Tag Archives: Amtrak

Two Main Track

On directional double track, trains proceed on signal indication in the current of traffic. On Two Main track, both tracks are signaled in both directions, which allows trains to proceed on either track in either direction on signal indication.

Last week, I made these views of the westward Amtrak Keystone train 647 on the close track at Leaman Place, PA. From what I could ascertain, it had run around another train on the far track near Parkesburg.

While this move was fully signaled, I thought it was comparatively unusual in that it was the first time I’d seen a regularly scheduled Amtrak westbound using the near track at this location. This made for photo opportunities that I might not have considered if the train was on the far track.

I made this motor drive sequence using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens.

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Stopping 649 with 1/2500th second

Crisp evening light.

Amtrak Keystone 649 was two minutes down from the advertised and cruising to make up time to reach its Lancaster, PA station stop on schedule.

I made this view at Leaman Place using a Nikon Z7II with 24-70mm lens, my shutter was set to 1/2500th of a second.

My drive was set to ‘turbo flutter’. As the train approached, I made this burst of images.

ACS-64 610 leads Amtrak Keystone 649 at Leaman Place, PA.

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Sunset and a Clear aspect at Greenfield

The days are getting shorter. You can see it in the evening sky.

Yet, the sunsets are vivid.

I’ve been looking for ways to better feature the color position light signal at milepost 64.5 near Greenfield in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I made this view with my Nikon Z7-II and Nikkor Z-series 70-200mm lens of Amtrak Keystone train 653 racing west by the signal. This train had Amtrak’s ACS-64 electrics at both ends; locomotive 621 was leading westbound; and 668 was at the back.

I’d guess that something was amiss with the former Metroliner cab car at the westend of the train.

In this instance because the signal is the subject, I picked a trailing angle and selected a slower ISO setting and comparatively slow shutter speed to allow the train a little bit of motion blur, while keeping the signal sharp.

When I try this again, I may zoom in tighter on the signal.

ISO 200, f3.5 at 1/160th second. 70-200mm lens set to 98mm.
ISO 200, f3.5 at 1/320th second. 70-200mm lens set to 98mm.

This is just a cropped and adjusted view of the photo at center above. However, it approximates how large I’d like to frame the signal in a future image.

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Contrasts at Gap

Amtrak Keystone 656 departed Lancaster, PA on time.

We drove to intercept it along the Main Line at Gap.

This time of year evening trains at Gap are coming directly out of the sun. This can be a challenge or a feature, depending on how you make your photographs.

I like to work with contrasty evening light. In my black & white film days, I’d adjust the contrast in the processing and use a relatively weak (dilute) solution of a highly active developer at comparatively high temperature with minimal agitation.

With my Nikon Z cameras I can achieve similar results in color with post-processing adjustments of the RAW files in Lightroom.

Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens. Exposure; f6.3 at 1/2000th second, ISO 200.
Adobe Lightroom work window showing the position of slider corrective controls. (Ignore the prefix ‘auto’ before each slider control).
Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens.
Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens.

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Electric, Steam and Diesel in 45 minutes!

Last Thursday morning, I photographed four trains in 45 minutes. Three were scheduled.

I caught eastward and westward Amtrak Keystone trains at Gap, Pennsylvania, then made a short drive over to the Strasburg Rail Road, where I waited for the 10am scheduled excursion to Leaman Place. As this steam hauled train approached Blackhorse Road, I could hear a second horn to the west.

I surmised that Strasburg’s local freight might be following the excursion. My guess was close; Strasburg’s SW8 diesel was leading a ballast hopper toward Leaman Place where it would clear for the excursion to return.

I can’t recall any time in the recent past in America where I caught electric, steam and diesel trains over such a short span of time.

Photos exposed with my Lumix LX7.

Amtrak Keystone train 646 eastbound near Gap, PA. Lumix LX7 photo.
Trailing view of Amtrak Keystone train 646 eastbound near Gap, PA with ACS-64 665 at the rear of the consist. Lumix LX7 photo.

