At 1007 (10:07 am) this morning (8 February 2018), Irish Rail’s 071 (class leader of the popular 071 class of General Motors-built diesel locomotives) passed Islandbridge Junction with the down IWT Liner.
This locomotive was repainted in 2016 into the attractive 1970s-era livery.
Although, I’ve made a number of photographs of this locomotive in heritage paint before, it’s always nice to see it on the move. I’m told it had been laid up for the last few months and it’s only back on the road this week.
June 3, 2015 was a lucky day. I’d traveled to Harrisburg on Amtrak’s Keystone to visit Kurt Bell at the Pennsylvania State Archives to research for a book. I don’t make it Harrisburg very often, and while there are lots of interesting items in the archives, all study and no photography makes Brian dull and edgy. (pardon the referring myself in the 3rd person but it was a necessary allusion.
So afterwards, I wandered around the city, took a look at the Susquehanna River Bridges, then up to explore the view from the bridge over the old Pennsylvania Railroad west of the Amtrak station.
As it happens this is good in both directions. And in the course of just a few minutes I had trains east and then west.
I was surprised by the westward train. ‘What’s this?’ I thought when the locomotives came around the corner by the station shed. ‘That’s not an ordinary Norfolk Southern locomotive.’ Hardly.
My good fortune! It was locomotive 1065 painted for Southern Railway affiliate Savanna & Atlanta. Hooray! Well, that makes up last week’s trip to the Hoosac Tunnel
I’m glad I didn’t waste too much time looking at the Susquehanna, I might have missed this! After the train went by, I rang my friend Paul Goewey in Massachusetts to check the internet to find out what train I’d seen. (My scanner was in Philadelphia, good place for it, right?) Later he got back to me with the details: symbol freight 15J.
Here we have an instance where everything came together nicely.
On Friday January 24, 2014, I’d got word that Amtrak’s heritage locomotive number 822 was working the westward Lake Shore Limited, train 449
This was the second time in a ten-day span that I’d be alerted to a heritage locomotive on this run. As noted in my January 18, 2014 post, Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited, the weather wasn’t cooperative on my previous attempt at catching an Amtrak heritage locomotive.
By contrast on January 24th it was clear but very cold. I opted to make the photo at West Warren, where it’s nice and open and there’s a distinctive landscape.
Normally, Amtrak 449 passes East Brookfield at 1:30pm, and Palmer about 1:50pm. West Warren is roughly halfway between them, so I aimed to be there no later than 1:35pm
As it happened, 449 was delayed on Charlton Hill and passed more than 15 minutes later than I’d anticipated. Other than resulting in my nose getting a bit cold, this delay produced little effect on the photograph.
I opted for a traditional angle because I wanted to feature the locomotive as the primary subject this scenic setting. I picked a spot on the road bridge over the Quaboag River where I could make a view that included the old mills and waterfall, as well as a side view as the train got closer.
Working with my Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 40mm pancake lens, I set the motor drive to its fastest setting, and exposed three bursts of images as the train rolled east on CSXT’s former Boston & Albany mainline.
Since the camera’s buffer will quickly become saturated when making multiple photos in rapid succession, I was careful to wait until the train was nearly where I wanted it in each of the three sets.