April 3, 2014.
Portugal shares the broad Iberian standard gauge with Spain: rails are five feet six inches apart. Despite this commonality, today there are relatively few international services between the two countries.
One of the few cross-border trains is the nightly combined Lusitania/Sud Expresso connecting Lisbon with Spanish cities. The Lusitania runs Lisbon-Madrid, while the Sud Expresso is a vestige of the old Wagon Lits luxury express that once connected Lisbon with Paris, but now only goes as far as Irun on the Spanish-French frontier.
The train operates with RENFE (Spanish Railways) TALGO train hotel equipment, which makes it anomalous compared with the majority of Portuguese passenger trains.
On April 3, 2014, I planned to photograph the eastward Lusitania/Sud Expresso (train 335/310) during its station stop at Entrocamento, Portugal.
This is a big station, adjacent to freight yards, shops, and Portugal’s National Railway Museum.
The train departed Lisbon Santa Apolónia at 9:18 pm, and arrived at Entroncamento a little more than an hour later. I had less than five minutes to make photographs.
I worked with three cameras. First exposing digital time exposures using my Lumix LX3 positioned on a mini Gitzo tripod. I made several images using my standard night photo technique (see: Lumix LX-3—part 2: Existing Light Digital Night Shots).
Then I quickly swapped the Lumix for my Canon EOS 3 with 40mm lens loaded with Provia 100F, and made a three exposure bracket. With film, I find it difficult to gauge night exposures, so I aided my efforts with my handheld Minolta Mark IV light meter.
Provia 100F has a filtration layer that minimizes undesirable color spikes caused by fluorescent and sodium lighting.
In the middle of this time-exposure exercise, I also made several handheld images using my Canon EOS 7D set for a high ISO. I figured that covered most of the angles.
I was distracted during my efforts by the arrival of a Takargo Vossloh E4000 diesel (powered by an EMD 16-710 engine) hauling a container train.
As soon as the train hotel pulled away, I repositioned to photograph the diesel-hauled container train.
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