.

Below are a selection of photos from Saturday 13 October 2018 of RPSI’s The Southwestern rail tour that operated from Dublin Connolly to Cork, then via Limerick, Ennis and Athenry and back to Dublin.

On these rail tours I tend to focus on the people as much as the equipment.

Blocked outside of Mallow.
Operational discussion at Mallow.

 

Kent Station, Cork.

Tracking the Light Publishes  Daily.

More Rain; 8 More Views of the RPSI Train.

It was cloudy in Dublin; it was lashing rain in Ennis.

At no time did we see the sun.

Yet, it was a rewarding trip, and I’m happy with my photos.

I made these views of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s ‘The Southwestern’ diesel tour using my FujiFilm XT1.

Portarlington.

Limerick.
Ennis, Co Clare.
Athenry, Co. Galway.
Athenry, Co. Galway.
Athenry, Co. Galway.
Connolly Station in Dublin.

More to follow!

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Exploring Historic Railways in Carlow and Wexford—Ten Photos.

It’s not all about trains. It never was.

Over the weekend, Ken Fox, Donncha Cronin and I made an exploration of abandoned Irish railways in counties Carlow and Wexford.

We began at Bagenalstown and worked our toward Wexford.

I find long abandoned railways inherently compelling, but sometimes difficult to convey in pictures.

This is a selection of images from my FujiFilm XT1 on the Bagenalstown to Palace East route, a line shut to traffic in the 1960s. In some places structures, bridges and rights-of-way remain, in others the line has been reclaimed and there’s virtually nothing left to see.

These photos are to convey the aura of the closed line, I’ve made no effort to place them in geographical order.

Goresbridge, Co. Carlow.
Near Bagenalstown.
Palace East, Co. Wexford.
Palace East, Co. Wexford.
Goresbridge, Co. Carlow.
Goresbridge, Co. Carlow.
Southeast of Bagenalstown.
Looking toward Bagenalstown.
Near Bagenalstown.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll cover the visual highlight of the line.

Tracking the Light explores railroad photography.

Irish Rail at Bagenalstown, October 2018—Fuji Zoom Lens Exercise.

As I got off the down Waterford train from Dublin at Bagenalstown, County Carlow, I immediately began considering photo options. I didn’t have much time, because the train was only in the station for a couple of minutes.

I took a position at the back of the Irish Rail ICR adjacent to the old station building, and made a series of digital photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm Fuji zoom lens.

I’ve selected two of the sequence here: One wide angle, one telephoto; same camera, same location, same vantage point, same railcar, but different focal lengths.

JPG from a RAW file that was adjusted for contrast and colour in post processing.
Telephoto view from a Camera produced JPG without adjustment except for scaling.

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Lower Quadrant Semaphores at St. Erth, Cornwall.

April Fools Day many years ago, My father and I visited St. Erth, Cornwall, where I made these Fujichrome Sensia II slides of the lower quadrant semaphores that controlled train movements there.

Exposed using a Nikon N90S with Nikkor 28mm AF wide angle lens.
Exposed using a Nikon N90S with Nikkor 28mm AF wide angle lens.

 

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Conversations with Brian Solomon Episode 6

Trains Magazine has recently posted my sixth podcast, an interview with Mass Central’s Bob Bentley.

Listen to this podcast and others in the series by clicking on the link below.

http://trn.trains.com/photos-videos/2018/09/conversations-with-brian-solomon

Fujichrome color slide exposed using a Canon EOS3 with 24mm lens.

I made this photo of Bob with Mass-Central NW5 2100 on a fine October morning about ten years ago at the railroad’s Palmer, Massachusetts yard.

This will be among the photographs I’ll present this coming Monday (8 October 2018) to the Irish Railway Record Society in Cork.

My talk, titled General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America, will be held at 8pm on the 8thof October 2018 at the Bru Columbanus Meeting Rooms in Wilton, Cork City.

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Sunny Saturday: Colourful Tram Works LUAS Green Line on Dawson Street—3 photos.

