Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Energy Train on Chrome

For my birthday, my father had given me a roll of Fujichrome Provia 100F.

More than 40 years earlier, he would often provide a roll of Kodachrome (with Kodak mailer) on my special day. I still have many of those slides in my collection, most of subjects long since gone.

While visiting Cape Cod, I finished the Ektachrome that had been in my Nikon for months and loaded up the lone roll of Fujichrome Provia.

Among the film photos I made on the trip was this view of Mass-Coastal’s ‘Energy Train’ passing the harbor at Buzzards Bay on its return from Rochester, Massachusetts.

I received this processed film back from the lab last week. I was delighted! Almost every color slide was a winner!

Correcting a Camel Crossing the Connecticut

At 11:35am on August 18, 1988, I photographed Conrail C32-8 6616 leading MBSE (Middleboro to Selkirk, otherwise known as ‘The Queen’) across the former Boston & Albany bridge over the Connecticut River.

The C32-8s were among the GE’s known as ‘Camels’ because of their humpback appearance.

These were called ‘Classics’ by the folks at GE to distinguish them from the more Spartan DASH-8s produced later.

I’d parked my Dodge Dart in the riverside lot off Route 5, and made my way down to water level, where I exposed this Professional Kodachrome 25 slides.

However, in trying to get as close to the water as possible (without falling in), I managed to lose my sense of level, and the resulting image was several degrees off-axis.

For many years this slide was relegated to binder of my ‘seconds’.

The other night I scanned the slide, corrected the level and improved the color balance. (Professional Kodachrome had a tendency to shift toward the red).

Classic Kodachrome—Conrail 6717 leads TV9 at milepost 123.

If I wrote: ‘6717 WB w TV9 mp123 11-13-92’ would it mean anything to anyone but me?

It was a clear morning in November 1992. I’d set up west of Huntington, Massachusetts on Conrail’s Boston Line—the former Boston & Albany mainline grade over Washington Hill.

At that time, intermodal freight TV9 (Beacon Park, Boston to Chicago) routinely made its westward passage through the Berkshires in the morning.

On this particular day, the train was led by SD50 6717. While not unheard of, this was uncommon power for TV9, as in the early 1990s Conrail typically assigned sets of three and four GE C30-7A, C32-8 and C36-7 diesels to most of its Boston Line road freights.

Kodachrome 25 was my standard film. This traditional emulsion made it possible to expose dramatic backlit photos such this one. The nature of the grain structure and Kodachrome process, allowed the film to retain a degree of highlight detail while maintaining a clean edge between light and dark, even in high contrast situations such as this one.

Working with the locomotive exhaust and headlight, I made this dramatic silhouette of the train ascending the grade against a stark autumnal background.

I was working with my Nikon F3T with Nikkor 200mm lens set to f5.6 at 1/125th of second. To minimize flare, I shaded the front element of the lens with my notebook.

Today, the lack of ditchlights really dates the image. By the mid-1990s, ditch lights were standard on most locomotives.

The time was 8:10am. Conrail’s westbound TV9 met the eastbound SEFR near CP123 (just around the bend from my location). The eastbound passed me nine minutes later.

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MBTA 717 at Norfolk, Mass.

Filtered winter sun is better than rain!

Thin layers of clouds and bare early winter trees makes for a setting that reminds me of growing up in Massachusetts.

Kris and I stopped into Norfolk, Massachusetts during a brief visit with family over the holidays.

We arrived at Norfolk’s MBTA Station shortly before the arrival of westward Franklin Branch commuter train 717 led by HSP-46 No. 2013.

In its heyday, this route had been the mainline of the New York & New England, an erstwhile competitor, and later component of the New Haven Railroad.

I made these images using my Nikon Z7-II. I made a host of adjustments to the RAW NEF files to make the most of soft directional light.

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Cranberry Colored Santa Fe

Massachusetts Coastal GP7U 2006 was originally Santa Fe Railway GP7 2689.

On our visit to Cape Cod, we found this antique from 1951 basking in the late afternoon sun at the Hyannis yard.

