Conway Scenic’s David Swirk asked if I could be available to photograph Lego model builder Dawson Santoro, who had built the Lego model of Conway Scenic’s excursion train that is displayed at the North Conway, New Hampshire station.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to make a short documentary video of Dawson’s visit. Members of the Conway Scenic railroad assisted by moving Dawson’s skillfully built model train into the yard, where we posed it alongside a Conway Scenic consist specifically assembled to resemble the model.
I felt like Bob Dylan, composing a song, singing, playing guitar and harmonica all the same time. I was arranging two tripods, two video cameras, and three still cameras pretty much simultaneously, all the while trying to interview Dave and Dawson and stage manage the relative positioning of the model and scale train. I did have some help carrying the tripods in between shots.
Complicating my filming was the July heat, plus gusty winds and the cacophony of noise that characterize operations around North Conway, not to mention some complicated lighting.
Sometimes we just have to do these things when the opportunity presents the time!
Adam Bartley assisted in post production, and in little more than a week we produced a very short video about Dawson, his train and the Conway Scenic prototypes. We put this up on Conway Scenic’s YouTube channel yesterday.
During my wanders around London in April 2013, I visited a variety of London’s stations. For me, London’s stations are far more interesting than the trains. Where the trains tend to be fleets of modern multiple-units, the stations range from Victorian gems to austere examples of Lego-block architecture.
My favorite station is St Pancras. This is a classic railway cathedral. A few years ago it was transformed in to a modern multimodal center. Today, it serves as an international station as well as both a long distance and commuter railway station. It features a shopping mall and luxury hotel. Most impressive is the original architecture, including the pioneer example of a balloon-style arched train-shed, which has been successful integrated into a modern facility.
Kings Cross is adjacent to St Pancras. This has also been recently transformed, and blends historic and contemporary architecture. Interestingly, Kings Cross may be most famous for its mention in the Harry Potter stories. Today, there’s both a Harry Potter shop and a light-hearted platform 9 ¾ for visitors.
On this trip, I passed through London Bridge station and was shocked to see that the old train shed has been demolished! All I saw was a few vestiges of the old iron columns. Fifteen years ago, I made some memorable images inside the shed, and now that it’s gone, I’ll need to dredge these photos from the archives. Another change at London Bridge was nearby construction of a monumental skyscraper, colloquially known as ‘The Shard’.
Clapham Junction is famous as Britain’s busiest station. Still images cannot convey the power of place. Watching trains at Clapham Junction is akin to watching the tide flow in. At rush hours an unceasing parade of trains passes Clapham Junction, with trains flowing in waves. Most impressive is standing at the north end of the station when as many as six trains approach simultaneously.