Yesterday, 29 September 2018, I made these views of a LUAS Green Line tram wearing the latest fully covered advertising livery as it worked up Dawson Street in Dublin on its way to Broombridge.

September often brings sunny days in Ireland, and yesterday was a fine afternoon to make a few photos.

This encounter with the colourful tram was fortuitous, rather than planned, as I was on a shopping mission and photography was a secondary activity.

Photo adjusted from the camera RAW in post processing.

All the images were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.

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NI Railways 3021 at Cultra, Co. Down.

No, not on display. Not yet! This was a service train.

It had just begun to rain. So rather than making a potentially bland colour view, I exposed this photograph on black & white film using my Canon EOS 3 with 40mm lens

My choice of film is a bit obsolete:  Fuji Acros 100. I have a few rolls left in my bag.

Afterwards, I hand processed in a Paterson tank with Rodinal Special mixed 1 to 31 with water for 3 minutes 45 second at 68F.

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In the Shadow of the Old Canal: Black & White Views of Coopers Cafe.

It’s been decades since the old Grand Canal Harbour behind the Guinness Brewery was drained and filled in.

Dublin’s Guinness brewery had an historic relationship with the Grand Canal. The old canal harbour was located across the street from the brewery complex.
The old Harbour Bar takes its name from the Grand Canal Harbour. The canal buildings are at the far right of this  image.

Recently, I explored this area on my way over to visit Coopers Cafe operated by my friends Jeff and Noel Brennan.

This is on the edge Dublin’s Liberties, an industrial neighborhood with a lot of history. Today, it’s up and coming, although many of the neat gritty old buildings remain.

Photos exposed on Ilford FP4 using a Nikon F3 with 24mm Nikkor lens. Processed in Ilford ID11 using a customized recipe.

Coopers Cafe is located directly behind the Guinness brewery on the corner of Bond and Robert Streets.
Breakfast is served anytime from opening till closing. I had mine at 2pm.
There’s a lot of history around Coopers Cafe. Come in, have a coffee or tea and soak in the atmosphere!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily, sometimes twice.

Mainline Steam: RPSI No.4 at Mosney—16 September 2018.

Gauzy autumn light is perfect for photographing black steam locomotives on the move.

Yesterday, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated steam excursions between Dublin, Drogheda and Dundalk. Plans to work with engine 85 were foiled by difficulties with the turntable at Connolly Station.

Instead RPSI engine No.4 did the work.

Paul Maguire and I drove to a remote overhead bridge near Mosney.

I exposed this view using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens. To make the most of the scene, I imported the RAW file into Lightroom and adjusted it for contrast and saturation, using a digitally applied graduated neutral density filter to bring in sky detail.

RPSI engine No.4 has a roll-on working north toward Drogheda.

Learn more about the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland:

https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

As I was preparing this post, Dublin’s Radio NOVA was talking about the excursion on FM.

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Purple Tram Harcourt Street.

There’s a purple tram prowling Dublin’s Green Line.

The other day I was on my way over to John Gunn’s Camera Shop on Wexford Street and I made these photos with my Lumix LX7 of LUAS trams gliding along Harcourt Street.

This is a perfect place to pose modern Citadis trams against a backdrop of Georgian Terrace houses.

To compensate for flat lighting, with two of these three images I made some minor manipulations in post processing to boost sky detail, lighten shadows and improve contrast.

That means one of the images is simply the unaltered camera-JPG. Can you guess which one that is?

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Irish Rail 222—The Bishop.

Many Irish Rail locomotives have nicknames. Engine 222 is ‘The Bishop’ or ‘Bishop Tutu’, which is an allusion to its number.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve caught this locomotive at many places across the Irish network.

Irish Rail 222 working push-pull set at Cherryville Junction on 20 September 2002. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon.
10 June 2006; An electrical power cut at Westport, County Mayo had required the use of portable generators at the station. In addition to the discordant cacophony at the normally peaceful location, this had resulted in some unusual moves to get trains positioned properly, such as this view of 222 with Mark 3s beyond the station to the West.

