Tag Archives: Greenfield

Greenfield, Massachusetts: Pan Am’s EDRJ on the move!


As we drove north on Route 5, I said to Mike Gardner, “It’s 2:30, EDRJ should be getting organized to head west.” At that very moment, the scanner squawked:

“EDRJ, proceed west on signal indication.”

That was timely!

So we went to my old standby location in Greenfield. We had enough time to set up, when the chug of vintage General Electric diesels announced the approach of EDRJ.

I made these views with my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

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Medium Clear at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Pan Am’s EDBF (East Deerfield to Bellows Falls) gets a medium clear aspect (30 mph indication) at Greenfield, Massachusetts to proceed northward on the Connecticut River line.

Medium clear is displayed on the signal at left with a red over green over red.

Modern LED cluster signals offer relatively bright aspects that can be easier to photograph in daylight than older styles of color light signals that use traditional incandescent lamps.

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm zoom lens, set to 135mm telephoto.

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A Crescent at Wisdom Way—Something different.

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Working with the Leica IIIa fitted with a 21mm Super Angulon and loaded with Kodak Tri-X, I exposed this vertical grab shot of Pan Am Southern’s eastward loaded autorack train 28N at Wisdom Way in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

I often work with two or more cameras, typically one is a film body and the other digital.

On this June 2017 afternoon, fellow photographer Mike Gardner and I arrived a few minutes earlier, and my primary image from the Wisdom Way bridge was a color view with my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a 90mm lens.

Kodak Tri-X processed in Ilford Perceptol 1-1 with water for 8 minutes at 70F, then toned in Selenium for 7 minutes. Negatives rinsed, washed, dry and scanned in color with an Epson V750 Pro.

The 21mm Super Angulon is a very unusual lens, but one I’ve been working with since the 1970s. Looking back over my early work, I often achieved more satisfying results with this lens than my other tools.

For this view I wanted a dynamic angle that was more than simple documentation so I chose to skew the horizon. I also slightly panned the moving locomotive, which has the affect of softening the background while keeping the numbers on the locomotive cab sharp.

Norfolk Southern 6991 is fitted with the ‘Crescent cab,’ a design unique to Norfolk Southern, thus making it comparatively unusual in New England.

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Here’s a tiny thumbnail view of the digital photo I made moments before the black & white view.

 

 

Pan Am Southern’s Boston & Maine at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Last week, on my way to Greenfield, Massachusetts, I learned there were a pair of westward freights heading over the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg route.

Pan Am’s EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction) was nearly ready to depart East Deerfield yard, while empty autorack train symbol 287 (coming from Ayer, Massachusetts) was to run around it and proceed west first.

I opted for a different angle, deciding to make photos from the passenger platform built to serve Amtrak’s Vermonter in 2014.

I made these views with my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with 18-135mm zoom lens.

Thin morning cloud/haze helped soften the effects of backlighting at this location.

Pan Am symbol freight 287 works west at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Wide angle view; Pan Am symbol freight 287 works west at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

About 20 minutes after 287, Pan Am’s EDRJ came into view. In the lead are two of the former CSX GE-built Dash8-40Cs. I made this view to show more of the environment, including the chain-link fence by the passenger platform.

Wide view of EDRJ.

Nice shade of blue on Pan Am painted EMD diesels. Wouldn’t the GE Dash8-40Cs look nice in this paint?

Subtle control in post processing can really make a difference.

These images were adapted from the camera RAW files. I adjusted shadow contrast among other small changes to further balance for backlighting.

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Tracking the Light Daily Photo: Amtrak’s Vermonter at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Since December 2014, Amtrak’s Vermonter has called daily at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Have you gone for a spin yet?

Amtrak train 55, the southward Vermonter at Greenfield, Massachusetts. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Amtrak train 55, the southward Vermonter at Greenfield, Massachusett in July 2015. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

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Knowledge Corridor First Day Photo Album

Here’s a diverse selection of images: December 29, 2014 saw the first public operation of Amtrak’s Vermonter on the traditional Connecticut River Line via Northampton and Greenfield, Massachusetts.

The trains were totally sold out in both directions. I made a host of digital photos and color slides of the event.

New signal near the Greenfield Station displays 'stop.'
New signal near the Greenfield Station displays ‘stop.’

The railway platform at Greenfield is adjacent to its new centralized bus terminal. This 29 seat bus was heading for Millersfalls. Lumix LX7.
The railway platform at Greenfield is adjacent to its new centralized bus terminal. This 29 seat bus was heading for Millersfalls. Lumix LX7.

Large crowds of passengers, fans, and politicians gathered at Greenfield to witness the first revenue Amtrak train to stop on the Knowledge Corridor route. Lumix LX7 Photo.
Large crowds of passengers, fans, and politicians gathered at Greenfield to witness the first revenue Amtrak train to stop on the Knowledge Corridor route. Lumix LX7 Photo.