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Amtrak train 641 working cab car first rolls through Gap, PA. ACS-64 667 electric is working at the back of the train.
Trailing view of Keystone 641 with ACS-64 667 electric as it passes Gap, PA. Lumix LX7 photo.
Strasburg Rail Road 2-6-0 number 89 crosses Blackhorse Road with the 10am excursion. Lumix LX7 photo.
Strasburg 89 up close and personal!
Strasburg Rail Road’s former New York Central SW8 leads a ballast car eastbound at Blackhorse Road.
Trailing view of Strasburg Rail Roadl SW8 8618 eastbound at Blackhorse Road.Lumix LX photo

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Wayne’s Main Line Visit

Owing to its lineage along the route of Pennsylvania’s original Main Line of Public Works, the former Pennsylvania Railroad trunk is known as ‘The Main Line’. This historic route runs just a few blocks from our new home.

Last week our friend Wayne Duffett-TEC Associate’s Bridge Inspector and Conway Scenic Railroad steam locomotive engineer (and Tracking the Light reader) visited Kris and I in Lancaster, PA.

After dinner at the Outback Steakhouse, we brought Wayne on a short tour of the railroad, hitting several highlights of the old Main Line.

Using the ASM.transitdocs.com Amtrak realtime phone app, we were able to time the passage of an eastward Amtrak Keystone to just a few minutes, and watched the train zip by at nearly 90mph.

Photos exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Former Pennsylvania Railroad stone bridge over the Conestoga River in Lancaster, PA. Lumix LX7 photo.
Wayne posing with some goob in at PRR hat. Photo by Kris Solomon.
Amtrak Keystone races eastward on the old Main Line.

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Keystone, Tiguan and Strasburg Road.

This is a variation on yesterday’s theme, but on a different day with a different Keystone, and another road.

I’d made a sunset silhouette of the on-coming train; then turned around to make this going away view of Amtrak Keystone 618.

Gap, PA: ACS-64 626 is powering the train from the back. Kris is filming the passing train from her silver Tiguan using her iPhone 13. While, the empty lanes of Strasburg Road on the left.

We got a friendly toot toot from the headend as the train passed.

Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens. RAW file cropped in post processing for lateral emphasis.

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Parallel Perspectives

This is not all about the train, nor the railroad.

I purposefully placed Jefferson Drive to de-emphasize Amtrak’s Keystone racing along to the right.

I’ve inserted a bit irony with the placement of the ‘speed limit 35’ sign. The train was gliding along at about 100 mph.

The green grass of summer contrasts nicely with the sky at dusk.

And don’t forget the two railroad boxes alongside the track. At least one of these house equipment for a lineside defect detector.

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Electric Sunset

On our way home, we paused along Jefferson Drive in Greenfield, Lancaster, PA, to roll by Amtrak Keystone 620 on its run from Harrisburg to Philadelphia.

The sun had dropped under a textured evening sky, making for a stunning display of natural color.

Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom set to 50mm; f4.5 at 1/800th of second at ISO 2000.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom set to 50mm; f4.5 at 1/250th of a second at ISO 2000.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom set to 50mm; f4.5 at 1/160th ofa second at ISO 2000.

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Glint Light and a Surprise at Greenfield, PA!

On these long summer evenings, the sun sets to the north of Amtrak’s Harrisburg Line along Jefferson Drive at Greenfield near Lancaster, PA.

Kris and I pulled over to watchAmtrak Keystone 618 glide east as it caught the evening glint. Running cab car first, this trainhad a pleasant surprise for us at the back: Amtrak ACS-64 642 specially painted to honor American Veterans.

My Nikon Z6 has a rapid burst exposure setting that exposes a sequence of images in quick succession which allowed me to catch this ununally painted locomotive on the move.

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Great Light at Gap; Nikon versus Lumix

A few days ago, a storm had cleared away the hazy dust and for once there was some sweet evening light at Gap, Pennsylvania along the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line.

We’d stopped at a nearby Rita’s Ice to get a treat for Kris and pulled up to a park-like setting in view of the famous clock tower. I was tracking Amtrak Keystone train 669 and knew it was close.

When Amtrak Siemen’s ACS-64 663 rounded the bend with train 669, I exposed a sequence of photos with my Nikon Z6 and 70-200mm lens then raised my Lumix LX-7 for coming and going wide angle views, followed by another sequence with the Nikon. Kris made a phone video of me taking photos.

I’d just sat back in the car, when Kris said, ‘Look! Another train,’ as an eastward Amtrak train squealed into view. My Lumix was still in my hand and ready to go, so I made a couple of grab shots. I assume this was a deadhead move, as it hadn’t appeared on the tracker. The engineer gave us a friendly toot! as the train passed.

