Amtrak heritage locomotive

DAILY POST: Amtrak Heritage P40 at West Warren, Massachusetts!

Light! Camera! Action!

Here we have an instance where everything came together nicely.

Amtrak heritage locomotive
Amtrak 449 at West Warren, Massachusetts, 2:03pm January 24, 2014. Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 40mm pancake lens exposed at ISO 200 f5.6 1/1000th of a second. Camera RAW file converted to a Jpeg in Adobe Photoshop.

On Friday January 24, 2014, I’d got word that Amtrak’s heritage locomotive number 822 was working the westward Lake Shore Limited, train 449

This was the second time in a ten-day span that I’d be alerted to a heritage locomotive on this run. As noted in my January 18, 2014 post, Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited, the weather wasn’t cooperative on my previous attempt at catching an Amtrak heritage locomotive.

By contrast on January 24th it was clear but very cold. I opted to make the photo at West Warren, where it’s nice and open and there’s a distinctive landscape.

Normally, Amtrak 449 passes East Brookfield at 1:30pm, and Palmer about 1:50pm. West Warren is roughly halfway between them, so I aimed to be there no later than 1:35pm

As it happened, 449 was delayed on Charlton Hill and passed more than 15 minutes later than I’d anticipated. Other than resulting in my nose getting a bit cold, this delay produced little effect on the photograph.

I opted for a traditional angle because I wanted to feature the locomotive as the primary subject this scenic setting. I picked a spot on the road bridge over the Quaboag River where I could make a view that included the old mills and waterfall, as well as a side view as the train got closer.

Working with my Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 40mm pancake lens, I set the motor drive to its fastest setting, and exposed three bursts of images as the train rolled east on CSXT’s former Boston & Albany mainline.

Since the camera’s buffer will quickly become saturated when making multiple photos in rapid succession, I was careful to wait until the train was nearly where I wanted it in each of the three sets.

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This tighter view offers a clean perspective on the equipment. I was aiming to feature both the heritage painted locomotive and the ancient baggage car. Word to the wise; get the old baggage cars while you can, they won’t be around forever.

Have you had luck catching Amtrak’s heritage locomotives?  Do you have a favorite? Let me know! There’s a venue for comments on this blog, scroll down.


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4 comments on “DAILY POST: Amtrak Heritage P40 at West Warren, Massachusetts!

  1. I think Trains Magazine said most of the baggage cars are 55-60 years old. I’ll need to check a car roster to find out when that one was built. I think some of them would date back to the immediate postwar (WW2). Perhaps one of the readers is a passenger car expert?

  2. How old is the baggage car?

  3. Normally the Boston section Lake Shore Limited (trains 448/449) carries a Viewliner sleeper. I don’t know why this was missing on Jan 24, 2014. It had it on the following Sunday, and again on Tuesday.
    Brian Solomon

  4. Walter Zullig on said:

    Excellent photo–great location. It looks as though the train was short one engine and one coach this day. My experience has been 2 units, a baggage car, 2 coaches, lounge/dinette and the sleeper. At Albany the consist generally backs on to #49 from NYP. This particular day they must have had to do some additional switching at ALB.

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