Tag Archives: History

DAILY POST: Stone Arch Bridge, Bernardston, Massachusetts.

Boston & Maine GP9 on the Connecticut River Line, December 1985.

Digging through my older photographs, occasionally I come across something really interesting.

Boston & Maine GP9 1736 leads freight CVED southward across the stone arch bridge at Bernardston, Massachusetts on December 28, 1985. I exposed this using a Rollei Model T with a 'Superslide' insert that gave me a 645-size rectangle rather than a 2 1/4 inch square image.
Boston & Maine GP9 1736 leads local freight ED-4 southward across the stone arch bridge at Bernardston, Massachusetts  at 12:03pm on December 28, 1985. I exposed this using a Rollei Model T with a ‘Superslide’ insert that gave me a 645-size rectangle rather than a 2 1/4 inch square image.

I’d exposed this black & white photograph using my father’s Rollei Model T at Bernardston, Massachusetts, where the railroad crossed an old mill dam on a classic stone arch bridge.

Brandon Delaney and I had gone up to Brattleboro, Vermont, where we found a pair of Boston & Maine GP9s working local freight ED-4. I made a number of images of engine 1736 working in the snow. Then we followed the train south into Massachusetts.

Brandon had previously explored this location at Bernardston and so we set up and waited.

For me this is a lesson in balance and composition: By placing the locomotive over the first pier of the bridge rather than allowing it to move further onto the bridge, I’ve created both visual tension and compositional balance.

The GP9 plays off the old mill at the bottom of the bridge to the left, while de-emphasizing the locomotive allows the eye to focus more on the bridge but never so long as to ignore the engine altogether. The bridge, after all, is the main subject, while the locomotive and mill are secondary to the scene.

I’ve been back here several times over the years and the scene has changed. The old mill and mill dam are history. I don’t know if they were washed away in a flood or were deliberately demolished. At the time they offered links to New England’s faded small-scale industrial past.

Today, because the dam is gone the bridge appears taller since the full length of the piers can be followed right in to the river-bed. Trees have encroached on both sides of the bridge, and even in winter, it can be difficult to get more than one locomotive on the structure. Yet, it can still be a great place to pose a train.

This detail is a very tight crop from my original negative.
This detail is a very tight crop from my original negative.

See: Daily Post: Boston & Maine Revisited, PART 2

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Freight Train at Rijeka, Croatia on August 17, 2005.


On This Day Eight Years Ago.

Rijeka, Croation
Exposed with a Nikon N90s with a Nikkon 85mm lens on Fuji Sensia 100.

Eight years ago today I was traveling in Croatia by train. I made this image from the platform of the Rijeka station. It shows one of Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Zeljeznice  and known by the initials HZ) class 1061 electrics (an articulated type adapted from an Italian State Railways design) leading a short freight from Rijeka’s main goods yard.

Rijeka is a scenically situated Adriatic port. My great-grandmother was from a village near here. She emigrated to the United States in the late 19th century, back when Rijeka was known as Fiume, a city in the former Austrian-Hungarian empire.

Austria-Hungary was fragmented as a casualty of World War, which began as result of strife in the Balkans. Exploring the old empire is among my hobbies.


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Polish Steam Working Disused Track-Part 2

PKP 2-10-0 catches the light in April 2002.

2-10-0 locomotive
Exposed using a Nikon F3T with 24mm lens and R2 red filter on Fuji Neopan 400, and processed in Agfa Rodinal Special.

As I mentioned in Polish Steam Working Disused Track (Published on March 6, 2013), eleven years ago I rode a enthusiast’s excursion from Wolsztyn to Zagan in south eastern Poland led by PKP (Polish National Railways) 2-10-0 Ty3-2. This trip covered a variety of disused lines southwest of the Wolsztyn steam depot.

On that day, the train stopped more than 25 times for photography. This image was made near the end of the run. We were at a remote spot, not far from Zagan. The track was fairly derelict. After we got off, the train pulled ahead making for some nice effluence from the engine. Spring was in bloom and I framed the World War II-era 2-10-0 in the blossoming branches of a hedge.

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