Tag Archives: 611

Extra! Extra train on New England Central.

We’d heard there was an extra move.

We didn’t know what it was.

I got a bit confused as to where the extra was in relation to the regular northward New England Central 611 (that runs weekdays from Brattleboro to Palmer and back).

After being out of position, and some quick driving to recover, we managed to get the extra on the move at Vernon, Vermont.

This consisted of the lone New England Central former Southern Pacific ‘tunnel motor’ (SD40T-2 number 3317) hauling some ballast cars.

This isn’t Donner Pass! Here’s a former SP tunnel motor working long-hood forward leading a ballast extra at Vernon, Vermont. In the background is the decommissioned Vermont Yankee Nuclear generating station.

Unusual to say the least!

The regular freight followed about an hour later.

Both photos were exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm Fujinon telephoto lens.

NECR 611 on its northward run from Palmer, Massachusetts at Vernon, Vermont.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Haircut and an SD40-2 Trailing View.

So often I’ve heard the following lament, “I saw that once but I didn’t take a photo.”

The other day I was on my way to get a haircut when I passed under New England Central’s 611 departing Palmer, Massachusetts for Brattleboro, Vermont.

The weather was poor, the lighting bland and I had an agenda of things to attend to.

But I had my Lumix LX7 handy and I went after 611 anyway!

I made this trailing view using my Lumix LX7 handheld.

My head-on views were not worth describing here. Not today anyway. However, I like this trailing view at Barretts, Massachusetts of New England Central 721, still in Union Pacific paint (but with NECR lettering).

This captures some of the drama of the accelerating freight and makes reasonably good use of the lighting. Afterwards I resumed my mission to get a hair cut.

My point? Whenever possible, regardless of the weather and other things to do, I take the time to make photographs; of railroads and whatever else catches my interest.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Orange Locomotives on the Roll—611 works North.

New England Central’s 611 works from Brattleboro to Palmer and return.

The other day, Paul Goewey and I intercepted this freight on its northward run.

A former Conrail SD40 was in the lead, and a recently painted Providence & Worcester DASH8-40B was trailing. Two out of three locomotives wore Genesee & Wyoming’s corporate livery.

Then the sun came out.

We drove to a preselected location north of Barretts, Massachusetts and I made these photos with my FujiFilm X-T1.

To make for a more interesting composition, I positioned my camera to include the overhanging branch. The juxtoposition of the branch, clouds and train make for a nice triangular arrangement that is more interesting to look at the than just a train crossing a field. But would this work if the locomotives were black or dark green?
611 is often a very long freight.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.

611 on the Fly.

Sorry, not the N&W J.

The other day when photographer Mike Gardner and I were in hot pursuit of New England Central freight 611, and we saw this scene unfolding as we approached the Vermont-Massachusetts state line.

The locomotives were catching the light against a dramatic sky in a wide-open landscape.

Wonderful, but we were sorely out of position.

This 112-car freight had been making better progress than I anticipated.

Rather than bemoan the loss of a cosmic shot, I rolled down window and popped off a few frames with my old Leica IIIA.

Running and gunning old school: multitasking, I guessed the exposure (f11 1/500 with HP5 rated at 320) and fixed the rangefinder to infinity. Click.

 

When you see a true photograph, act decisively—no regrets.

I wish I this clever in other areas.

Tracking the Light Post Every Day.

 

 

CSX 611 at East Brookfield on the old Boston & Albany.

CSX 611 is a AC6000CW—a big GE diesel by any measure.

In January 2001, My pal T.S.H. and I were making an inspection of the old Boston & Albany between Palmer and Worcester, Massachusetts ( reliving a trip we’d made in the summer of 1984).

Brian Solomon_581952
CSX 611 leads a westward freight on the Boston & Albany route at East Brookfield in January 2001. Black & white 120 size negative scanned using an Epson V750 flatbed scanner and adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.

I exposed this view using a Rollei Model T that I’d bought from Mike Gardner.

My intent was to recreate a view I’d made of westward Conrail freight at the same location 16 years earlier.

Sadly, the old Boston & Albany station at East Brookfield was destroyed by arson in Autumn 2010.

Tracking the Light is on Autopilot today.

New England Central 611 at Leverett, Massachusetts.

Making the Most of a Tree.

The other day, New England Central 611 was struggling. The train had departed Brattleboro, Vermont with a heavy consist. Complicating matters was that the locomotives weren’t cooperating and the rails were damp with lots of freshly fallen leaves.

While this made for a tough morning’s work for the 611 crew, it provided ample opportunities for me to make photographs (and gave good sound show too).

The sun was playing late-autumn hide and seek with the clouds, but at Leverett, Massachusetts I was rewarded by burst of sun.

Many years ago, before my time, there had been a grade crossing a Leverett. Today, Route 63 crosses on a modern concrete overpass fitted with narrow-mesh fences (no use for photography.)