Amtrak number 55 approaches Greenfield. Canon EOS 7D.
Amtrak number 55 approaches Greenfield. Canon EOS 7D.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

No passengers will be left behind, 'All aboard!'. Lumix LX7 photo.
No passengers will be left behind, ‘All aboard!’. Lumix LX7 photo.

Amtrak 55 on the platform at Springfield, Massachusetts. Lumix LX7 photo.
Amtrak 55 on the platform at Springfield, Massachusetts. Lumix LX7 photo.

Northward Vermonter approaching Springfield Station. It's unusual to see this train doubleheaded. Lumix LX7.
Northward Vermonter approaching Springfield Station. It’s unusual to see this train doubleheaded. Lumix LX7.

View from train 56 at Springfield Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
View from train 56 at Springfield Station. Lumix LX7 photo.

Greenfield greets the northward Vermonter, train 56. Lumix LX7 photo.
Greenfield greets the northward Vermonter, train 56. Lumix LX7 photo.

The high  ISO setting on my Canon EOS 7D proved useful. Greenfield at dusk. Train 56 making its first ever station stop.
The high ISO setting on my Canon EOS 7D proved useful. Greenfield at dusk. Train 56 making its first ever station stop.

Amtrak's Vermonter departs Greenfield for Brattleboro and points north. Amtrak's daily Vermonter (Washington DC to St. Albans, Vermont) will now call at Greenfield 7 days a week. Lumix LX7 photo.
Amtrak’s Vermonter departs Greenfield for Brattleboro and points north. Amtrak’s daily Vermonter (Washington DC to St. Albans, Vermont) will now call at Greenfield 7 days a week. Lumix LX7 photo.

I made this pan photo at ISO 1000 at f2.8 1/8th of second using my Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens.
I made this pan photo at ISO 1000 at f2.8 1/8th of second using my Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens. Amtrak 10004 offers an exceptional view of the line for officials, railroad officers and special guests.

From Monday forward, the Vermonter will serve this more direct route, thus ending 25 years of passenger service on the Central Vermont/New England Central line via Amherst, Massachusetts. Back in July 1989, I made photos of the first Montrealer arriving in Amherst. Both days were historic, and preserved for posterity.

I was not alone; lots of cameras whirred away trackside!

Thanks to everyone who made the day a success!

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Tracking the Light Special: Knowledge Corridor Sneak Preview—Vermonter at Greenfield

Today (December 29, 2014) was Amtrak’s first day of public operation on the new ‘Knowledge Corridor’ (B&M Conn River Line to traditionalists). The train was sold out in both directions and hundreds of people came out to watch history in the making.

I had the opportunity to make a round trip on the line from Greenfield to Springfield. I met lots of old friends and met many new faces! Although I’m sad to see the train off the old Central Vermont route, I’m equally happy to be able to ride over the B&M Conn River once again!

This is just a preview of a photographically intense afternoon. (More to follow, soon!)

The double headed northward Vermonter arrives at Springfield just after 3pm. Lumix LX7 photo.
The double headed northward Vermonter arrives at Springfield just after 3pm. Lumix LX7 photo.

Amtrak 56, the northward Vermonter, makes its first station stop at Greenfield, Massachusetts on December 29, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.
Amtrak 56, the northward Vermonter, makes its very first station stop at Greenfield, Massachusetts on December 29, 2014. The new station platform was build specially to accommodate the Vermonter. Lumix LX7 photo.

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DAILY POST; Retro Railroading at Greenfield


Pan Am Railway’s EDMO roars west on the Boston & Maine.

It’s almost like stepping back to the 1970s; three EMDs powered by turbocharged 16-645 diesels working under searchlight signals with a carload train.

Pan Am Railways
On January 12, 2014, Pan Am Railway’s EDMO (East Deerfield, Massachusetts to Mohawk Yard) works the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg route at Greenfield, Massachusetts. The line on the left is the Connecticut River route running south toward Springfield. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.

This is a nice contrast to the parade of  double-stack containers and unit trains that characterize most American mainlines. While the details of the motive power have been altered since they were built, the spirit of the operation reminds me of watching trains more than 35 years ago.

If you think about it, as point of comparison, if in 1979 you were to see 35 year-old motive power and a traditional freight train that probably would have been either steam engines, or EMD FTs leading 40-ft cars.

Sure, you could argue that Pan Am’s paint scheme is a relatively recent development, and the locomotives have been modified since the 1970s (the lead former Santa Fe SD45-2 had its 20-645E3 swapped with a 16-cylinder engine among other changes), but that belies the point.

EDMO. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.
EDMO. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.

Tight view of Pan Am 616.  Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.
Tight view of Pan Am 616. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.

For similar posts, click to see: Pan Am Southern at Millers Falls, Massachusetts, October 2013Pan Am Railways Ayer Massachusetts, January 17, 2013;  Boston & Maine Revisited, PART 2Boston & Maine MERU, February 10, 1985

My book Classic Locomotives published by Voyageur Press is available from Amazon.

Also see my big hard cover classic: Modern Locomotives

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