See: DAILY POST: Timber and General Motors, June 10, 2006 

Irish Rail 222 works a Dublin to Cork Mark4 set nearing Kent Station, Cork.
Now officially 02-10222. The Bishop basks in the evening sun at Heuston Station in Dublin.
Working the IWT liner from Dublin to Ballina, at my all to often photographed location at Islandbridge in Dublin. Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm XT1.

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EMDs on the Roll! Conrail-Era SD60M.

Gosh, I remember when 6798 was NEW and blue. This is among Conrail-era SD60Ms still at work on Norfolk Southern.

To make for a more dramatic locomotive action photo, I’ve taken a low angle medium-telephoto view.

Notice how the angle features the wheels on rails, allowing you to see below the locomotive.

Engine exhaust blurs the wires beyond, demonstrating the engines are working.

By focusing on the locomotives; I’ve cropped most of the following freight, more than a mile of it in tow.

Exposed at LaPorte, Indiana on Norfolk Southern’s former New York Central Water Level Route mainline. FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto. ISO 200, f5, 1/500thsecond; JPG image processed from camera RAW file using Lightroom; contrast and exposure adjusted globally and locally to improve visual impact.

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Documenting the Common: Norfolk Southern Double-stacks at CP485.

Norfolk Southern’s Water Level Route is among the busiest freight routes in the East.

It features a continual parade of trains; long freights led by common modern diesels.

Here a cookie-cutter General Electric Evolution-series works east with a double stack train, ducking under the South Shore line at CP485 near Burns Harbor, Indiana.

Isn’t this freight the modern day equivalent of a New York Central freight led by F7s; or a generation earlier by a common Central H-10 Mikado?

Freight trains are about freight and I’ll often make photos of the consist.

But does it matter that I exposed this image? Where does it fit in the BIG picture?

I was pleased when I made this view. Chris Guss and I had enough time to set up, but didn’t wait long. I recalled a photo made more than 20 years ago in this same territory; Mike Danneman and I spent a snowy February morning photographing Conrail. Those photos are looking better all the time.

The common deserves to be recorded.

 

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In Memory: Jim Shaughnessy.

Jim Shaughnessy signs his book ‘Essential Witness’ on visit in December 2017.

Yesterday, August 7, 2018, my friend Jim Shaughnessy passed away.

Jim’s photography and writing are some of the best known in American railroad circles; over the years he has been a strong influence on my own work.

He and I often discussed three interests we had in common: Ireland, railways and photography.

Jim had been visiting Ireland since the 1960s. In 2005, Jim visited me in Dublin and I gave him a walking tour.

He will be missed; his photography and writing lives on.

—Brian Solomon

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Three Years Ago Today: New England Central at Belchertown, Massachusetts

It was July 6, 2015, three years ago, that Paul Goewey and I photographed New England Central at Springfield Street in Belchertown, Massachusetts.

Our vantage point is from the old Central Massachusetts Railroad right of way—a line that was abandoned in the early 1930s, when Boston & Maine obtained trackage rights over the parallel Central Vermont (now New England Central) line.

On this Day, July 6, 2015, I caught Connecticut Southern 3771 leading the southward New England Central 611 at Springfield Street in Belchertown, Massachusetts.

I made this view using my FujiFilm X-T1.

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Evolution at Cassandra—Summer Sunrise.

Evolution at Cassandra—Summer Sunrise.

On July 1, 2010, I exposed this sunrise glint view of an eastward Norfolk Southern freight led by an Evolution-Series General Electric diesel-electric at the Railfan’s Overlook in Cassandra, Pennsylvania.

I adjusted the file using Lightroom to balance the contrast between highlights and shadows and make for a more pleasing image.

Notice the effect of the backlit leaves and grass.

Tracking the Light is on autopilot.

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Eight Years Ago: Gallitzin, Pennsylvania.

Norfolk Southern 20Q approaches the Allegheny Divide at Gallitzin, Pennsylvania on June 30, 2010.

