After photographing New England Central’s southward 611 at Three Rivers, Massachusetts, photographer Mike Gardner and I worked northward scoping photo locations, while the 611 crew swapped its southward train at Palmer for its northward consist.
(New England Central 611 is the weekday turn that runs from Brattleboro, Vermont to Palmer and back.)
We inspected angles at Cushman north of Amherst and at other locations, but settled on the open area off Depot Road in Leverett, Massachusetts near the site of the old Central Vermont station.
I opted for a low angle to feature some fresh green grass in the foreground, using my 12mm Zeiss Touit fitted to my FujiFilm XT1 using the adjustable rear panel display to hold the camera close to the ground. (No, I’m not lying on the ground).
The combination of the very wide angle lens and low viewpoint helps accentuate the size and shape of New England Central’s locomotives.
The lead locomotive began its career as an EMD SD45 with classic angled (or ‘flared’) air-intakes at the back.
Although during the course of re-building, the locomotive had its 20-cylinder 645 engine swapped for a less powerful 16-cylinder 645 diesel, the machine still has its an impressive profile.
Soon we were hot in pursuit of 611, racing northward on Route 63 to our next location.
I wanted to write, ‘why sometimes winter is better.’ Except this is a late autumn photo. (If you accept that the Winter Solstice is the defining date for the beginning of Winter.).
On December 6, 2017, Paul Goewey and I arrived at Depot Road in Leverett, Massachusetts several minutes ahead of the southward New England Central road freight, job 611 from Brattleboro.
I was interested in exploring this angle looking toward the rock cut immediately north of the old station location.
I’ve made a number of views from the old station area in summer, when the cutting tends to be obscured by brush and harshly shadowed.
And that’s why sometimes Winter (or late autumn) is better. The lack of foliage combined with diffused light opens up numerous photo possibilities that are impractical when the trees are leafed out and underbrush is thick.
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.