I love bonus trains that I wasn’t expecting!

Keystone train 669 led by ACS-64 663 catches the light at Gap, PA. Nikon Z6 with Nikkor Z-series f2.8 70-200mm.
Lumix LX7 view of Amtrak Keystone train 669 westbound at Gap. This was the first time I’d seen ACS-64 #663 in motion and so I was delighted to catch it in such nice evening light.
My Lumix LX7 is a wonderful camera. However, one of it’s limitations is a comparatively narrow dynamic range. In this instance the sun has completely washed out.
Trailing view of Keystone train 669 at Gap.
A Lumix LX7 grab shot of an unexpected dead-head move eastbound at Gap, just a minute after westward 669 had passed. The best camera is the one you have with you and ready!
Lumix LX7 trailing view at Gap, Pennsylvania.

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Gauzy Light—Amtrak 618 at Gap

We arrived at Gap, PA about ten minutes ahead of Amtrak Keystone service 618 on its way east from Harrisburg.

I made my first photos in this curve at Gap on a visit 16 years ago—June 2007.

Thick smoky-haze filled the air and filtered the evening sun.

I made this telephoto series of images as Amtrak 618 (led by ACS-64 606) glided through the curve at Gap.

Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 200mm; f4.0 1/1600, ISO 400;
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 200mm; f4.0 1/2500, ISO 400
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 74mm; f4.0 1/1600, ISO 400;
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 200 mm; f4.0 1/500, ISO 400;

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Amtrak Schedule tip! Coming and Going on the Main Line at Christiana, PA

The old Pennsylvania Railroad station at Christiana is a neat place to catch Amtrak’s Keystone trains. Over the last few months I’ve visited this location several times.

Saturday evening Kris and I stopped by Christiana to make a few photos an approaching eastward Keystone.

I track Amtrak’s trains on my phone using the ASM.transitdoc.com app, which updates about every 5-6 minutes and shows the train’s last reported location, operating speed, and indicates if it is on-time or runnng behind, while providing a full schedule of station stops.

This is often more useful than either Amtrak’s own website, which can be difficult to navigate quickly, and more up to date than 3rd party printed schedules.

We wanted to photograph Keystone Train 674. As it turned out this was operating on a special schedule owing to track work. I only discovered the train’s schedule alteration after the fact when researching the timetable for this Tracking the Light post.

However, since we used transitdoc App, the on-line interactive map provided all the information we needed and was up to date and literally at our finger tips!

So, despite the schedule alteration, we only had a short wait at Christiana and made some neat photos of the train coming and going at speed.

Trailing view of Amtrak 674 at Christiana, PA

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Amtrak on the Main Line under wire

I often wonder if titles make a difference in viewership. If I called this ‘Energised ACS-64s ‘ would you have read it?

A couple of days ago, I set up at Leaman Place where the Strasburg Rail Road meets the old Main Line and waited for a pair of Amtrak Keystone services to pass by at speed.

Amtrak 605 was westbound, Amtrak 600 was eastbound. Confusingly, Amtrak’s 600-series Keystone trains are typically let by its ACS-64 electric locomotives that are also numbered in the 600-series.

Inevitably someone will ask me what the difference is between a train and locomotive. The Keystone services are train and carry train numbers. Amtrak’s ACS-64 are locomotives and carry locomotive numbers. One identifies a service (software) the other identies a specific piece of railroad rolling stock (hardware).

Amtrak 605 passed first; while Amtrak 600 passed only two minutes later. Had 605 been running just a little late, I may have scored a running meet.

All four photos were exposed using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Z-series Nikkor zoom lens.

Amtrak Keystone No 605 is led by ACS-64 623.
Amtrak Keystone No 600 is led by ACS-64 622.
Tail end of Amtrak Keystone No 600.

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Dusty Sunrise at Gap—Amtrak 642

This morning, the combination of agricultural haze, moisture in the air, and dust high in the atmosphere from fires in western Canada made for soft rosy morning light.

I don’t make a habit of posting photos to Tracking the Light the day of exposure, so today is an exception.

A little while ago, I set up at Gap, Pennsylvania along the former Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line, now Amtrak’s Harrisburg Line, in anticipation of Keystone train 642 racing east toward Philadelphia.

As the train took the curve west of Gap, I exposed this sequence of digital photos using my Nikon Z6 with Z-series 70-200mm zoom. ISO set to 400, white balance to ‘daylight auto’. All photos adjusted using Lightroom.

