Tag Archives: #Crawford Notch

TV Crew Films Conway Scenic

Arethusa Falls grade crossing.

Among my assignments this past week on the Conway Scenic Railroad was to guide a TV production crew from Boston’s Channel 5 WCVB.

After they enjoyed a ride and a meal in dome car Rhonda Lee, I collected the crew midway up the mountain, and Conway Scenic’s President and General Manager Dave Swirk and I brought them to some of the most scenic vistas on the line to film the train.

They were able to benefit from my weeks of location scouting in order to film a segment on Conway Scenic that is expected to be broadcast in the coming weeks.

It was a beautiful bright day on the mountain, and they were able to get views of Mount Washington with Conway Scenic’s Notch Train.

Conway Scenic’s President and General Manager Dave Swirk describes the line at Crawford Notch as the TV crew prepares their equipment in anticipation of the train.


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The Gateway Cut at Crawford Notch.

Near the summit of the former Maine Central Mountain Division at Crawford Notch, the line passes through a deep rock cutting in a natural low point in the mountains known as the Gateway.

Conway Scenic’s normal operations of its Notch Train to Crawford’s Station finds the train passing the Gateway at the peak of high sun. In other words,  one of the most difficult times for photography using natural lighting.

Fires in the West resulted in particulate matter and haze, which last week provide a great degree of diffusion, making these condition an ideal time to catch the Notch Train on its uphill run.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I exposed this view from the railroad east end (compass south) of the famous cutting. Having locomotive 1751 in the lead was an added bonus.

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Conway Scenic’s 7470 Returns to Crawford Notch Video approaches 6000 views.

On Saturday, June 29, 2019, I used my FujiFilm XT1 to film a short video of Conway Scenic’s historic excursion over Crawford Notch to the far western end of its line at Hazen’s, near the White Mountain Regional Airport in Whitefield, New Hampshire.

The trip represented steam locomotive 7470’s public debut since its recent restoration to service and its first trip leading an excursion all the way to the end of the line. It was also the first public trip using recently acquired Budd dome car Rhonda Lee (formerly Silver Splendor), which can be seen directly behind the locomotive in the video.

I planned to this as a follow-up to earlier Conway Scenic shorts, including an interview with Conway Scenic President and General Manager, David Swirk which has attracted more than 40,000 views on Facebook.

So far, this most recent video has had about 6000 views on Facebook and is now also available on Conway Scenic’s NEW YouTube channel. (See link above.)

These videos are part of a strategy designed to promote the railroad using social media.

Enjoy these videos and please share them!

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I exposed this still photo using my Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

Conway Magnificence: Budd Dome and Steam at Willey Brook.

I’ve just scratched the surface reviewing the many photos I made yesterday (June 29, 2019) of Conway Scenic’s Trains, Planes and Automobiles steam excursion over New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch.

This was the first public excursion with Conway’s new Budd-dome Rhonda Lee (formerly Silver Splendor) as featured on Tracking the Light. And the first time the car was teamed up with steam locomotive 7470.

I made this view of the iconic Willey Brook Trestle on the return run in the afternoon where the steam locomotive was trailing.

For years I’d admired photos from the vantage point on the rocks above the bridge, which has been used to photograph the railway since it was constructed in the 1870s.

I never realized how difficult it was to get up there until I had to make the ascent myself, with all my gear in tow.

This view was exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit mounted on a Gitzo tripod. I used an external Lee graduated filter to help improve sky detail.

By working in the vertical-oriented portrait format, I was better able to show the distance of the stream below the bridge and the great verticality of the entire scene. I’m specifically mimicking a 19thcentury glass plate view, while remembering a Kodachrome slide my friend Brian Jennison exposed here of a Maine Central freight.

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Rare Move on the Mountain.

On Friday, June 21, 2019, Conway Scenic sent locomotive 1751 to Crawfords, New_Hampshire in order to position an excavator that had been working west of the summit.

This was 1751’s first assignment on the Mountain since repairs at North Conway earlier in the week.

Later the locomotive was sent west to Hazen’s at the far reaches of Conway Scenic’s operations on the old Maine Central Mountain Division.

I made these views from highway 312 using my Fujifilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit. In post processing, I digitally applied a graduated neutral density filter to make for better sky detail on the gray day.

On Saturday, June 29, 2019. Conway Scenic has a special Notch Train planned. This will run with steam locomotive 7470 all the way from North Conway over Crawford Notch to Hazen’s to participate in the Trains Planes and Automobiles special event.

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Mount Willard with a Commanding View of Crawford Notch!

