Tag Archives: Budd

New Mexico Revisited: Soaking in BNSF’s Transcon on the Move.

It had been more than 20 years since my last visit to New Mexico. This was my first by rail.

I was on my way east with Dave and Rhonda Swirk and Derek Palmieri of New Hampshire’s Conway Scenic Railroad, documenting  Budd Vista-Dome Silver Splendor on its journey from Los Angeles to its new home in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

As we glided east at the head-end of Amtrak number 4 theSouthwest Chief,we met or overtook dozens of freights, many of them intermodal trains, on BNSF’s former Santa Fe Transcon.

Wow, BNSF sure runs a lot of freight!

Dave Swirk enjoys breakfast near Gallup, New Mexico. Exposed using a FujiFIlm XT1.
View from Silver Splendor near the Arizona-New Mexico state line.
BNSF westward freight near the Gallup, NM station .FujiFilm XT1.
BNSF eastward freight as seen east of Gallup. Lumix LX7 photo.
BNSF’s former Santa Fe has several long sections of split alignments, where mainline tracks are not adjacent. A westward freight can be seen off in the distance to the north of Amtrak No. 4. Lumix LX7 photo.
BNSF westward intermodal freight. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
BNSF westward intermodal freight. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Amtrak No.4 paused at Marmon, NM for traffic to clear. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

I exposed these photos digitally using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1.

Part of the challenge of making photos of trains from the train is trying to compose while in motion of moving subjects. Not only does this make if difficult to level the camera, but it leads to motion blur and other potential defects.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Silver Splendor at Los Angeles Union Heading East on Number Four.

One week ago, former Chicago Burlington & Quincy Budd-built Vista dome Silver Splendor (originallySilver Buckle) was positioned behind the baggage car on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, train number four.

This elegant stainless steel streamlined car was about to embark on a transcontinental journey towards its new home.

Amtrak 87 leads train no.4 waiting to depart Los Angeles on Saturday August 17, 2018.

Photos exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Follow That BUDD!

Not to be confused with: “Follow THAT! Bud.”

Earlier this month, in the high-summer light, while traveling from Reading & Northern’s Reading Outer Station on its former Reading Company Budd Cars (Budd Company Rail Diesel Cars otherwise known as RDCs), I wondered about photo locations along Reading & Northern’s lines.

Back in the day (lets call it the early 1960s) my father, Richard Jay Solomon, photographed Reading Rambles along these same Reading Company routes (and also occasional put the company’s regularly scheduled passenger trains on film).

For years, I’d looked at these slides without fully grasping where they were taken.

One trip over the old Reading answered many questions. Around each bend, I recognized locations, thinking ‘Ah Ha! So that’s where Pop made THAT photo’ and so on. (I’m still waiting for Pop to finish labeling his slides; he’s got about as far as 1960 thus far. HINT: Don’t wait 57 years to label your photos).

In the Lehigh Gorge, Pat Yough and I chatted with our friend Scott Snell—an accomplished member of the railway photo fraternity. Scott offered us the opportunity to ride with him as he chased the Budd cars back toward Reading.

Having traveled up by rail, we jumped at the opportunity to make photos of our train in late afternoon summer sun. So we traveled with Scott by road from Jim Thorpe to Reading, by way of Tamaqua, Port Clinton and Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Here are some of my results thanks to Scott and Pat’s knowledge of the line.

Not on the old Reading Company, but in fact on the former Central Railroad of Jersey line at Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania.
New Ringgold, Pennsylvania on the old Reading Company line between Port Clinton and Tamaqua. This was a definite, “Ah Ha” location. (And I don’t mean the Norwegian pop band.)
Pop bagged a Reading double-header crossing this field. That photo has appeared in books.
Not far from the former Reading Company station at Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Old Reading RDCs at Reading & Northern’s Reading Outer Station, Reading Pennsylvania.

Just checking to see if you are reading this correctly.

Last weekend, July 8 and9, 2017, Patrick Yough and I made trips to Reading, Pennsylvania to photograph and travel on Reading & Northern’s former Reading Company Budd RDCs.

I grew up with the old ‘Budd cars’ and it was neat to see these machines on the roll again.

Budd introduced it’s self-propelled ‘Rail Diesel Car’ in 1949, and sold them to many railroads across North America. These cars were most common in the Northeast, and the Reading Company was among the lines that made good use of them in passenger service.

I exposed these views using my FujiFilm X-T1 with Zeiss 12mm Tuoit lens.