On this day eight years ago, I exposed this photograph of Norfolk Southern eastward intermodal train climbing toward the tunnels at Gallitzin, Pennsylvania.

I made this view in the evening of June 30, 2010  using a Canon EOS-7D with 100-400mm autofocus image stabilization lens set at 160mm focal length.

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Union Pacific on the old Chicago & North Western at Rochelle, Illinois on June 28, 2010.

Exposed with a Canon EOS7D at Rochelle, Illinois on June 28, 2010.

I was traveling with John Gruber on this day eight years ago, when we stopped at the famous Rochelle, Illinois diamonds to photograph this Union Pacific eastward freight.

I opted for a classic view with short telephoto perspective, over the shoulder light, and locomotives framed under the signal bridge.

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Palmer’s Rare Move—June 22, 2018.

Here’s the follow up to my June 25thposting Palmer’s Busy Bright Morning [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-5Az].

A lone loaded auto-rack was spotted in CSX’s Palmer Yard.

CSX’s local freight B740 had arrived from West Springfield Yard.

B740’s crew discussed arrangements with the dispatcher to reverse out of the yard (westward) with the auto-rack on the interchange track and then pull forward onto the controlled siding at CP83.

CSX B740 shoves back on the interchange track at Palmer, Massachusetts.

The reason for this was to avoid using the normal freight connection from the controlled siding into the yard because of the length of the auto rack was at risk of derailing over the tight switches.

The crossover at CP83 from the interchange track to the controlled siding was installed in 1995 to facilitate Amtrak’s Vermonter, which was then operating via Palmer and changed directions here to go between CSX and New England Central’s route on its Springfield, Massachusetts-St Albans, Vermont portion of the run.

The passenger crossover at CP83 has been rarely used, since Amtrak’s Vermont returned to the more direct routing in December 2014 (running north of Springfield on the Boston & Maine Connecticut River line via Greenfield to East Northfield).

CSX’s crewman lines the switch for the controlled siding on the now rarely used crossover. Notice the rust on the rail.
CSX B740 pulls forward through the crossover and will soon head east on the Boston & Albany to East Brookfield. Notice how the CSX crewman on the ground is illuminated by the sun shinning through the gap between the locomotives and the auto rack.

It was a fortuitous situation to catch this rare move in nice morning sun.

B740 then continued east to East Brookfield, where CSX autoracks are unloaded on the East Brookfield & Spencer.

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Palmer’s Busy Bright Morning—four new photos.

The day dawned clear and bright. I spent an hour at CP83 in Palmer making good use of the light. The railroads cooperated and supplied a parade of eastward trains, and these favored the sun for classic views.

I’ve made countless thousands of photos at Palmer, Massachusetts, but it’s always nice to keep the files fresh.

CSX eastward intermodal—probably Q012—passes the signals at CP83 in Palmer, Massachusetts. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm telephoto lens.
New England Central GP38 3845 works a local freight on the interchange track.
NECR 3845 shoves back.
Moments after New England Central’s local disappeared from view, CSX’s B740 arrived with cars for interchange. (exposed at f5.0 1/640 ISO 200)  It was about this time that things got interesting! Stay tuned for more.

Soon the scene is likely to change since CSX is installing new equipment for its positive train control signaling, and this will likely result in new signal hardware in place of the Conrail-era signals installed during single-tracking in 1986-1987.

Then something unexpected happened, and by shear luck I caught a rare move! Stay tuned for Part 2.

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Coal Train: Saving a Sunset Chrome.

On November 15, 1987, I followed a loaded PLMT coal train east from Buffalo, New York. This train had operated with Pittsburgh & Lake Erie locomotives and was being handled by Guilford’s Delaware & Hudson via trackage rights over Conrail’s former Erie Railroad.

Try to fit all that on the slide mount!

At the time these coal trains operated about once a week, and while it wasn’t uncommon to find P&LE locomotives, catching the trains on film was challenging.

