Last night, I continued my sort of slides from 1997 and 1998, two very productive years for me photographically.
On August 26, 2022, I posted: “http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2022/08/26/something-random-and-familiar/”
This described how Mike Gardner and I had chased a Vermont Rail System’s Florence Turn—a local freight that ran from Rutland, Vermont to a quarry at its namesake. The significance of the post was the locomotive: Clarendon & Pittsford GP38 203. This was former Maine Central 255, and is now Conway Scenic Railroad 255.
Last night, I found another never opened box of Fujichromes exposed of 203 on that same chase.
I’d exposed the slides, then sent them out for processing, but boarded a flight for London Heathrow before they returned. One thing led to another and I didn’t get home until August 1998, and before I had time to look at the slides, I was off to Colorado and New Mexico for a month, and from there into yet another adventure.
Now, almost 25 years after I exposed these photos, I’m finally looking at them! Pity, I can’t find my notes from the day. However, during the course of my job at North Conway, NH I walked past old 255 yesterday morning!
Below is yet another view of old Maine Central 255 that I located and scanned last night; this one exposed more than 40 years ago in October 1982 at Greenfield, Massachusetts.
In my archive of Kodachrome slides, I found this view from October 1982.
I’d been traveling on a Mystic Valley excursion that was returning from a run through the Hoosac Tunnel.
At Greenfield, Massachusetts we overtook an eastward Boston & Maine freight led by Maine Central run-through power.
In the lead was GP38 255.
At the time, locomotive 255 was just one of 13 Maine Central GP38s.
Today 255 is Conway Scenic’s latest purchase.
Interestingly, in October 1982, Maine Central’s Mountain Division was still open as a through freight route.
My 39 year slide is a difficult image. Hard backlighting, combined with suboptimal exposure on my part led to a pretty dark slide. Worse, in processing Kodak didn’t produce the best result, which suffers from a heavy magenta color bias.
I scanned the image and then made a series of adjustments to make it better. I’ve also included a recent photo of former Maine Central 255 on Conway Scenic.
When I photographed Maine Central GP38 255 (and its sister 256) in the Bangor, Maine yard back in 1986, it was just another GP38.
Soon, if all plans come to fruition, it will become a regular sight in North Conway, New Hampshire, where it can again work Maine Central rails.
There’s a certain satisfaction in bringing the old locomotive back to home rails where it can rejoin its sister 252 to entertain legions of visitors on their travels through the Mount Washington Valley.
Bangor Yard and Kodachrome may have both gone the way of the Dodo Bird, but the 255 is still with us. I wonder whatever happened to 256?