Tag Archives: #CP Rail

Canadian Pacific in a Concrete Canyon

On this day in 2010, I photographed a soutward CP Rail freight on the former Delaware & Hudson in Albany, New York, while using my (then new) Canon EOS 7D with a 100-400mm zoom lens.

These views were made at 250mm and 180mm respectively—however the 7D’s small sensor magnifies the telephoto’s compression effect.

I’d followed the freight down from Mechanicville.

July 17, 2010.
July 17, 2010.

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Reflections at Delanson

March 19, 2005: CP Rail freight 412 roars through Delanson, New York on the Delaware & Hudson’s Albany & Susquehanna route.

I was traveling with fellow photographers Tim Doherty and Pat Yough.

We’d strayed off course, having started the morning on the west end of CSX’s old Boston & Albany, and kept pushing west.

I made this image on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3 with Nikkor 180mm telephoto lens.

To make the most of the puddle in the foreground, I took the prism of the camera and held the body close to the water level, while looking down through the fresnel focusing glass. The challenge of this unusual technique is composing the photo in reverse, since without the prism the fresnel projects a mirror image.

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Backlighting on CP Rail at Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

I made this pastoral scene ten years ago on a visit to Wisconsin with John and Dick Gruber.

We had been photographing former Milwaukee Road lines in the central part of the state and were making our way to Waukesha to visit our friends at Kalmbach.

Near Pewaukee Lake, we heard the blast of an approaching eastbound freight on Canadian Pacific. With little time to spare, I made this hastily composed grab shot of the train running along the north shore of the lake. In the lead was a former BC Rail locomotive. High contrast made for a challenging scene.

The sun was nearly 180 degrees from the camera, yet my lens was shaded by the trees in the park. While the lighting was harsh the photo conveys the spirit of a sunny summer evening in Wisconsin.

Last night, I made a series of adjustements using Lightroom to improve the presentation of this image.

Scaled but otherwise Unmodified Canon CR2 RAW file exposed using a Canon EOS 7D with 28-135mm lens set to 28mm
Screen shot of Adobe Lightroom work window showing the ‘Select Sky’ mask and my adjustments to the highlight and color temperature sliders. By using the mask my adjustments only affect the selected areas. Photo exposed in June 2013.
Adobe Lightroom work window with a semi-final image. This shows the positions of slider controls as applied to the overall image including the previously adjusted sky.
Final output of the CR2 RAW file. In the final corrections, I lowered overall contrast while increasing the white level. Note the detail in the bark of the trees.

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Canadian Pacific Six-motor MLWs in Montreal.

Another classic from my files: this Kodachrome slide was exposed on my epic trip to Montreal with Tom Carver 30 years ago.

Among the inspirations for the trip was a tip that Tom received that CP Rail had placed back into freight service several of its ‘Bigs’- a nickname for its six-motor Montreal Locomotive Works diesels.

These classics had been stored owing to a downturn in traffic, but placed back into service in early 1993, which presented an opportunity to see and photograph these rare diesels at work. So, despite exceptional cold, Tom and I had braved winter in Montreal.

Only about a dozen or so of the six-motor MLWs were working at that time and mostly in relatively short-haul freight services. We followed one freight to the Port of Montreal. I made this view using Tom’s 28mm lens in Hochelaga neighborhood of Montreal on the afternoon of January 12, 1993.

Kodachrome 25 slide exposed with a Nikon F3T and borrowed Nikkor 28mm lens.

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Jackman, Maine 1984 & 2022

In July 1984, I made a few black & white photos of the Canadian Pacific station at Jackman, Maine using my old Leica 3A with 50mm Canon lens. At that time, Jackman still hosted VIA Rail’s Atlantic and was an open train order station. I had a conversation with the operator before I made my photos.

On my recent visits Jackman earlier this month, I tried to recreat the angle of my earlier eastbound view.

In both photos, I am standing at the Route 201 grade crossing.

The purpose of this comparison is to demonstrate the degree of change at Jackman in the 38-year interval between them. Notice that the 1984 view is far more interesting to look at despite being a technically inferior photograph.

Canadian Pacific Railway/VIA Rail station at Jackman, Maine in July 1984.
Looking east at Jackman, Maine on June 11, 2022.

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Dusk at Moosehead—June 12, 2021.

Two weeks ago ,on our last of three evenings at Moosehead, Maine, Kris and I set up at the East Outlet Bridge of the Kennebec River to catch the westward CP Rail road freight in the fading glow of dusk.

The light was dropping quickly. And by the time the train came into view it was almost dark.

Working with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera attached to a Bogen tripod, I set the ISO to 4000, the aperture to its widest (f4) and the shutter speed to 1/60th of a second.

Notice the reflection of the locomotive head light on the bridge.

The bugs on the river were fierce!

Long after the freight passed us we could hear it making its way toward the Canadian frontier.

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Greenville Junction—Take Three.

It was a clear afternoon in central Maine- a perfect day for photography.

I’d reviewed Kris’s photos from the previous day, and I liked her angle on the bridge near Kelly’s Landing east of the Greenville Junction station. So, I tried that for myself.

