On this day, photographer Tom Carver and I were at Val Royal, Montreal to photograph Canadian National’s electric suburban trains.
In the orange glow of evening on a memorably cold day, I exposed this Kodachrome 25 slide using my old Nikon F3T with Nikkor 200mm lens.
Little did I know then, that 30 years later I’d be working daily with some of these very same cars: Conway Scenic Railroad operates former CN electric cars 6739, 6743, 6745 and 6749 as coaches on its excursion trains.
In August 1984, I was on a big solo rail adventure. Among the places I visited by train was Montreal.
My friend Brandon Delaney had recommended Dorval as a place to watch trains. Here, double-track Canadian Pacific and Canadian National mainlines ran parallel to each other and there was a continuous parade of freight and passenger trains.
On August 14th, I traveled out on commuter train from Windsor Station and spent several hours soaking up the action.
Among the trains I photographed was this eastbound VIA RDC set on the CN heading for Central Station.
I’d positioned myself where the codelines crossed from the north-side to the south-side of CN’s line. This was my clever compositional trick that makes for a more interesting photograph by focusing the eye toward a secondary horizon.
In April, Kris Sabbatino and I drove north into eastern Maine, and followed the old Grand Trunk Railway from Bethel toward Gorham, New Hampshire.
Grand Trunk was conceived as a broad gauge line to connect Portland, Maine with Chicago via Montreal. The route was absorbed into the Canadian National in the 1920s, and the Maine portion was spun off in the late 1980s. Today this line across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont is part of the Genesee & Wyoming family, and operated as the St. Lawrence & Atlantic.
I made these photos near a small line-side grave yard in the vicinity of Gilead, Maine using a Nikon F3 loaded with Agfa APX400. I discussed the processing of the negatives in an earlier post.
I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, so I randomly selected this slide from a group of 600-plus 35mm color slide that I’d initially gathered as material for a book on EMD diesels.
This slide didn’t make the cut.
Nor was it labeled.
So, I called up my 1996 photo notes and looked up the relevant details.
At the time I was living in Waukesha, Wisconsin and working for Pacific RailNews.
On the morning of July 27, 1996, I had driven north (railroad timetable west) along the Wisconsin Central mainline toward Byron following a northward freight.
At Byron it met two eastbounds, the second of which was this Canadian National rock train led by Grand Trunk Western former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton GP40 6404.
CN had worked out an arrangement to run its rock trains over WC. Notably, this was several years before CN acquired Wisconsin Central, and at the time catching GTW locomotives on the WC was a novelty, if not unusual.
Working with my Nikon F3T with 105mm lens, I exposed this slide at f6.3 1/500 at 741am. I noted that this was my ‘full daylight’ setting for Fujichrome Sensia 100.