Tag Archives: EMD

Irish Rail Class 071 on Parade.

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Saturday’s (13 April 2019) The West Awakerail tour put Irish Rail’s class 071 diesels in the limelight.

Although once regularly used in prominent passenger services, in recent years Irish Rail’s 071 class General Motors diesels have largely been assigned to freight and per-way (maintenance) trains, which makes their prominent use in excursion work of great interest to observers

I photographed 071 locomotives that participated in Saturday’s tour. Engine 074 delivered Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Cravens carriages from Irish Rail’s Inchicore Works to Connolly Station in Dublin.

Locomotives 082 and 075 had been specially prepared for the tour and set up of multiple unit working, a highly unusual arrangement for these agile six-motor diesels in Ireland.

At Claremorris, the 071 class-leader (number 071 and dressed in retro orange and black paint) took over for the runs to Ballina and Westport.

For 071 enthusiasts, 082 was a special treat because of its extra-loud base roar in the higher throttle positions. While 075 is a curiosity because it is painted in a slightly warmer shade of gray than most of the other members of its class.

I made these photos of the well-maintained 1970s-era General Motors locomotive on parade during The West Awake tour.

Special thanks to everyone at Irish Rail and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland for making the tour a very enjoyable experience and productive photographic opportunity!

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Conrail Classic—SD50s on the move! A grab shot along the old Erie Railroad.

On May 2, 1987, Doug Eisele and I spent the day photographing trains on Conrail’s former Erie Railroad.

We been following Conrail TV301, a double-stack train carrying APL containers on a transcontinental land-bridge movement toward the west coast. At the time, the Erie route was preferred for double-stacks.

At Dalton, New York we spotted an eastward Delaware & Hudson stack train carrying Sealand containers. This was crawling along the old Erie eastbound number two track at about 10mph, as Conrail didn’t maintain the eastward track for anything faster than that, and instead preferred to route all movements over the number 1 main.

As the Conrail train was flying along, we pulled over and bailed out the car; and I made this hastily composed photograph with my father’s Rollieflex Model T on Kodak TMY (Tmax 400).

While not a perfect composition, for me this captures the spirit of the moment, and shows the old Erie Railroad alive with heavy freight.


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What’s Hiding Behind this Southern Pacific GP40-2?


A little while ago, I found this old slide-scan of GP40-2 when searching for an image to advertise my slide program tomorrow night: General Motors Diesels in North America.

I thought: you might not believe what’s lurking right behind this freshly painted EMD!

As a reminder: my program will held on Thursday 28 February 2019 at 7:30 pm at the Irish Railway Record Society premises near Heuston Station in Dublin. Visitors are welcome!

Step back to Septmeber 2, 1991, when I exposed this view at Mott-Azalea, California on Southern Pacific’s Shasta Route. I was on assignment for Southern Pacific and traveling with photographer Brian Jennison who lent me his 300mm Nikkor telephoto.

I set up Brian’s 300mm with my F3T loaded with Kodachrome on my Bogen 3021 Tripod, positioning it nearly at rail level to make a long sequence of the approaching train.

What train was this?

It was an SP excursion with borrowed Lima 4-8-4 4449 and Daylightpassenger train. The GP40-2 was added for extra-power and braking on the grade from Dunsmuir to Black Butte.

I’ve completely hidden the vintage train behind the freshly painted GP40-2!

The flags are a nice touch.

There’s something about the West. I wish I was standing there, right now, taking it all in. It was a memorable weekend all around. 

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EMD Diesels on Film! BIG Slide Show THIS Thursday in Dublin.

On Thursday 28 February 2019 at 7:30 pm, I’ll be giving my slide presentation on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America at the Irish Railway Record Society premises near Heuston Station in Dublin.

This venue is about a two to five minute walk from the station platforms opposite the car park.

See: http://irishrailarchives.ie/index.php/meetings/upcoming/

SD90MAC-Hs at East Salamanca, New York.

Metrolink F59PH at Simi Valley, California in August 2016.

This is a variation on the program I gave in Cork last October.

I’ll will present grand selection of REAL 35mm colour slides detailing General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels at work and will cover numerous models on many different railroads, and feature some dramatic locomotive photography. 

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One Week from Tonight: Irish Railway Record Society—Dublin, Brian Solomon Slide Presentation.


