Reading & Northern SD50M working at Tamaqua.

I was always impressed by the length of Electro-Motive Division’s SD50 diesels. I first saw these on Conrail in 1983-1984.

Although more powerful than the common SD40-2, the SD50 was a troubled locomotive design and wasn’t as well regarded as the earlier EMD road diesels.

Despite this, many of the old SD50s are still at work in secondary services. In recent weeks, I’ve been featuring Norfolk Southern’s SD40Es, many of which were rebuilt from old Conrail SD50s.

Reading & Northern has a small fleet of SD50s, including several former Missouri Pacific units built in 1984. Back in October, Dan Cupper and I caught up with Reading & Northern SD50E 5049 (originally Missouri Pacific SD50 5049) working the old Reading Company yard at Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.

R&N 5049 was putting together a train of empty coal cars to head out to a loading point on a vestige of the old Lehigh & New England, known as the Arlington Branch. I’ll feature photos from that adventure in a later episode of Tracking the Light.

Photographing with my Nikon Z7-II and Z6 cameras, I varied my exposure in a effort to best capture the locomotive it its environment, then working with the NEF RAW files, I made nominal adjustements to exposure, contrast and color using Adobe Lightroom for the photos displayed here.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens. I like the way the paint on the locomotive mimicked the foliage.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom lens.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens.

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