New England Central at Stafford Springs—August 23, 2016.

The familiar sound of 645 thunder down in the valley spurred me into action.

A southward New England Central freight was climbing Stateline Hill in Monson, Massachusetts. This is an old routine (and yes, I’ve written about this before.)

When I hear a train coming through Monson, I have a few minutes to get organized. In this instance, a brilliant clear blue dome with nice morning light was the deciding consideration.

En route, I heard the southward train get its ‘paper’ (radio–issued track authority) to proceed toward Willimantic, Connecticut. In this instance, I was alerted to the location of the train; south of milepost 55 (near the Massachusetts-Connecticut state line).

I headed for my preferred spot in downtown Stafford Springs, Connecticut south of milepost 49.

FujiFilm XT1 digital photo.
FujiFilm XT1 digital photo.

One advantage of Stafford Springs is that the railroad makes an east-west twist through the village on its otherwise north-south run. This favors the morning light for a southward train.

The other advantage is Stafford’s quaint and distinctive New England setting.

Here's the trailing view that shows the village.
Here’s the trailing view that shows the village.

Photos exposed digitally using my FujiFilm XT1

Tracking the Light posts everyday!

One comment on “New England Central at Stafford Springs—August 23, 2016.

  1. Bill Sample on said:

    Brings back memories of my first train sighting – and chase – at that location. My grandparents had a summer cottage near Lake George in Wales, MA and one day in the summer if 1965 my cousin Dave and I had ridden our bicycles out there from Springfield,. During that visit, we decided to head for the closest metropolis to purchase some 45 rpm records and that location was Stafford Springs, where we knew there was a 5 and 10 cent store – think it was Woolworth’s. We pedaled our way south on route 19 through the villages of Staffordville, Hydeville and Stafford and for most of the his trip gravity was our friend – it was mostly at least slightly downhill. Somewhere below Stafford I thought heard the distant sound of a locomotive horn. Figuring that I had had a 50% chance of hearing a southbound train, I accelerated my speed in an attempt to intersect a possible train move at Stafford Springs, near the former passenger station at the route 32 crossing. Heading past the Johnson Memorial Hospital, taking a right onto route 190 and then down the hill into town I heard a much closer sound of a grade crossing signal – and as I hit the breakneck bicycle speed of about 25 mph the crossing came into sight – along with 4 GP9s – one of them a visiting Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific unit in the old green and gold colours – on the head end of a sizable freight train. As it disappeared by the old B P Cooley mill building I rested with the satisfaction as this was my first-ever sighting of what was to me an exotic Central Vermont Railway movement.

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