Tag Archives: E60

Retrospective in 3 Photos: Amtrak E60s in the Early 1980s.

In my early days, picturing former Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 electrics was one of my main photographic interests.

I held Amtrak’s newer E60 electrics is disdain.  These modern, boxy electrics appeared to be supplanting the GG1s. For me they lacked the historic connections, the elegant streamlined style, and the character of the GG1. They were bland and common.

I may not have been fond of the E60s. But I always photographed them. They were part of the scene, and important elements of modern operations.

Recently I rediscovered these E60 photos along with some other long-missing black & white negatives.

Amtrak E60 972 leads a westward/southward train at the PATH (Husdon & Manhattan) station in Harrison, New Jersey on a gray wintery afternoon in 1981.
Kodak Tri-X processed in Microdol-X.
The view from my grandparents’ balcony in Co-op City in The Bronx overlooked Amtrak’s former New Haven Railroad Hell Gate Bridge route. I made this view using a Leitz 200mm Telyt telephoto lens attached to a Visoflex reflex viewfinder. Although klutzy, this lens arrangement allowed me to attach the telephoto lens to my Leica 3A. Focusing on moving subjects was a challenge. I made this view hand-held and while I nailed the focus  my level was completely off. I corrected the skew in post processing.

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Amtrak 603 Then and Now.

Over the years I made countless photos of Amtrak’s block-like E60 electrics working underwire.

So for me it’s a bit strange to see one of these 1970s-era machines on static display outside of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania alongside a PRR DD1 electric and some other classics, including a 1980s-era AEM-7 (topic of a future Tracking the Light Post).

Exposed using a Lumix LX7 in November 2017.

Since today Amtrak 603 represents the E60 fleet, I scanned through my archives to locate photo of 603 at work on the Northeast Corridor. It’s pictured with a long distance train on August 1, 1986 at Linden, New Jersey.

I made this view on Kodachrome using a Leica 3A fitted with a 200mm Leitz Tellyt using Visoflex reflex attachment.

I couldn’t have anticipated then that engine 603 would someday be a museum piece!

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Amtrak E60 at Havre de Grace.

Classic Kodachrome.

On the evening of November 23, 1992, I was poised to photograph the action on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor at Grace interlocking at Havre de Grace, Maryland.

I was interested in this angle specifically to use the glint light shortly before sunset. Kodachrome film had an exceptional ability to capture detail in the extreme contrast of sunset situations.

Although it had been a clear day, there was plenty of particulates in the air from tens of thousands of automobiles driving I-95 and adjacent roads. Almost invisible to the eye, this pollution acts as a reddish orange filter and changing the quality of sunlight toward the long end of the spectrum. Kodachrome with its red-bias amplified this effect while its great dynamic range maintained excellent detail in highlight areas.

Sunset on the Northeast Corridor on November 23, 1992.
Sunset on the Northeast Corridor on November 23, 1992. Exposed on Kodachrome 25.

Working with my Nikon F3T and f1.8 105mm Nikkor lens, I had only a few minutes before the sun disappeared behind the trees at the right.

Moments before the light changed, a late-running Florida train bound to Penn Station, New York glided into the scene with a 1970s-era E60CH electric in the lead. Perfect!

I made a couple exposures as the train passed.

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Tomorrow: Smoggy Glint in the Land of the Rising Sun!