I made this view on Kodachrome 25 with my Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron Lens. It’s a badly under exposed long pan (about 1/8 of a second) from a hillside off the Canisteo River Road, in the valley of that name, a few miles east of Adrian.

The original slide was made at the very end of daylight, and the slow speed ISO25 film didn’t give me the needed sensitivity to capture the scene with adequate exposure.

That’s a long way of saying; it was dark and I underexposed the film.

Here’s the scaled, but unadjusted scan. It’s about 3 to 4 stops underexposed. The slide is nearly opaque except for the sky. Exposure was about f2.0 at 1/8 second on Kodachrome 25 (ISO 25).

Thankfully, I didn’t through the slide away.

I scanned it using VueScan 9×64 (edition 9.6.09) software and a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 slide scanner. It opted for manual controls; I selected 4000 dpi input, under ‘color’ I used the Kodachrome K14 color profile, and while output was set at 4000 dpi as a TIF file.

I then imported the TIF into Lightroom for color, exposure and contrast adjustment, necessary to compensate for my extreme underexposure. To hold sky detail, I applied a digital graduated neutral density filter.

Here’s my first round of adjustments. I thought the sky and overall color balance  seemed a bit otherworldly so I zeroed out the adjustments and started again. Compare this with the image below.
Although similar, this version is better balanced and looks closer to the original scene. Although underexposed, the Kodachrome film was able to capture some detail over more than 6 stops, allowing for post processing adjustment.

Although slightly grainy, the results are much improved over the original and captures my intended effect of the train rolling at speed through the Canisteo Valley at dusk.

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TEN photos: All-New Berlin Station—Connecticut, that is!

There’s little left to remind you of the historic building that once served passengers at Berlin, Connecticut.

In December 2016, during construction of the modern building, the historic New Haven Railroad station was suspiciously destroyed in a fire.

An artist vision of the proposed integration of the old station with the modern structures. It was not to be.

Last weekend was my first visit to the new station. This features some impressive looking architecture, elevators and a high glass enclosed footbridge.

Morning light on the impressive entrance to the new station. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss lens.

However, it seems to be notably lacking a proper waiting room where passengers can get out of the elements, and features only a ‘portapot’ in place of proper toilets.

In place of our friendly ticket agent, there’s a modern CT rail ticket machine to dispense tickets. You can buy your Amtrak ticket on-line, over the phone, or using an App on your smart-phone.

Also on the ‘plus side’ the station is well suited to photography and will make for a nice place to board and photograph trains. Also, with the expanded Amtrak service and new CT rail Hartford Line trains, there’s more service than there has been in many years.

Any thoughts?

The east-side platform looking south toward New Haven, Connecticut at 8am. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss lens.
Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss lens.

CT rail 6400 making its stop at Berlin, bound for Springfield, Massachusetts. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss lens.
Amtrak 405 to New Haven. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss lens.
Amtrak 461 heading toward New Haven at midday is about to depart Berlin. All aboard! Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.

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Connecticut Trolley Museum at Warehouse Point.

For more than forty years my family has been visiting the Connecticut Trolley Museum at Warehouse Point in East Windsor.

I made these views last weekend.

I’ve always enjoyed the nostalgia of the trolleys and the leisurely ride through the forest. What’s interesting is that the trolleys I knew as a kid are largely inside and pending restoration, while today’s operable cars were largely out of service when I was younger.

These views were exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1.

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Hey! I Thought This Train Seemed Familiar!

I experienced the new CT rail Hartford Line commuter train for the first time on Saturday.

CT rail in Berlin, Connecticut on June 16, 2018.

I had this distinct sense of Déjà vu.

Then I reviewed the cover of my new book: Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe.

Wow! It’s like a German train at Berlin. Berlin, Connecticut, that is.

A German electric multiple unit graces the cover of my book.

CT rail 6400 crosses an old stone arch bridge at Windsor, Connecticut on Sunday June 17, 2018.
DB and CFL (Luxembourg Railways) EMUs working together on the famous Hanging Viaduct in Germany’s Mosel Valley.