Reading & Northern operates these RDCs in periodic excursion service on its lines in eastern Pennsylvania.
A new tower, and a really antique signal made for nice props for the RDCs at Reading Outer Station.
Reading & Northern operates these RDCs in periodic excursion service on its lines in eastern Pennsylvania.

 

Tracking the Light is on Auto Pilot while Brian is Traveling.

Why I Liked Budd RDCs—four photos from the lost image file.

It looks to be Spring of 1979: My parents drove my brother, Sean and me to Springfield (Massachusetts) Union Station to catch Amtrak to New York.

At that time most Amtrak services on the Springfield-Hartford-New Haven run were operated with vintage hand-me-down Budd Rail Diesel Cars, the much loved RDCs.

I always liked the Budd Cars because I could talk our way into a cab-run, which was vastly superior to sitting on the seats.

Bummer about the post; but I made this view from the head-end of another RDC at Springfield Union Station in Spring 1979 (April, I think.)
Bummer about the post; but I made this view from the head-end of another RDC at Springfield Union Station in Spring 1979 (April, I think.)

On this day we were treated to running ‘wrong main’ (against the current of traffic) because of track-work south of Springfield.

Nothing finer than a forward view. The top of Sean's head is just visible in some this trips images. He was only nine at the time.
Nothing finer than a forward view. The top of Sean’s head is just visible in some this trip’s images. He was only nine at the time. Here we are looking westward at Springfield. Our train will take a hard left before reaching the Connecticut River and follow the former New Haven line toward its namesake.
We were running wrong main because of a track gang on the normal southward track. Note that this is traditional section gang, not a tamper in sight!
We were running wrong main because of a track gang on the normal southward track.
Approaching the Connecticut River bridge between Enfield and Windsor Locks, Connecticut. This span dates to about 1906. Today it has just one track.
Approaching the Connecticut River bridge between Enfield and Windsor Locks, Connecticut. This span dates to about 1906. Today it has just one track.

At New Haven we changed trains for an electric-hauled run toward New York City. At that time, Amtrak served Rye, New York (rather than New Rochelle as it does today) where our grand parents would collect us. I always hoped for a Pennsy GG1 leading our train from New Haven, but usually had to settle for a boxy General Electric E60.

I made these views from the head-end of the RDC using my Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar lens. The train crews were always friendly and on this day the engineer gave us a detail running commentary about the line, much of which I’ve either forgotten or melded in with my general knowledge of the New Haven Railroad.

Back then all photos were film photos (except for Polaroid, I suppose). If could you make photos like this now with your phone, where do you think you’ll find them in 37 years?

Tracking the Light posts every day.

This Budd Could Be For You!

—For ten NEW photos, click on Tracking the Light—

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum’s Hoosac Valley Service is operating with a vintage Budd-built Rail Diesel Car.

Berkshire_Scenic_RDC_DSCF8093

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

Budd Company’s RDC made its debut in 1949 and was first used in regular revenue service on New York Central’s Boston & Albany in 1950.

I made these views of Berkshire Scenic’s RDC on the former Boston & Albany North Adams Branch yesterday, May 28, 2016.

Berkshire Scenic plans to operate this car on weekends and select public holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For details see: http://www.hoosacvalleytrainride.com/schedule.php

Also see Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/hoosacvalleyservice

Berkshire Scenic's new North Adams station area. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.
Berkshire Scenic’s new North Adams station area. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.

Want to learn more about Budd’s RDC and other classic streamlined trains? Check out my new book: Streamliners—Locomotives and Trains in the Age of Speed and Style published by Voyageur Press.

A Budd with a view! FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.
A Budd with a view! FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.

 

Looking southward on the old B&A branch. At one time Boston & Albany's North Adams Branch connected its namesake with Pittsfield. As late as the 1940s, through trains operated fro Grand Central Terminal to North Adams using the Harlem line to Chatham and B&A mainline to Pittsfield.
Looking southward on the old B&A branch. At one time Boston & Albany’s North Adams Branch connected its namesake with Pittsfield. As late as the 1940s, through trains operated fro Grand Central Terminal to North Adams using the Harlem line to Chatham and B&A mainline to Pittsfield.
Berkshire Scenic's RDC departs North Adams for Renfrew on May 28, 2016. FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.
Berkshire Scenic’s RDC departs North Adams for Renfrew on May 28, 2016. FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.
Berkshire Scenic's RDC departs North Adams for Renfrew on May 28, 2016. FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.
Berkshire Scenic’s RDC departs North Adams for Renfrew on May 28, 2016. FujiFilm X-T1; contrast adjusted in post processing.
Where else does the old Boston & Albany cross below the old Boston & Maine? Here we have trains top and bottom.
Where else does the old Boston & Albany cross below a route of the old Boston & Maine? Here we have trains top and bottom.
Tickets!
Tickets!

