Since 1841, the rails of the old Western Rail Road (later Boston & Albany, and for the time-being CSXT’s Boston Line) have served as a conduit of commerce through the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.
I made this photograph at sunrise using my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a Zeiss 12mm Touit lens and a graduated neutral density filter to control contrast.
My friend Mel Patrick has often posed the question: ‘must all railroad photos show trains?’
On the morning of February 16, 2014, I anticipated a photo of a westward CSXT empty intermodal train on the former Boston & Albany at the Massachusetts-New York State Line.
Where B&A’s Lima 2-8-4 Berkshires once hauled freight, now CSXT’s modern GE Evolution-Series diesels do the job.
Today Stateline is just a wide spot on a curve, but there’s a lot of history here.
A trackside concrete marker identifies the border. B&A’s one-time multiple track mainline is now a single main track. A vestige of the old eastward main is buried beneath the snow.
New Haven had maintained an interchange with New York Central here; this was a carryover from the early years, when no less than four railroads operated to Stateline to interchange traffic. Their convergence on this spot was no coincidence as the state border defined original operating charters.
Waiting in my car near the grade crossing on this cold windy morning, I knew this train was close, so when the warning lights began to flash, I jumped into position.
Difficulties of Photographing in the Spring and Summer.
That’s just what you want to read about right now, isn’t it!. Gosh, those awful warm months with the long days, soft sunlight and thick foliage.
Well, here I have two views, both made at about the same location off Route 67 in West Warren, Massachusetts at approximately the same time of the morning. Both views show a CSX eastward freight.
The first was exposed on July 31, 2010; the second two views were made on May 10, 2013. While I’ve used one of these views in a previous post (see: Quaboag Valley in Fog and Sun, May 10, 2013 ), I thought these made for an interesting contrast with the earlier image.
The primary difference is that in the interval between 2010 and 2013 CSXT cut the brush along the Boston line and performed undercutting work at West Warren. This is just one of many locations that benefited visually from such improvements.
A secondary difficulty about photographing when foliage is at its summer peak is selecting the optimum exposure. In the 2010 image, I took a test photo and allowed for some nominal overexposure of the locomotive front in order to retain detail in the foliage. I then made a nominal correction in Photoshop during post processing to make for a more pleasing image.