Friday, February 11, 2022, New Hampshire’s Conway Scenic operated its vintage Russell snow plow with former Maine Central Railroad GP38 255 pushing it west toward Attitash.
I followed the plow by road and made a few select digital photos with my Nikon Z6 fitted with 70-200mm lens.
To get a good snow exposure I dialed in ‘+3’ to the expose compensation, which helps keep the snow white. I metered manually with the in-camera ‘matrix meter’, then set both shutter speed and aperture manually.
Although I set the camera’s focas point, I let the Nikon’s autofocus system work as intended.
In a few instances, I hiked into locations to get the best angle where the snow was the deepest. On more than one occasion I found myself up to my hips in snow.
On occasion I make a photograph for one of my friends.
Saturday, February 5, 2022, I traveled on Conway Scenic’s 1130 Snow Train (a train for which I drafted the schedule). Upon crossing the Ellis River bridge in Glen, New Hampshire, I though this would be an ideal place to photograph the train with heavily snow covered trees.
I returned later, and wading through deep snow I put myself in position on the west bank of the Ellis to capture the the return run of the 1330 Snow Train.
Wayne Duffett was the locomotive engineer, as seen in the cab of former Maine Central 255. Wayne is also the railroad’s bridge engineer with whom I traveled last year on his detailed structural inspection of this span and others along the line. Further, it was Wayne who first recommended to me a vantage point on the banks of Ellis.
Yesterday I traveled by road to the western reaches of Coway Scenic’s line at Hazens in Whitefield, N.H., with Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates.
At Hazens we set on the railroad to run east over the line to inspect bridges. This was the first leg in our latest adventure as part of the annual Conway Scenic bridge inspection.
I was a perfect day, sunny, warm and very pleasant.
I made these photos using my latest Panasonic Lumix LX7. Files were scaled from the camera-generated JPGs using the V (or Vivid) color profile. I made no alterations to color, contrast, exposure or sharpness.
The bridges got bigger as we worked eastward. More photos to come over the coming days.
As part of my responsibilities as Manager of Marketing and Events at Conway Scenic Railroad, I organize the creation of our billboards in the Conway-area.
For this season’s billboard, I opted to feature our Mountaineer crossing the Frankenstein trestle on the former Maine Central Mountain Division. The Billboard design was the work of Silverline Graphics; printing and installation was performed by Gemini Sign and Design.
I exposed the billboard photo last autumn using my FujiFilm XT1. And using the same camera, I photographed the billboard itself where our Conway Branch crosses Rt302/Rt16 near White Mountain Oil in North Conway.
Also, I adjusted the photo file that appears on the billboard using Adobe Lightroom using the same MacBook Pro that I use to prepare Tracking the Light.
Last week on our ascent of New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch with Conway Scenic Railroad’s Work Extra 573, we encountered several minor obstacles.
Near milepost 84, about a mile from the summit, an ice fall had blocked the line.
Our crew set out to quickly remove it and then we were on our way again.
The lighting was flat and cold when I exposed these photos with my Nikon Z6. Keep in mind that if the sky had been clear, this portion of the railroad would have been in deep shadow, conditions that may have made for more contrast and thus more difficult lighting conditions.
I adjusted the camera NEF (RAW) files using Lightroom to improve the overall appearance of the photographs.
In October (2020), I made this view of the former Maine Central twin-span truss over the Saco River near Glen, NH, while traveling eastbound on the headend train #162 Mountaineer.
This is favorite bridge of mine, but a difficult one to photograph satisfactorily from track side. As a result most of my best photos have been from the engine.
I exposed this using my Canon EOS 3 loaded with Ilford HP5 black & white film. I processed this in a customized split development process using a presoak of Kodak HC110 mixed 1-200 at 68F for 5 minutes 30 seconds, followed by primary development using Ilford ID-11 stock mixed 1-1 for 6 minute 30 seconds at 68f. This technique facilitates exceptional dynamic range and superior overall tonality.
After processing, I scanned the negatives using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner, and made final adjustments to the scan in Adobe Lightroom.
Last Wednesday, I organized an extra train on Conway Scenic to film for an upcoming television segment.
On the way west we paused at ‘Patch’s’ (a convenience store near Glen, New Hampshire).
While the train was paused, I exposed these photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens. I then converted the camera RAW files to DNG format using Iridient X-Transformer and made contrast and color adjustments in Adobe Lightroom.
Saturday, November 14, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad operated its final Mountaineer of the 2020 operating season. As scheduled, this ran from North Conway to Crawford, Notch, New Hampshire and return.
Historically CSRR ceased operations over Crawford Notch earlier in the season.
I used this rare late-season move over the former Maine Central Mountain Division to make some unusual photos. Bare leaf-less trees allow for views that are unobtainable during the summer and early autumn.
During the course of the operating season, I’d made several head-end trips and Hyrail inspections of the line to look for angles. Some of the finest locations I found are a long way from public highways.
For this photo of eastward train 162, I climbed to an elevated point, and used my FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens.
On November 9, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad operated a special Mountaineer for the benefit of its employees and their guests. This used a foreshortened consist and departed earlier than normal, It proceeded west under clear sunny skies where it made a stop at Bartlett, NH to pause for passengers and to collect catered meals.
Upon arrival at Crawford Station, GP35 216 ran around, while we had the opportunity to make photos. After this short stop, the special then proceeded eastbound and made a second stop at the site of the Mount Willard Section House-onetime home to the famous Evans Family.
Here I made a number of unusual photos while the train was tied down on the Willey Brook Bridge.
All photos were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.
On Sunday June 21, 2020, I traveled to Bartlett, NH on our afternoon train from North Conway that boards at 1230.
My primary concern was to diagnose the sound quality on the train’s public address system. However when we arrived at Bartlett, I arranged with the train crew to jump off and make a few photos while the locomotive (former Maine Central GP38 252) cut off and ran around the train.
A thunder storm was brewing to the northwest, which made for a dramatic sky, despite sun on the rails at Albany Avenue in Bartlett.
Later, I learned there had been some fierce weather on Mount Washington.
I exposed these views with my Lumix LX7. These files are from the in-camera JPGs, other than scaling for internet presentation, I made no alterations digitally in regards to color balance, color temperature, contrast, or exposure.
One of the hidden gems of the Conway Scenic Railroad is their ‘Redstone Line’.
This is the former Maine Central Mountain Division trackage that runs compass east from Mountain Junction near Intervale, New Hampshire.
This summer I had several opportunities to catch RDC number 23 Millieworking Friday afternoon specials to Redstone.
I’m now 4,000 miles from Redstone, but this weekend will be a very rare opportunity to travel the full length of Conway’s Maine Central trackage on a special run scheduled to depart North Conway at 9am.
This special Notch Train will run to the Saco River Bridge east of Redstone and then proceed back west to Mountain Junction and continue all the way over Crawford Notch to the west-end of Conway Scenic trackage at Hazens near Whitefield.
It will also be an opportunity to catch steam locomotive 7470 on the branch and over the mountain.
I’ll have to have one huge telephoto to catch the action from Islandbridge (in Dublin!!)
Wednesday evening July 10, 2019, I made this sunset view of Conway Scenic Railroad’s dinner train at Bartlett, New Hampshire.
The dinner train uses largely the same consist as the railroad’s Notch Train, but operates in the evening from North Conway to Bartlett and return.
Owing to the extreme exposure contrast between the darker areas of the car’s undercarriage and the highlights in the sky, I carefully balanced my exposure using the camera’s histogram to retain the maximum amount of detail, and later adjusted the RAW file in Lightroom in post processing to allow for the most pleasing image.