A stream in the forest along our climb to Mount Willard.
Lumix LX7 photo.

The view of Crawford Notch from Mount Willard. Highway 302 can be seen at the center of the image, Conway Scenic’s former Maine Central Mountain Division is at right. Lumix LX7 photo
Lumix LX7 view of Crawford Notch from Mount Willard with Conway Scenic’s Notch Train ascending at lower right.
This is a FujiFilm XT1 photo with 90mm telephoto lens. Notice the tiny train on the line deep in the valley below. I made several more photos, which I’m saving for special purposes!

I’d spied some rocks high on Mount Willard above the old Maine Central trestle at Willey Brook.

Conway Scenic’s Lisa King offered to bring me on a hike to those rocks for a commanding view of New Hampshire’s famous Crawford Notch.

“We’ll start at Crawfords Station. It takes about an hour!”

So last Saturday, we departed North Conway about an hour ahead of the Notch Train, and drove to Crawfords, where I was surprised to find about 100 cars parked along the road.

I was astounded to ‘discover’ that one of New Hampshire’s most impressive views attracts hundreds of hikers on bright warm weekend mornings!

We walked up through the forests, fording streams, avoiding bugs, dodging potential encounters with bears (we didn’t see any, but I’ll bet some saw us, since, earlier in the week, I’d spotted a bear cub on the line).

At the top, Lisa brought me a great view looking down the valley, and down onto the famous Willey Brook bridge.

I’m saving the bridge photos for a rainy day.

Next Saturday, June 29, 2019, Conway Scenic has scheduled a special Notch Train to be led by its steam locomotive 7470. This will depart Conway at 9am and run over the Notch and beyond to Hazen’s Crossing near the White Mountains Regional Airport for an event called Trains, Planes and Automobiles.

(I’m told tickets are still available, but get yours soon!)

Call: 603-356-5251 or check Conway Scenic’s website:

https://www.conwayscenic.com/notch-train/

Look under ‘Notch Train’ and click on June 29.

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Conway Scenic Video to Promote Rare Mileage Trip on June 29, 2019.

Earlier this week, Dave Swirk, president and general manager of the Conway Scenic Railroad, enlisted my skills to help promote the railroad’s June 29, 2019 special steam trip over Crawford Notch to the Trains, Planes & Automobiles event near Whitefield, New Hampshire.

Dave explained how this excursion is a rare opportunity to see Conway’s only operating steam locomotive reach Crawford Notch—which is beyond its typical operating territory— but also offers the opportunity to travel all the way to Hazen’s Crossing at the western limit of Conway Scenic’s operation of the former Maine Central Mountain Division. The Airshow / Carshow is an extra bonus!

Using my FujiFilm XT1 camera with 12mm Zeiss Touit, I recorded Dave speaking about the railroad’s steam locomotive 7470 that was recently restored to operations and its role in the special June 29th trip.

I edited the video output from the camera using Apple software on my Macbook.

This event is a big deal for Conway Scenic. It has been nearly five years since 7470 regularly worked Conway Scenic’s  excursions, so this trip represents an exciting opportunity and there’s no one better than Dave himself to capture the enthusiasm for this special event. 

Locomotive 7470 is a heavy 0-6-0 built in 1921 by the Grand Trunk for service in Canada. It is significant as the first locomotive to provide service on the Conway Scenic and of great personal significance for Dave.

On June 29th, the special Notch Train will depart North Conway behind steam at 9am.

To book tickets for this event call: 603-356-5251.

See: https://www.conwayscenic.com/notch-train/

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Check out the video on Facebook:

First Trains of the Season at Crawford Notch.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 12mm lens, file adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.
Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 90mm lens, file adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.

Monday June 10, 2019, Conway Scenic Railroad operated an employee-special to Crawford Notch in preparation for commencement of its regularly schedule excursions, which began the following day.

Trains to Crawfords station from North Conway, New Hampshire operate on supremely scenic and steeply graded former Maine Central Mountain Division.

Last used for regularly scheduled freight in 1983, this route has been a highlight of Conway Scenic’s excursion program since the mid-1990s.

I made these views at Crawfords station of Monday’s excursion using my FujiFilm XT1. Compare the relative perspective offered by a wide-angle versus that with a medium telephoto from a distance.

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Quiet Evening on The Mountain

At the end of May 2019, I paused briefly at Crawford Notch, New Hampshire to expose some photos in the evening light of the former Portland & Ogdensburg (Maine Central) Crawfords station.

This classic resort station is now seasonally served by Conway Scenic Railroad, and that season is about to begin!

Stay tuned!

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