Tag Archives: Freight train

New England Central 611 at Leverett, Massachusetts.

Making the Most of a Tree.

The other day, New England Central 611 was struggling. The train had departed Brattleboro, Vermont with a heavy consist. Complicating matters was that the locomotives weren’t cooperating and the rails were damp with lots of freshly fallen leaves.

While this made for a tough morning’s work for the 611 crew, it provided ample opportunities for me to make photographs (and gave good sound show too).

The sun was playing late-autumn hide and seek with the clouds, but at Leverett, Massachusetts I was rewarded by burst of sun.

Many years ago, before my time, there had been a grade crossing a Leverett. Today, Route 63 crosses on a modern concrete overpass fitted with narrow-mesh fences (no use for photography.)

I opted for a location below the bridge (near where the old grade crossing had been) in order to frame up the train in a tree that was still clinging to its rusty leaves.


This was one of burst of exposures I made with my FujiFilm X-T1 Digital camera.

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Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia, Cape Jack, July 24, 1997


A Fleeting Glimpse of a Maritime Alco Diesel Oasis.

Railway train with water
On July 24, 1997, a Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia freight rolls west at Cape Jack along the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.

I featured this image of westward Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia (say it five times fast) freight in my big book Locomotive, published by MBI in 2001. The concept of the book was very large photo reproduction of classic locomotives. There were three sections; steam, diesel and electric.

In July 1997, I made this image on trip with George Pitarys and Bill Linley. George and I had flown to Halifax from Boston. We spent three glorious days photographing in Nova Scotia and did exceptionally well with the CB&CNS. At the time the railroad ran its eastward road freight in the morning and westward train in the afternoon, which favored sun angles most of the day. George and Bill’s expert knowledge of the line allowed us to make the most of every train.

I was especially fascinated by the opportunity to photograph locomotives against the seemingly endless blue waterscape. This elevated location at Cape Jack overlooking the Gulf of St Lawrence was one of the best places to make watery vistas. I exposed this on Fujichrome Provia 100F using my Nikon N90s and Nikon f2.8 80-200mm zoom lens. Exposure was calculated using a Sekonic Studio Deluxe handheld photocell and the camera’s internal matrix meter setting.

Here’s an excerpt from my text published in Locomotive:

The CB&CNS was created as the result of CN’s desire to spin-off lightly used feeder lines. Initially the CB&CNS was part of the RailTex family of short lines and acquired by Rail America in 1999. CB&CNS operated from Truro (in western Nova Scotia) to Sydney plus a few short branches. Until 1998, this railroad was one the final strongholds for big MLW-built Alco locomotives. These were regularly assigned to daily through freights. Most were painted in CB&CNS’s attractive black & yellow paint scheme with a large red lion to reflect the region’s Scottish heritage. 


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