I opted for a location below the bridge (near where the old grade crossing had been) in order to frame up the train in a tree that was still clinging to its rusty leaves.

NECR_611_w_tree_at_Leverett_DSCF6345

This was one of burst of exposures I made with my FujiFilm X-T1 Digital camera.

Tracking the Light Posts Original Material Daily!

611 with Rainbow Consist plus a Bus at Amherst.

That’s New England Central job 611. (A turn that runs from Brattleboro, Vermont to Palmer, Massachusetts).

All I want to know is what Emily Dickenson might say about all this? Hmmm?

PVTA bus crosses the old Central Vermont at Amherst, Massachusetts.
PVTA bus crosses the old Central Vermont at Amherst, Massachusetts.
Connecticut Southern 3771 leads NECR job 611 south at Amherst, Massachusetts on July 6, 2015. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Connecticut Southern 3771 leads NECR job 611 south at Amherst, Massachusetts on July 6, 2015. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Leased CEFX 1016 on its way to Providence & Worcester.
Leased CEFX 1016 on its way to Providence & Worcester.

Tracking the Light posts original content on a daily basis!

Norfolk & Western 611 at Speed.

Sometimes its nice to imply location in a photograph. Here, I was really just interested in making a dramatic image of the equipment. It’s not often you get to experience a modern 4-8-4 roaring at you at 40 mph!

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm Fujinon lens set at 116.1mm, f7.1 at 1/500th of a second, ISO 400.
Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm Fujinon lens set at 116.1mm, f7.1 at 1/500th of a second, ISO 400. The locomotive is eastward near The Plains, Virginia.

Thanks to Pat Yough and Vic Stone for their assistance in finding this location along the Southern Railway.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Norfolk & Western 611 and its 18 car consist—June 7, 2015 in 20 Photographs!

I was looking for an angle. Actually I saw this view on my first pass through town with Pat Yough on the previous morning.

There were hundreds of folks trackside, dozens up on top of the parking garage, but no one along Grant Avenue in Manassas, Virginia.

Although impressive from every angle, I find that the 611 looks great in profile. Also, I wanted to photograph its train which consisted of several interesting heritage passenger cars.

Vic Stone dropped me on the corner, and I exposed this ordered sequence of images in downtown Manassas using my Fuji X-T1. The exposure was tricky owing to the dark locomotive and the bright morning sky.

Image of 1 of 20.
Image of 1 of 20.
Image 2 of 20. N&W 611's water car.
Image 2 of 20. N&W 611’s water car.
Image 3 of 20.
Image 3 of 20.
Image 4 of 20.
Image 4 of 20.
Image 5 of 20.
Image 5 of 20.
Image 6 of 20.
Image 6 of 20.
Image 7 of 20.
Image 7 of 20.
Image 8 of 20.
Image 8 of 20.
Image 9 of 20.
Image 9 of 20.
Image 10 of 20.
Image 10 of 20.
Image 10 of 20.
Image 11 of 20.
Image 11 of 20.
Image 12 of 20.
Image 12 of 20.
Image 13 of 20.
Image 13 of 20.
Image 14 of 20.
Image 14 of 20.
Image 15  of 20.
Image 15 of 20.
Image 16 of 20.
Image 16 of 20.
Image 17 of 20.
Image 17 of 20.
Image 18 of 20.
Image 18 of 20.
Image 19 of 20.
Image 19 of 20.
Image 20 of 20.

While I anticipated the eventual need to adjust the image of 611, these photos were scaled directly from the in-camera Jpgs. I have reversed the order to convey the sense of the train moving forward.

Do you think I should have started this presentation with the tail car?

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Norfolk & Western J-Class 611—Up Close.

June 6, 2015; Manassas, Virginia. I had plenty of opportunity to study this famous locomotive and make visual studies of it.

I have an ulterior motive (not that I need one). I’ve been finishing up a book project tentatively titled ‘How a Steam Locomotive Works’ and I needed detailed views of various components.

Exposed with a Fuji X-T1.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1.

What better engine to visually dissect than a freshly restored streamlined 4-8-4!

Yet, my mission was to make more than just close ups and I also photographed the train at speed working the line to Front Royal. More photos soon!

Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 June 6, 2015.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 June 6, 2015.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1.

611_rods_3-4_DSCF8641

611_under_signal_bridge_Manassas_track_level_DSCF8662

611_horiz_hard_glint_trailing_smoke_DSCF8675

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning. 

Subscribe today!

Electric 611, Branford, Connecticut.

There’s something catchy about certain engine numbers. Norfolk & Western’s streamlined J-Class 4-8-4 611 is world famous.

A few months back I featured Chicago Metra’s 611, which is an EMD F40C diesel-electric.

So how about an electric with the number 611. Here’s one of Amtrak’s shiny new Siemens-built ACS-64 electrics, number 611, with train 161 at Branford, Connecticut.