Although a non-conventional view, I like the last in the sequence that features the train in the distance with the focus on the wild flowers. Isn’t this how we often see trains, just a glimpse in the distance?

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Amtrak 915–1981 and 2023

Over the last few months as I’ve continue to organize the tens of thousands of slides that comprise my collection, I been looking for a few specifics.

In January, I paid a visit to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where Amtrak AEM-7 915 is on display. I made several photos of this classic locomotive.

What I find odd, is that old 915 was nearly brand new when I paid my first visit to the museum back in 1981.

Amtrak AEM-7 915 and Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 number 4800 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. January 2023.
Nikon Z7-2 image exposed in January 2023.

This led to a search for 915 when it was in service. Initially, I thought this shouldn’t be too difficult, since I spent a lot of time along the electrified Northeast Corridor during the 1980s and 1990s when the AEM-7s were plentiful and still wore their as-delivered paint scheme.

Yet, as I scoured my countless Amtrak slides, 915 seemed to elude me.

Finally, the other night I found a vintage Kodachrome slide of 915 doubleheaded with its sister 916 on a train at New Haven, Connecticut. I’d made this view from the front of an MTA/CDOT multiple unit.

Amtrak AEM-7s 915 and 916 at New Haven, Connecticut in December 1981. K64 with Leica 3A.

Enlarged version of the same slide.

I scanned this slide using a Nikon LS5000 scanner and adjusted the TIF scan using Adobe Lightroom.

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Two Station Floors-21 years apart

The other day, Conway Scenic Railroad’s Buildings & Grounds crew coated the North Conway, New Hampshire station lobby floor with a glossy polyurethane protective finish. I made a few photos for the company’s social media.

Digital photo exposed with a Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens.

The resulting images reminded me a photo that I made at Washington Union Station back in May 2022. In that image, I preserved Daniel Burnham’s classical architecture using a Zeiss Hologon flat-field super-wideangle lens fitted to my Contax G2 rangefinder.

In both photos I used the same visual technique: to maximize the effect of a reflective floor, I placed the horizon relatively high in the frame, while keeping the camera close to the floor.

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Bellows Falls, Vermont—March 18, 2023

On our drive north, we stopped in at Bellow Falls, Vermont to roll by Amtrak 57, the southward weekend Vermonter.

This featured P42 number 85 leading five Amfleet 1 passenger cars.

It arrived under clear sunny skies 22 minutes after the advertised.

I made this sequence of images using my Lumix LX7. These images were processed from the camera raw.

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Lucky Catch! Amtrak 100 on the Vermonter

Yesterday, Kris and I were driving around South Deerfield, Massachusetts.

I knew Amtrak train 55, the southward Vermonter was getting close, so I used my iPhone to check the ASM.Transitdocs.com App. This is a train locater and revealed that the train had just departed Greenfield. I knew we had about 5 minutes before it passed, so we drove to the grade crossing at Pleasant Avenue in South Deerfield.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made this view of the train approaching the crossing and framed by some classic rural American mailboxes. I was delighted to discover that the train was led by Amtrak P42 number 100 wearing distinctive navy heritage paint to celebrate 50 years of Amtrak service!

Amtrak train 55 at Pleasant Avenue in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

This file was adapted from the camera RAW image using Adobe Lightroom to correct color balance and adjust highlight and shadow detail.

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AEM-7 at Niantic

I’ve been digging through slides from 2010 as part of my epic task to sort, label and file my photographs.

The other night I came across a roll exposed 13 years ago on a trip to the old New Haven Railroad Shore Line Route that I made with photographers Tim Doherty and Pat Yough.

We finished the day’s photography at Niantic Beach on the Connecticut coast where I made this view of a westward Amtrak regional train led by AEM-7 919. I like it because it is an unusual trailing photo rather than a more common head-on angle.

I’ve been searching my slides for a view of AEM-7 915, the representative electric now displayed at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. When I find a suitable image of this now famous preserved electric, I’ll post it on Tracking the Light.

Fujichrome Provia 100F exposed with a Canon EOS-3 at Niantic, Connecticut in February 2010.

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Strasburg 8616 on the roll.

Earlier this month, Kris and I drove by Strasburg Rail Road’s engine house where I noticed that the railroad’s SW8 8616 was nowhere to be seen.