On Thursday 28 February 2019 at 7:30 pm, I’ll be giving a slide presentation to the Irish Railway Record Society in Dublin on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America.

The talk will be held at the IRRS Premises near Heuston Station in Dublin City. This is about a two to five minute walk from the station platforms opposite the car park.

See: http://irishrailarchives.ie/index.php/meetings/upcoming/

This is a variation on the program I gave in Cork last October.

LeRoy, New York: 1989: EMD GP40s lead the northward Rochester & Southern road freight by the old Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh station.

I’ll will present grand selection of REAL 35mm colour slides detailing General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels at work and will cover numerous models on many different railroads, and feature some dramatic locomotive photography. 

Thunder on Donner Pass: 645 diesels in run-8 work east at American—scanned Kodachrome 25 slide. I’ll be showing views like this one at my program.

There’s to be some surprises! (Different photos not previously presented)

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EMDs on the Roll! Conrail-Era SD60M.

Gosh, I remember when 6798 was NEW and blue. This is among Conrail-era SD60Ms still at work on Norfolk Southern.

To make for a more dramatic locomotive action photo, I’ve taken a low angle medium-telephoto view.

Notice how the angle features the wheels on rails, allowing you to see below the locomotive.

Engine exhaust blurs the wires beyond, demonstrating the engines are working.

By focusing on the locomotives; I’ve cropped most of the following freight, more than a mile of it in tow.

Exposed at LaPorte, Indiana on Norfolk Southern’s former New York Central Water Level Route mainline. FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto. ISO 200, f5, 1/500thsecond; JPG image processed from camera RAW file using Lightroom; contrast and exposure adjusted globally and locally to improve visual impact.

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Irish Rail 216 in Ordinary Dress.

Today, Irish Rail 216 wears a one of a kind navy-blue livery and is seasonally assigned to Belmond’s luxury Grand Hiberniancruise train.

 This has become one of the most popular trains to photograph in Ireland and I’ve caught it here and there over the last few years.

For my 201 retrospective, I thought I’d present a few photos of 216 before it was blue.

Irish Rail 216 was among the first 201 class diesels I put on film. Here it is at Westport, County Mayo back in February 1998. Exposed on Provia100 with my Nikon F3T and 135mm lens.

In April 1998, I made this view of 216 at Heuston Station, back when the station shed was blue, but 216 wasn’t! 24mm view with Fujichrome Sensia.

Also in April 1998, 216 with a Mark3 set at Kent Station, Cork. A 135mm view on Fujichrome Sensia (100 ISO).

This seems unusual now: Irish Rail 216 in orange paint on the container pocket wagons (CPWs) then assigned to Dublin-Cork midday liner. Photographed at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin using a Contax G2 with 28mm Biogon Lens. Give me a good price, and I’ll sell you the lens. (I’m totally serious!) briansolomon.author@gmail.com

And there’s 216 in fresh green, yellow and silver paint, rolling through Cherryville Junction with a down Mark3 set on 20April2006. How things have changed!

Stay tuned for more soon!

Check out my new book: Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, now available from the Kalmbach Hobby Store.

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/01304

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Metro-North FL9 at Waterbury, Connecticut, November 16, 1992.


Vestiges of the old New Haven Railroad.

FL9 locomotive
Early dawn light at Waterbury, Connecticut on November 16, 1992. As was typical for the time, I calculated the exposure manually using a Sekonic Studio Deluxe handheld photocell. I made several exposures on Kodachrome 25.

I was driving west on I-84 aiming for the Hudson River. It was a bitterly cold autumn morning before dawn and the sky above was a clear blue dome. I made a spot decision, to get off the highway and make a few photos around the old New Haven Railroad station.

I exposed this view of Metro-North FL9 2023 with the iconic silhouette of the station’s Italianate clock tower beyond. The locomotive was one of several restored in its as-built 1950s-era New Haven paint scheme.

The combination of the early hour and frosty conditions provided for an almost surreal light, but little in the way of personal comfort.

Using my Nikon F3T fitted with a 35mm perspective control lens; I composed this view with the camera mounted on a Bogen 3021 tripod with ball head. By keeping the camera level and adjusting the shift on the front element of the PC lens, I kept the vertical elements parallel.

I continued my drive west, and the rest of the day was spent productively along the former New York Central Hudson Division between Peekskill and Beacon, New York.

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DeForest Station, June 14, 2013.