I’m commenting on the paint liveries, not the equipment or the services.

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If you haven’t seen it, check out my latest book: Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, now available from the Kalmbach Hobby Store.

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/01304

New York City’s Flushing Line November 1998.

The other day I found this Fujichrome color slide in my archives. I exposed in on a subway tour with my father back in November 1998.

Working with a Nikon F2 with 28mm lens, I made this photo from the end of a platform on the Flushing Line’s elevated structure. I like the subtlety of the autumn sky. For me this brings back memories of long ago.

Wide-angle view of New York City’s Flushing Line (that’s the number 7 train).

I recall the water color painter Ted Rose telling me about how a yellow sky stirred his memories. That was in regard to a painting he made of a wintery Midwestern scene. His memories, not mine. Similar sky though.

My dad claims that my first railway trip was on the Flushing Line in Queens, New York. That was about 1968. All I remember was the dirty floors on the subway cars, and being held up to look out the front window as we rattled along. I made no photos on that day.

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New CT Rail Hartford Line Commuter Trains—First Day in Eight Photos!

Working with my FujiFilm X-T1, I exposed more than 100 photos of the new Connecticut commuter rail service on the Hartford Line.

There’s nothing like the first day.

Train rides were FREE.

Springfield, Massachusetts on June 16, 2018.
Springfield, Massachusetts on June 16, 2018.
Springfield, Massachusetts on June 16, 2018.

 

Amtrak 461 at Berlin, Connecticut on June 16, 2018.

Yesterday, June 16, 2018 the long awaited CT Rail Hartford Line Commuter service commenced.

My father and I traveled on the first train from Berlin, Connecticut to Springfield, Massachusetts. It was a bright clear morning.

Contrast was a challenge, and for some of these photos I imported the camera RAW image into Light Room for exposure, color balance and exposure adjustment.

Amtrak 460 at Berlin, Connecticut on June 16, 2018.
CT Rail 6653 at Berlin, Connecticut on June 16, 2018.
CT Rail 6653 at Berlin, Connecticut on June 16, 2018.
CT Rail 6654 at Berlin, Connecticut on June 16, 2018.

 

If you haven’t seen it, check out my latest book: Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, now available from the Kalmbach Hobby Store.

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/01304

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

 

 

Tracking the Light EXTRA: CTRail Free Train Ride Today!

Today, June 16, 2018, the long awaited CTRail service began public operation on the Springfield-Hartford-New Haven Line.

Free rides were on offer on both the new CTRail trains and some Amtrak services.

CTRail staff at Berlin supplied complimentary tickets!

My father and I traveled on the first northward train (CTRail 6400) between the new station at Berlin, Connecticut and Springfield. The train was very well attended!

More free train rides are available on the route tomorrow (Sunday June 17, 2018).

CTRail’s first public forward run, train 6400, makes its stop at Berlin, Connecticut. Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit.
The view near Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

I made many photographs over the course of the day and I’ve yet to look at all of them. Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

See: http://www.hartfordline.com

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More New England Central GP38s-Four Photos!

For the last month, New England Central’s 608 (Willimantic, Connecticut to Palmer, Massachusetts and back) has continued to run with a  pair of GP38s.

(I missed the day when 608 ran with three!)

What’s so special about this?

These locomotives began with New England Central when it commenced operations in February 1995, and have continued to work the railroad in the same paint (if not the same numbers) ever since.

A classic view of 608 running northward near Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 and 27mm pancake lens.
A classic view of 608 running northward near Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 and 27mm pancake lens.

Originally there were a dozen, but the ranks have thinned.

New England Central has changed owners twice since 1995; it was originally a RailTex property, then RailAmerica, today Genesee & Wyoming.

NECR has acquired or borrowed many other diesels over the years.

Yet for me the few surviving blue and yellow GP38s offer a sense of continuity, and also represent a throw-back to when EMD’s 645 diesels were dominant on American railroads.

How much longer will New England Central continue this vintage railroading?

A view of 608 running northward passing Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 and 90mm telephoto lens.

