It was just a year ago, March 30, 2019, that I exposed this digital image of a Comboios de Portugal (national railway of Portugal) passenger train winding along the picturesque Douro Valley near Aregos .
Denis McCabe and I had spent a week documenting Portuguese railways. Fine weather and excellent scenery combined to make this an enjoyable and successful Iberian adventure.
For this photo, I worked with my compact Lumix LX7. This compact camera produces outstanding results, owing in part to its Leica Vario-Summilux lens. Previously on Tracking the Light I published some of my Douro Valley photos exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.
The scenic Douro Valley is legend as one Portugal’s great places to ride and photograph trains.
On our brief visit to the valley last week, Denis McCabe and took positions on the south side of the river to photograph regularly scheduled passenger trains that for a short time were being hauled by vintage English Electric diesels.
What’s so special about diesel-hauled passenger trains? Not only do the English Electric engines represent a throw-back to an earlier era, but by-in-large Portuguese Railways are electrified and/or host passenger multiple units in place of diesel locomotive hauled trains.
I made these photos using my FujiFIlm XT1 with 90mm lens.
Last Saturday, 30 March 2019, Denis McCabe and I navigated sinuous roads over the hills from the Douro Valley to Marco de Canaveses, Portugal in order to inspect one of Portuguese Railways’ vintage English Electric-built diesels that are temporarily assigned to scheduled passenger services on the scenic sections of the Douro Valley route to the east.
Locomotive 1455 restored in a retro-blue livery was laying over between runs at the Marco de Canaveses station. We had about 10 minutes to make photos, before we departed for the return drive to the Douro Valley to catch this machine at work.
I made these views using my Lumix LX7, but also exposed a few Fujichrome Provia 100F slides.
On the agenda for last week’s photographic adventure in Portugal was a venture into the Douro Valley.
In recent weeks line-works had resulted in a throw-back operation of regularly scheduled Douro Valley passenger services using vintage English Electric diesel hauled trains in place of diesel railcars.
[Translation: a limited opportunity to make photos of vintage trains in very scenic settings.]
Denis McCabe and I departed Porto in our hired car for a location I’d preselected the night before.
Google Maps provided the most direct (if not the shortest) route to a point south east of Aregos on the south bank of the river. Neither of us had ever been here before.
For me the Douro Valley resembles a populated version of California’s Feather River Canyon.
We made it just in time: shortly after our arrival we heard a diesel working up the valley. The cameras were hastily switched ‘on’, positions taken and photos made.
Special thanks to Tracking the Light reader and fellow photographer Stephen Hirsch who supplied us with up to date details on Douro Valley operations.
Not bad for our first minutes in the Douro Valley. But there’s more to come! Stay tuned . . .