 

Canadian Pacific’s former Milwaukee Road M&P Branch.

Dick Gruber, John Gruber and I, explored some former Milwaukee Road lines near Madison, Wisconsin on June 14, 2013.

“You hear a lot about deforestation these days,” Dick says to me, “I quite like it. What’s wrong with DeForest Station anyway?”

DeForest station, Wisconsin.
DeForest station, as photographed with my Lumix LX-3 on June 14, 2013.

Having inspected the restored depot. We continued northward (timetable west) along Canadian Pacific’s former Milwaukee branch from Madison to Portage. We had good information that the weekday freight was working towards us. Since track speed is about 10 mph, there was little chance that we might miss the train.

However, we weren’t expecting to find a CP work extra with an SD40-2 and vintage Jordan Spreader doing ditching work. Another case of good luck on my part. I’ve said this before, but I often have good luck on the railroad.

CPR_Jordan_Spreader_north_of_DeForest_Wis_IMG_2978
A Canadian Pacific Jordan performs ditching work for improved drainage. Canon EOS 7D with f2.8 200mm lens.

A few miles north of DeForest, I said to Dick, ‘Turn here, I think that road crosses the line, maybe there’s a photo op.” Sure enough! There we see the spreader working. While watching the works, I gave John a quick lesson on how to work his new Canon 7D. In the meantime, the weekday freight crept up and we made photos of the two trains together.

The Canadian Pacific Jordan has folded in its wings and prepares to get out of the way CP's weekday Portage to Madison local freight. Canon EOS 7D with f2.8 200mm lens.
The Canadian Pacific Jordan has folded in its wings and prepares to get out of the way CP’s weekday Portage to Madison local freight. Canon EOS 7D with f2.8 200mm lens.

This local freight was led by a GP38 and one of the new ‘Eco’ GP20Cs built by Electro Motive. It was my first experience with these new units. Dick was appalled with the appearance of the GP20C,  “Ah! What do you call those engines? LODs! Lack of Design!”

CP Rail near DeForest, Wisconsin.
Canadian Pacific’s local consists of a GP38 and new GP20C leading a pair of tank cars. A Canadian Pacific Jordan performs ditching work for improved drainage. Canon EOS 7D with 28-135mm zoomm lens.

Eco 'GP20C'
Trailing view showing Canadian Pacific’s new ‘Eco’ GP20C which features a blocky adaptation of EMD’s road switcher body design.

Canadian Pacific's new 'Eco' GP20C
John Gruber inspects the new GP20C as it works industrial trackage near DeForest. Exposed with a Lumix LX3.

The local got around the spreader and did a bit switching at an industrial park then continued past the DeForest Station toward Madison.

DeForest station.
CP Rail approaching DeForest station. Canon EOS 7D with 28-135mm lens.

DeForest station.
DeForest station. Exposed with my Lumix LX3.

Soon we were heading toward Sun Prairie and Waterloo to intercept a Wisconsin & Southern freight working toward Madison. I’ll cover that in a future post.

 

 

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Locomotive Geometry Part 4; Chicago Metra’s F40C

 

Passenger Six-Motor.

Metra F40C number 611 in February 2003.
Metra F40C number 611 in February 2003.

Chicago suburban passenger railway, Metra operated the only fleet of Electro-Motive Division F40Cs a six-motor cowl-type passenger locomotive similar to Amtrak’s SDP40F, but equipped with HEP (headend power), and featured corrugated stainless-steel side paneling. The 5 EMD F40Cs, were acquired through Metra predecessor agency for service on Milwaukee Road. Numbered 600-614, the F40Cs were the last Metra heritage units in regular passenger service.

These were an unusual modern application of a six-motor diesel for passenger service. Since the mid-1970s, most passenger locomotives have been four-motor ‘B-B’ models.

They exhibit General Motors classic well-balanced utilitarian appearance, and are similar to other cowl models built from the late 1960s and mid-1970s.

EMD F40C
METRA F40C 614 works west at A2 tower on June 22, 2004.

These were among the locomotives I featured in my popular book EMD Locomotives published in 2006. Available from my publish Voyageur Press or at Amazon. I also discuss their history in my recent North American Locomotives.

EMD F40C.
A pan photo of Metra 606 catches the evening glint near Tower A5.

I like to offer special thanks to Marshall Beecher for providing location assistance in Chicago.

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