Tag Archives: #bridge

Icy Afternoon at Safeharbor

The magnificent bridges at Safeharbor make for great subjects.

I’ve yet to see a train at this location. And much to my regret, in all likelihood, I will never see a train on the taller of the two bridges—since this now carries a rail trail instead of a railroad.

Kris and I have paid visits to Safeharbor in various seasons. Winter yields stark lighting ideal for making silhouettes of the great spans.

I made these views using my Nikon Z7-II with 28-70mm Nikkor zoom, and Kris’s Fuji XT4 with my 50-140mm Fujinon telephoto.

I’d like to think that, decades ago, some photographer braved the elements to make a wintery silhouette of Pennsylvania Railroad E44 or P5a electrics leading an Enola bound freight over the top bridge from this vantage point.
In the winter, Norfolk Southern freights using the lower of the two bridges are largely nocturnal owing to the limitations imposed by a freight curfew on movements over Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (which connects with this route at Perryville, Maryland).
Nikon Z7-II with 28-70mm Nikkor zoom
Nikon Z7-II with 28-70mm Nikkor zoom
Nikon Z7-II with 28-70mm Nikkor zoom
Nikon Z7-II with 28-70mm Nikkor zoom.
Fuji XT4 with 50-140mm Fujinon telephoto
Fuji XT4 with 50-140mm Fujinon telephoto

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Sunset on the Susquehanna—a few views of the old PRR bridge at Havre de Grace, Maryland.

On our brief visit to Havre de Grace, Maryland in mid-October, I made these views of Amtrak’s late-running train No., 120 gliding across its early Twentieth Century bridge over the Susquehanna River. Leading the train was ACS-64 No. 633.

This antique bridge fascinates me. It’s an old-school pin-connected deck truss. And it’s an impressive imposing structure for its size and length. Word to the wise: get your photos because it is soon to be replaced!

While nothing lasts forever, I’ll miss this old bridge when its gone.

I aimed to get the Amtrak electric passing the rising moon.
Adobe Lightroom work window showis the details of this image.
I like this telephoto view, which best captures the immense size of the old bridge.

I made these photos with my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Z-series zoom.

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Glinty Reflections in the Susquehanna.

We found a shady place to park in Harrisburg’s Fort Hunter Mansion Park over looking Norfolk Southern’s Rockville Bridge.

We were hoping to catch a coal train. Instead, an eastward autorack freight came rolling across the bridge. As this was passing, a second an eastward train crossed the bridge on an adjacent track—and was blocked from view by the autoracks.

I made this view using my Z7-II fitted with a 70-200mm lens.

Staying in the shade of the trees in the park helped to reduce flare from the sun in the western sky.

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Philadelphia & Reading Bridge—Harrisburg

Third time’s the charm.

In June 2009, I made my first visit to the former Philadelphia & Reading arched bridge over the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, Pa.

At that stage, I was still using film exclusively, and using my Canon EOS-3 loaded with Fujichrome, I made some photos of the bridge sans train.

Kris and I paid another visit to the bridge in March of 2022, Again, I made photos of the arches, but no luck catching anything on the move.

Toward the end of July, I made my third visit. This time fortune favored me. Not long after I parked on South Front Street, I heard a horn to the west and soon an eastward Norfolk Southern train came rolling across the arches.

I made these images using my Lumix LX7 and Nikon Z6 cameras.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Z6 with Nikkor f2.8 180mm.

I had the Z6 set up with my 1980s-era Nikkor f2.8 180mm prime telephoto. While a very sharp lens, this is operated manually, which makes focusing a little tricky.

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Erie Landmark.

We navigated our way through Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to the town of Lanesboro where the magnificent former Erie Railroad Starrucca Viaduct spans the town.

I said to Kris, “This is one of America’s most famous railroad bridges, and probably the biggest, oldest railroad bridge still in revenue service in the United States.”

After all, there are very few railroad structures remaining in service from the 1840s.

In the 1980s, I photographed Conrail trains crossing this elegant Erie landmark. In the early 2000s, I wrote about it.

I made these photos last week using my Nikon mirrorless digital cameras.

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Chetwynd Viaduct at Night

The other evening, we paid a visit to the abandoned Chetwynd Viaduct that spans the Cork-Bandon road in County Cork, Ireland.

This was a spur of the moment visit. I was not carrying my tripod. However, through the magic of modern digital photography, I was able to make a few images of this unusal bridge.

These were made using my Nikon Z6 handheld with f4.0 24-70mm lens with ISO set to 51,200. The results are a bit grainy (pixelated), but amazing considering the scant amount of available light.