“Let’s take a run up to Leaman Place,”—where the railroad meets Amtrak’s former Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line to interchange with Norfolk Southern. (Featured recently on Tracking the Light)

When we arrived there, I started to check the Asm Transitdocs app on my phone to see if any Amtrak trains were close. Then we heard an EMD rumble. My hunch was right!

It was 8616 on its was back toward Strasburg.

I made a few photos with my Nikon Z6 and then drove to Cherry Hill to roll it by again.

Leaman Place, Pennsylvania.
Leaman Place, Pennsylvania.
Cherry Hill Road, Strasburg, Pennsylvania.
Cherry Hill Road, Strasburg, Pennsylvania.
Cherry Hill Road, Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

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Amtrak 641 at Gap-Three Photos!

I find Amtrak’s old Metroliner cab cars a novelty.

These rolling antiques are vestiges of 1960s High Speed rail that have survived into the 2020s in regular revenue service.

On my exploration of the Lancaster area with Dan Cupper a few weeks ago, we stopped at Gap in the morning to photograph the westward Amtrak Keystone service No. 641, led by Metroliner cab car 9634 with ACS-64 634 at the back.

I wonder if I have a photo of this cab car in Metroliner service?

I made this telephoto sequence with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera fitted with a 70-200mm telephoto zoom. The yellow front works well with soft winter sun.

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Misty Morning at Christiana, PA.

It was a retro 1970s moment at Christiana, Pennsylvania, when I made these coming and going views of Amtrak Keystone train 648.

The Conrail caboose to the right of the train is former Erie Lackawanna that was painted in an usual variation of COnrail blue at Erie’s Meadville, Pennsyvlania shops in 1976.

The cab car is one of the former PRR/Penn Central self-propelled Metroliner cars developed by Budd in the 1960s and characterized Amtrak’s high-speed services in the 1970s and early 1980s. Later these cars were modified and routinely operated to Harrisburg on this route.

Former Metroliner cab car leads Amtrak 648 eastbound at Christiana, PA.
Amtrak ACS64 669 works at the back of Keystone train 648 at Christiana, PA.

Photos were exposed using my Nikon Z7-II and adjusted for contrast, exposure and color temperature using Adobe Lightroom.

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Amtrak Keystone train on the Main Line at Leaman Place.

Tuesday morning in Strasburg was cloudy and dull. I made my way over to Leaman Place where Strasburg Rail Road’s line connects with Amtrak’s former Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line to Harrisburg.

I made these photos of westward and eastward Keystone trains zipping along under wire. The typical operation has an Siemens ACS64 electric at one end and a Budd-built former Metroliner cab control car at the other.

Both images were adjusted for color temperature, shadow and highlight detail and contrast in post processing.

Amtrak Keystone train No.646 eastbound at Leaman Place. Exposed using a Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens at 74mm. ISO 800, 1/4000th sec f2.8.
Amtrak Keystone train No.641 westbound at Leaman Place. Exposed using a Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens set at 200mm. ISO 800 1/2000th sec at f2.8.

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Vintage Chromes: Amtrak at Meriden, CT.

I made photographs of Amtrak at Meriden, Connecticut on two occasions.

The first was in February 1979. My father brought my brother and me out for the afternoon and we stopped at Meriden’s Amtrak station to watch the arrival of a New Haven-Springfield shuttle operating with a pair of Budd RDC’s. I exposed these coming and going Kodachrome photos with my old Leica 3A. (previously featured on Tracking the Light in 2015. See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2015/05/14/amtrak-rdcs-at-meriden-connecticut-february-1979/)

My second visit was on January 2, 1988, when I stopped at a grade crossing just north of the station to catch a southward holiday extra that was running with F40PH 205 and borrowed MARC passenger cars.

Last night, I was able to place the location 1988 photo by carefully scrutinizing the older slides. The distinctive profiles of the buildings to the left of F40PH 205 also appear in the distance of the trailing view of the RDCs, which is how I know that the 1988 photo shows the train approaching Amtrak’s Meriden station stop.

If you look carefully at the 1988 photo, you can see the conductor standing in a vestibule door. The platforms were at the east side of the tracks for trains in both directions, as evident in the first view of the RDC at the station.

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Amtrak 448 catches the Glint in Palmer.