Standing a road level and working with my Nikon Z6, I made this series of photos as the eastward CP Rail freight roared over the Greenville Junction/Kelly’s Landing bridge.

I processed the Nikon NEF files in Adobe Lightroom for display here.

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Greenville Junction—Westbound at the Station

Finding trains on CP Rail’s Moosehead Subdivision requires patience and good luck. On our visit last weekend Kris Sabbatino & I found that operations consisted of basically one road freight in each direction a day.

Moosehead Lake is an area of exceptional scenic beauty and Greenville, Maine is a lovely rural town with several fine places to eat. We only spent a small portion of our visit to the area line-side waiting for trains, but kept our ear to the ground anticipating the sounds of an approaching freight.

Several times, Kris heard or spotted a train before I did. And this was a huge help in getting into position line side with time enough to make photos of the passing freight.

One evening at Greenville, we heard a distant whistle, and drove west to the old Greenville Junction station to photograph its passage.

Lighting at the station was tricky. The evening sky exhibited subtle hues of magenta and blue, while the station building was in shadow. Light levels were low enough to require a high ISO setting on the camera to stop the action.

For these photos, I worked with my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm Fujinon zoom lens. I set the camera to ISO 1000.

In post processing, I converted the Fuji RAW files to DNG format using Iridient X Transformer, then imported these into Lightroom for adjustments. These included lightening the shadows, while darkening the highlight regions to hold detail and color in the sky, plus some contrast and color control.

For comparison, I’ve included the unmodified In-camera JPG and the adjusted DNG versions of the same image at the bottom of this posting.

Greenville Junction, Maine. Fuji RAW file converted to DNG format and adjusted using Adobe Lightroom.
Greenville Junction, Maine. Fuji RAW file converted to DNG format and adjusted using Adobe Lightroom. Compare this version to the unmodified in-camera JPG of the same image below.
Screenshot of the in-camera JPG file with information showing details of exposure.

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Greenville Junction—Take 1

Greenville Junction. In the 1950s my father stopped here while traveling on Canadian Pacific’s Scoot to make photos of the crew watering the locomotive.

I recall the station from our visit to Moosehead Lake in 1972.

Historically, Bangor & Aroostook’s line met CP’s just west of the bridge and station.

Last week, Kris Sabbatino and I raced ahead of an afternoon CP Rail eastbound freight so that we could photograph it crossing the bridge east of the Greenville Junction station near the popular restaurant called ‘Kelly’s Landing’.

I made this photo looking back toward the station using my FujiFIlm XT1.

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Nocturnal Moves at Jackman, Maine

We chased the westward CP Rail freight from Moosehead to Jackman, near the Canadian frontier.

Many years ago, my friends and I slept in a van at the Jackman Station, courtesy of the CP agent on our way to Quebec.

I recalled that night back in the 1980s, as my Fiancé Kris Sabbatino and I anticipated photographing CP Rail last weekend.

Lucky for us, it stopped to switch out its consist, giving use several opportunities to make photos.

On our return to Moosehead, we met many moose along Route 15!

Exposed on a tripod with a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera
Exposed on a tripod with a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera
Exposed on a tripod with a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera
Exposed on a tripod with a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera
Moose family on Route 15, east of Jackman, Maine. Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.

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Kennebec East Outlet at Dusk—two views.

Among the CP Rail freights we caught on the move on the Moosehead Sub, was this westbound rolling across the Kennebec East Outlet Bridge just after sunset.

Working with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera, I made this trailing view with the camera set at ISO 1600, shutter speed 1/50, aperture at f4.0, and the 24-70mm zoom adjusted to its widest (24mm) position.

Soon after the locomotives passed we were in hot pursuit of the train for nocturnal photos. More soon!

June 2021—CP Rail SD70ACU 7044 was in the lead.

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Revisiting the Moosehead Sub—Recon.

My first visit to Canadian Pacific Railway’s Moosehead Subdivision was in the summer of 1972, when my family rented a cabin on Moosehead Lake near the East Outlet of the Kennebec River.

In the 1980s and 1990s, I made several excursions to this beautiful and sometime elusive railroad line.

Over the years this line has changed ownership several times, and CP Rail has recently re-acquired the historic route, and since then I’d been itching to get back up there.

Over this last weekend, my Fiancé, Kris Sabbatino and I made the drive from Center Conway, NH to Moosehead, Maine where we stayed at the very same campground that I had visited as a child back in 1972.

Train operations are sparse and I wanted to make the most of trains if and when we caught them on the move. So first we investigated locations near our cabin.

Here are a few photos exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 of the East Outlet Bridge of the Kennebec River at Moosehead, Maine.

More photos of the Moosehead Sub to come over the coming days!

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Amtrak’s Empire Builder on the Milwaukee Road

Historically, the Seattle-Chicago Empire Builder traveled on Burlington’s rails east of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Amtrak’s modern incarnation of the Empire Builder uses CP Rail’s former Milwaukee Road east of St Paul, following a route across central Wisconsin.

Today, the Empire Builder is among the oldest names still used by an Amtrak train.

I made this photo near Reeseville, Wisconsin on a photographic adventure with John Gruber back on August 22, 2011.

Exposed using my Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

Tracking the Light is a daily rail-photo blog by Brian Solomon