Will these GP38s see G&W corporate colors? Will they be reassigned elsewhere on the expansive G&W railroad family? Will newer locomotives assume their duties?

Never take anything on the railroad for granted; eventually everything changes.

Change makes old photos more interesting.

A 12mm view with my Zeiss Tuoit lens fitted to the FujiFilm X-T1.

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Oh No, Not the Dreaded 215! Again . . . 

Irish Rail 215. Is this my least favorite of the 201 class locomotives?

It’s probably my most photographed.

My first recognition of the 215-effect was on a trip to Galway many years ago. Friends were visiting from America and we were traveling on the Mark3 International set.

Soon after departing Dublin Heuston, it was evident that the train was in trouble. We weren’t making track speed. When we got to Hazelhatch, our train took the loop. Old 215 had failed. We waited there for about 40 minutes until 203 was summoned for a rescue.

Some months later, I returned from Boston to Dublin, and on the front page of the papers was 215 at Heuston Station—on its side! It had derailed.

15April2006 Irish Rail 215 works the Galway train passing Attymon. Fujichrome slide.
Possibly one of my first photos of 215, working the Mark3 push-pull at Westland Row in Dublin, April 1998. Fujichrome exposed with a Nikon F3T and 135mm lens.
Old 215 in orange paint at Pearse Station in 1998.

And which loco worked the very first publically scheduled Mark IV set from Dublin to Cork?

215 with a patch! Islandbridge Junction in September 2006. Not its first trip on the Mark4 set, nor its last!

Out for the down train, take a guess which loco I’m most likely to catch!

Here’s a Mark4 trial in April 2006. Revenue working began a couple of weeks later. Top of Ballybrophy bank on the Dublin-Cork mainline.

Uh! There it is again. Damn thing is a like a shadow.

Near Newbridge on 14 April 2009. Back when film was all I had.
Irish Rail 215 in clean paint with the up-road IWT liner passing Fonthill.

Good ol’ 215.

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Amtrak’s Vermonter with American Flags.

This is a grab shot; I didn’t have time to do what I intended (and the sun went in).

We arrived at the small cemetery at West Northfield, Massachusetts minutes before Amtrak 56 (northward Vermonter).

 The brush along the railroad has recently been cut. Unfortunately, a brush cutting/removal machine was awkwardly (as in non-photographically) positioned by the tracks, foiling my intend angle for a photo. I was going to try ‘plan b’.

I’d heard the crew call ‘Approach’ for East Northfield, I was hoping for time to swap to a wide angle lens, when I saw the headlight.

No time: so instead, I hastily composed this vertical view using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

The front of the locomotive is nearly centered. I wonder if I should have let it move a bit more to the left for a more effective composition?

I like the American flags, placed for Memorial Day. I wonder about my placement of the front of the locomotive relative to the gap in the brush. Should I have let the locomotive continue a few more feet to the left?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Brian’s Limited Edition Prints, Signed & Numbered.

Just three prints remain for sale! Order one today!

I’ve made five traditional 11×14 black & white prints of my recent photograph of the former New Haven Railroad electrification and drawbridge at Westport, Connecticut.

This represents the first time I’ve printed one of my ‘stand processed’ black & white negatives. The prints are signed in pencil and numbered 1/5 to 5/5.

I’m selling the remaining three prints for $100 each plus shipping.  First come first serve. If you are interested please contact me via email at: briansolomon.author@gmail.com

I exposed the photograph using a vintage Rolleiflex Model T with Zeiss 75mm lens on 120 black & white film. I processed using the ‘stand processing’ technique to obtain maximum tonal range with deep shadows and delicate highlights.

I made these silver prints in the traditional way on Ilford double weight 11×14 photographic paper, fixed and washed to archival standards. These have been pressed and are suitable for matting and framing.

I chose the Westport drawbridge because it is graphically engaging and historically significant. This bridge and electrification are examples of early 20thcentury infrastructure in daily use on one of America’s busiest passenger lines.

Tracking the Light posts daily.