Yesterday evening at CP83 in Palmer, Massachusetts in time-honored tradition, Kris and I rolled by Amtrak 448—the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited

I made these photos with my Lumix LX7. Working from the camera RAW, I made necessary adjustments in Lightroom to control highlight detail, color balance and contrast.

August 12, 2022.
August 12, 2022.

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Ominous LEDs at Simi Valley

Six years ago, I made this trailing view of an Amtrak Pacific Surfliner bound for Los Angeles Union Station at Simi Valley, California.

The on-platform infomational signs were scrolling an ominous message about a Metrolink train that had been cancelled because of a mechanical issue. That’s a modern way of saying; ‘the train failed enroute and your going to be late’.

I exposed this photo using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Amtrak 449 on the eve of Change

May 4, 1997: I exposed this Fujichrome slide of Amtrak’s westward Lake Shore Limited (Boston section), train 449 rolling down the Quaboag River Valley near the former Boston & Albany station at West Brimfield, Massachusetts.

This was at a time when the train was carrying a fair amount of freight and mail on the head and tail ends of the passenger consist, and shortly before Amtrak replaced the old EMD F40PHs with new Genesis P42 diesels.

It was just about two years before Conail’s class 1 operations were divided and the old Boston & Albany was conveyed to CSX.

Exposed using a Nikon N90S with 80-200mm Nikon zoom.

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Late Number 5 at Gold Run.

Back in 1990, Amtrak’s westward California Zephyr, train No.5, typically traversed Donner Pass midday.

On this July 1990 afternoon, the train was several hours behind the advertised. I pictured it near Gold Run, California on the west slope of Donner.

I’ve been going through my Southern Pacific and Union Pacific photos searching for material for my next book on Union Pacific and its component railroads.

Although this is an old favorite photo, I’ll likely defer to images that show SP or UP freight trains for the final book selections.

Exposed on Kodachrome 25  using a Nikon F3T with 35mm PC (perspective control) lens.

Scanned with a Nikon LS 5000 slide scanner. Multipass scan.

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Amtrak with the Pacific Ocean

On a frosty morning I felt it would be nice to look at a warm evening.

From New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley I’m posting this view of Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner at San Clemente Pier on Calilfornia’s Surf Line.

I exposed this view in November 2018 using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Amtrak Vermonter on THe Move!

Earlier this month I exposed this view of Amtrak train 57 on the move crossing a fill on the Connecticut River Backwater just south of Brattleboro, Vermont.

There was soft directional lighting with a textured sky. To better balance the exposure I worked with an external graduated neutral density filter positioned over the front element of the lens with the darkest portion of the filter ever the sky.

I’m not entirely satisfied with the results, but the filter helped.

Luckily, I also exposed a black & white photo that I hope to process with my next batch of film!

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Visit to Westport—June 25, 1986—Five Photos.

I was sifting through some old 120 black & white negatives yesterday and found these photographs from a morning’s photography along the old New Haven Railroad in Connecticut from June 1986.

I started the morning in South Norwalk, then moved down to Westport.

Most of the photos from the morning were exposed on Kodachrome slide film, but I made a few select images on Kodak Tri-X using my father’s Rolleiflex Model T using a 645-size ‘superslide’ insert to obtain a rectangular crop.

Amtrak 904 leads the eastward mail train at Westport at 9:18am on June 25, 1986. Kodak Tri-X with Rollei Model T exposed at f8/11 1/500 sec and processed in Kodak D76 at 68 degrees.

Most interesting to me now are the views of Amtrak’s eastward mail train behind AEM-7 904. This carried a group of baggage cars at the back including some from VIA Rail.

While I have detailed photographic notes from the day, what I don’t have recorded were my thoughts on the experience at the time. This was one of several similar trips I made to former New Haven electrified territory in the summer of 1986.

Amtrak mail train with a VIA Rail baggage car.
Catenary masts at Westport draw.

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Amtrak Shuttle Crossing the Connecticut River—February 6, 2019.

Last February the Connecticut River was swollen.

I made this telephoto view of a northward Amtrak shuttle (running from New Haven, Connecticut to Springfield, Massachusetts) using a Nikon F3 with a 105mm lens and loaded with Fuji Acros 100 black & white film.

I like the way the Amtrak train glints in the morning sun.

To maximize tonality and detail, I used a split-development process, first soaking the film in a very dilute mixture of Kodak HC110, then using a more concentrated mix of Rodinal for primary development.

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