For another view of the Chetwynd Viaduct, see my post from 2015:


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Fujichrome at Köln—six track bridge over the Rhein.

In September 2015, I flew from Dublin to Köln, Germany with my Irish friends.

At the Köln Hbf (main station), we walked across the Rhein on the footpath along the six track multispan railrway bridge.

At the time this was covered in lover’s locks. So many that there were concerns about the excessive weight on the heavily-built bridge.

From the east bank, I made this Fujichrome Provia 100F color slide of the bridge and the famous cathedral. Back-lighting helped to illuminate the locks on the bridge.

I scanned the slide yesterday using our Nikon LS-5000 digital scanner driven with VueScan software. I made a multipass scan and imported the file into AdobeLightroom for final adjustment and scaling.

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Bridges at Safe Harbor-Three Views

The two magnificent bridges at Safe Harbor, Pennsylvania are vestiges of the Pennsylvania Railroad from its days in the early 20th century as the busiest freight railroad in North America.

The line on top bridge was abandoned by Conrail c1990 no longer carries track. It is now used a by a trail system. This bridge originally carried PRR’s low-grade freight cutoff from Parkesburg via Shocks Mills to Marysville, PA. The bottom bridge is part of the Port Deposit route and still used by Norfolk Southern. The electrification was discontinued early in the Conrail era.

I made these images in March using my Nikon Z6.

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Last week, I traveled with Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates on the fourth of four Conway Scenic Railroad bridge inspections.

Midway through the day we inspected Frankenstein Trestle, a steel/iron tower supported viaduct that was built in sight of the ridge of the same name.

Frankenstein is really two bridges, one inside the other as the result of a strengthening effort by the Maine Central in 1930.

I made these images of the famous bridge using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm zoom lens.

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East Branch Bridge

Last week, I accompanied bridge inspector Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates on the second leg of his annual Conway Scenic bridge inspection.

Our first stop was the East Branch truss near Glen, NH.

I made these photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens. Images were converted from camera RAW to DNG format by Iridient X-Transformer then adjusted for internet presentation in Adobe Lightroom.

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Freight Pan Silo

Last Friday evening (April 23, 2021), Kris Sabbatino & I made sunset photos at the Cape Cod Canal lift bridge.

Mass-Coastal’s freight was assembling its train at Canal Junction in Bourne, Massachusetts, giving us several opportunities for silhouettes of the train moving across the bridge.

Clear skies made for ideal sunset silhouette conditions.

Working with my Nikon Z6 digital camera with 24-70mm f4.0 lens I panned the train as it pulled north across the bridge. For this image, I had the ISO set to 100, aperture set to f4.0 (it’s widest setting), and the shutter at 3/5ths of a second to capture the motion.

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Vestige of the Beechers Falls Branch

The old Beechers Falls Branch was a vestige of Maine Central’s foray into Quebec that survived on Maine Central’s system in later years as a truncated  appendage accessed by trackage rights over Boston & Maine and Grand Trunk lines.

After Maine Central gave up, various short lines had operated the trackage. Today the line to Beechers Falls, Vermont is a trail.

Beechers Falls itself is a curiosity on a narrow strip of land wedged tightly between New Hampshire and Quebec.

On Saturday (May 23, 2020) Kris Sabbatino and I explored this abandoned line.

I made these photos where the Branch crossed the upper reaches of the Connecticut River at Canaan, Vermont.

Working with a Nikkormat FT with an f2.8 24mm Nikkor lens, I exposed Ilford HP5 400 ISO black & white film.

Although I intended to process this in Ilford ID11, yesterday, I realized that I was all out of that developer, so instead I worked with Kodak HC110, which I mixed as ‘dilution B’ (1-32 with water). Before my primary process, I mixed a very weak ‘presoak’ (1-300 with water and Kodak Photoflo) and soaked the film for five minutes, then introduced my primary developer for 4 minutes 30 seconds.

Last night Kris and I scanned the negatives using an Epson V500 flatbed scanner with Epson’s provided software.

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One of my Missing Connecticut River Bridges—

Over the years, I’d photographed most of the railroad bridges over the Connecticut River. And in most situations I’d pictured the bridges with a train (or at least an engine on them.)

There are a few bridges I’d missed over the years. One was this former Maine Central span on the former Mountain Division west of Whitefield, New Hampshire near Gilman, Vermont.

Last week, photographer Kris Sabbatino and I, took the opportunity to picture this three-truss span.

No train on this bridge for us. My guess is that the last rail-move across the bridge was in the mid-1990s.

Lumix LX7 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit.
FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit.

Photos exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 and Lumix LX7.

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