It was noon at the Shore Line East station on January 10, 2015 when I exposed a rapid sequence of this modern locomotive.

Amtrak 611 leads train 161 westbound at Branford, Connecticut on January 10, 2015.
Amtrak 611 leads train 161 westbound at Branford, Connecticut on January 10, 2015.

The tricky part of making the photo was selecting the correct exposure for the window of sun between the overhead bridge and the platform. The sun was bright, but lighting from the side. I made several test photos before the train burst into the scene.

Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens; f4.5 1/1000th of a second, ISO 200.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tomorrow: New Haven Railroad reincarnated.

Trailing view of 161 at Branford, CT. 200mm lens.
Trailing view of 161 at Branford, CT. 200mm lens.

Chicago: The Other 611

February 2003.

For many railway enthusiasts, the number 611 immediately conveys mental images of Norfolk & Western’s magnificent streamlined 4-8-4 steam locomotive. But the number is shared with another interesting engine.

On clear morning in February 2003, I arrived in Chicago on Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited. Marshall W. Beecher met me at Union Station and we set out to explore Chicago’s railroads.

We stopped in at A2 tower, a busy place where the former Chicago & North Western crosses the former Milwaukee Road lines from Union Station. In addition to mainline suburban trains, a yard between the two mainlines west of the tower produces a host of light engine and equipment moves.

Metra 611 at A2 Tower Chicago in February 2003. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3.
Metra 611 at A2 Tower Chicago in February 2003. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3.

Metra 611, one of only a few remain F40Cs, was on its way to the yard. The light was perfect and I made this portrait of the unusual locomotive. The F40C was built in 1974 for Milwaukee Road’s Chicago suburban service and the near cousin to Amtrak’s unsuccessful SDP40F. By 2003 only a few remained in service.

My most recent book Chicago: America’s Railroad Capital is a collaborative project with Michael Blaszak, John Gruber and Chris Guss, and features many one of a kind photographs. It is available now through Voyageur Press. This illustrated volume illustrates the history of Chicago’s railroad from the steam era through the present.

Take a look! Keen observers will find yet another 611 displayed in the book’s pages.

http://www.qbookshop.com/products/213674/9780760346037/Chicago-America-s-Railroad-Capital.html

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

 

Tracking the Light Looks at the N&W J

611 at Spencer, May 2014.

Exposed with a Lumix LX-7. The diffused light made for wonderful reflections.
Exposed with a Lumix LX-7. The diffused light made for wonderful reflections.

Among the stars of the Streamliner’s at Spencer event was Norfolk & Western 611, one of only a handful of preserved American streamlined steam locomotives. Here’s a sampling of the many images I made, and an excerpt of the text from my book Super Steam published by MBI (out of print), where I detailed the J class. Today the locomotive catches attention for its streamlined shrouds, but there’s a lot more to the N&W J than just good looks:

“Among the most impressive products of N&W’s Roanoke Shops were its 14 Class J 4-8-4s. These spectacular machines defied convention while settting record for performance and reliability. The first five J’s were built during 1941 and 1942, with N&W’s distinctive streamlined shrouds, and featured 27×32 inch cylinders, 70-inch drivers, 107.7 square foot firebox grate, and a huge boiler set for 275 lb. psi operation. As built these locomotives delivered 73,300 lbs. tractive effort. (N&W later increased the boiler pressure to 300 psi, and as result tractive effort was increased to 80,000 lbs.) The J class exhibited all of the trappings of modern locomotive, featuring roller bearings on all axles and reciprocating parts, one-piece cast steel frame, mechanical lubrication and light weight alloy-steel rods . . .”

611 Noir. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
611 Noir. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
N&W 611 surrounded by the enemy.
N&W 611 surrounded by the enemy.
611 in stereo. Lumix LX-7 photo. There's nothing like a good puddle to make a great photo!
611 in stereo. Lumix LX-7 photo. There’s nothing like a good puddle to make a great photo!
Nose view of one of America's most famous locomotives. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
Nose view of one of America’s most famous locomotives. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.

For more Streamliners  photos, click on Tracking the Light’s Streamliners at Spencer page.

 

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

I remember Norfolk & Western 611—TRACKING THE LIGHT SPECIAL POST

Streamlined Steam at Spencer.

It’s been almost 20 years since John Gruber and I intercepted Norfolk & Western 611 working west on the former Nickel Plate Road near Valpalraiso, Indiana. That was back in August 1994!

I also visited 611 once in Roanoke about 10 years ago.

Here she is last night at Spencer Shops, North Carolina, whereI opted for a moody backlit view.

May 28, 2014; Norfolk & Western 611. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
May 28, 2014; Norfolk & Western 611. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.

More to come!

Tracking the Light posts new material everyday.

Enhanced by Zemanta