Berkshire_Scenic_RDC-1_at_North_Adams_DSCF8105

Amtrak RDCs at Meriden, Connecticut—February 1979.

Here’s a pair of photos from the archive. It was a bright and clear winter day, when my father and I intercepted these Amtrak Budd RDCs working the New Haven to Springfield shuttle.

At that time, the Budd Cars (as I knew them) were standard equipment on the Springfield run. I have many fond memories of riding the RDCs.

Exposed with a Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar on Kodachrome 64 color slide film.
Exposed with a Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar on Kodachrome 64 color slide film.

Amtrak RDCs at Meriden CT Feb 1979 Brian Solomon 662987

I’m glad I have these slides, but I wish I’d made many more image of the old Budds. A few of the RDCs survived into the mid 1980s.

Every morning Tracking the Light posts new material.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

South Station, Summer 1978.

 

 

How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

Other kids would get assignments along the lines of: “Write a 500 word essay on how you spent your summer vacation.” I always wished for something like that. In 7th grade this would have read:

“We live on a boring road where nothing ever happens, so to keep me from driving my mother crazy, my father took me to Boston at least one day a week. My dad works near Harvard Square in a bright office with lots of computers. (That’s actually in Cambridge, not really Boston.)

“The first week he show me how to use the computer terminal and I played a game called ‘R Adventure’. The second week he showed me how to write a short program (that’s a bunch of lines and letters that tells the computer what to do). I wrote a program with a sneaky line called an ‘infinite loop’. This tells the computer to repeat the same line again and again. That was neat. I wrote ‘Brian Likes Trains.’ And this scrolled slowly over the CRT (that’s the computer screen that looks something like a TV but with green letters.)

“I figured I’d improve my program, so I added an exponent. When I ran the program the next time, the screen filled with ‘Brian Likes Trains’ faster and faster, soon the whole screen was rolling. Then it suddenly stopped. Actually the whole computer stopped. All the computers in the room stopped!

“A graduate student came in and spoke to my dad. Then my dad gave me a dollar and told me to go ride the subway or something. So I rode around and came back when it was time to drive back to Monson. Writing that program was like magic. Every time after that, my dad would give me a dollar and I’d ride around with my camera taking pictures.

“By August, I’d been on all the subway lines. So I went to the railroad station. South Station is a great place, it’s where they keep all the Budd Cars. Those are great because the engineers who run them let you ride up front and don’t charge you to ride.

This is South Station, that's where you can see the Budd Cars.
This is South Station, that’s where you can see the Budd Cars.

“The Budd cars go all over the place, but if you’re not careful you might not get back by the time to go home, so it’s really important to get a schedule.

“My dad sometimes gave me his ‘SUPER WIDE ANGLE lens’. This is much better than my ‘Normal’ lens because its comes with a viewfinder which is an extra part you put on top of the camera that helps you to see pictures. With my normal lens, you have to look through a little hole, and that makes it harder to find good pictures.

“He also gave me a light meter to measure the light and set the camera. I made lots of pictures. This is one of my favorite because it shows the Budd Cars and the old signals at South Station. I had to walk all the way from the subway stop to the parking lot to make this picture and it was really hot outside.

“Now summer’s over, and I can’t ride around on the subway or Budd Cars until next year. I hate school.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

South Station Reflections November 23, 1988.

 

Stainless Steel Budd-Rail Diesel Car Catches the Light.

Rail Diesel Car.
Unmodified scan of a Kodachrome slide. MBTA RDC at South Station Boston, Massachusetts, November 23, 1988.

 

On November 23, 1988, I exposed this Kodachrome slide of a former Boston & Maine (B&M) Budd RDC on the platforms at South Station. At one time this had been a self-propelled unit, but by this time, Boston-based Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) was hauling trains of old RDC’s with locomotives.

The classic welded stainless steel fluting was a trademark of Budd railcars. Polished stainless steel made for some beautiful trains, although this one was clearly showing its age. The Boston & Maine lettering was a remnant of B&M’s ownership of the car, which MBTA had acquired in the mid-1970s.

Look carefully and you’ll see another Budd-built product reflecting the in the window: one of Amtrak’s Amfleet cars built in the 1970s.

Kodachrome 25 slide film was an ideal material for capturing high-contrast scenes like this one. Look at the great detail in the highlights areas. I used my Leica M2 with f2.0 50mm Summicron. Today, I’d probably try to capture this with my Lumix LX3.

Enhanced by Zemanta