I made a selection of photos from different angles, using different cameras and different lenses, to show how the angle of the sun and other differences can greatly affect how color is perceived and recorded.

So which is the ‘true’ color of the locomotive? There isn’t any ‘true’ color, it all depends on how you perceive it in the moment. The appearance of paint color changes with as the light changes.

Cape Cod Central’s cranberry is a difficult color in part because it is a mix a blue and red hues. Blue is greatly affected by the color of the sky; red by the sun. With a polarized sky and the sun low on the horizon the angle of view (and angle of reflection) affects the apparent color more than on a day with more diffused sunlight and the sun higher in the sky.

Complicating matters for the modern day photographer is that different camera sensors and color profiles also affect the way that color is recorded.

This is the classic three/quarter angle.Exposed using a Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Nikkor Z-series zoom. Set at 45mm, f9.0 at 1/80th of a second. ISO 80.
A slightly more broadside view: the shadow hints at the angle of the light. Exposed using a Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Nikkor Z-series zoom. Set at 40mm, f9.0 at 1/80th of a second. ISO 80. Note the relative position of the moon compared with the above image.
This photo was made just a few minutes after the above image while using my Lumix LX7; ISO 80, f4.0 1/250th second. The camera has a different sensor and color profile than the Nikon. The color balance has a greater amount of red and the saturation is higher than with the Nikon images above.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom set to 160mm. ISO 100 f9.0 1/320th of a second .Back lighting with low sun produces a ‘glint’ effect that reflects a portion of the sunlight back toward the camera. This has the effect of desaturating the color of the equipment. While we can still see the cranberry coloring on the locomotive, it is significantly subdued compared with the images made using over the shoulder light. This is partially the result of having to ‘stop down’ (underexpose) to compensate for the brighter ‘glint’ light.
This is a tighter variation exposed using a longer focal length setting on the zoom lens (200mm compared with 160mm in the image above). Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom, ISO 100 f9.0 1/320th of a second.

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Images of an Autumn Evening at West Barnstable, Mass.

Although there were no trains expected, Kris and I called into the old New Haven Railroad station at West Barnstable, Massachusetts. Late November foliage and fading sun made for some wonderful atmospheric conditions.

I like the signs from various eras that identify this place. The Conrail blue sign is especially cool.

In earlier posts (from 2018, 2021 and 2022) I’ve featured the decaying Delaware & Hudson cabooses that reside here and passing Mass-Coastal/Cape Cod Central trains.

[See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/ballast-train-at-west-barnstable-massachusetts/ and http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/dh-caboose-in-the-rain/ ]

All photos presented here were made with my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Z-series lens; NEF RAW files were adjusted with Adobe Lightroom to make the most of the scene.

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Amtrak 448 at the Warren Crossovers—1983.

This was a just a routine scene from 40 years ago: Amtrak’s eastward Lake Shore Limited (Boston section) train 448 at the Warren Crossovers.

Back in the days when Conrail’s former Boston & Albany was still operated as a traditional directional double-track mainline (under rule 251), there were manual cross-overs at strategic locations, including Warren, Mass.

Historically (pre-1960), the Warren Crossovers also served the Warren Yard and the long unsignaled eastward running track from West Warren that had allowed slow moving freights to keep out of the way of faster eastward trains.

These crossovers were removed after Conrail installed TCS signals and single-tracked the B&A east of Palmer in 1986.

I made these photos on Kodachrome using my Leica 3A during the second week of October 1983.

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More Classic Conrail-‘Look Ma No Ditchlights!’

Recently I retrieved several cartons of slides long stored out of sight.

Most of these were in their original yellow Kodak boxes. By-in-large these are the slides that didn’t meet my exacting standards at the time of exposure.

As I’ve illustrated in previous episodes of Tracking the Light, today these boxes contain lost gems.

A photograph that I rejected 30 years ago for a minor defect may look pretty good today.

This view of Conrail C30-7A No. 6550 eastbound at Palmer, Massachusetts caught my attention. Not only is this the class-leader for one of my favorite Conrail locomotives, but it was exposed in bright October sun in a style much the way I’d like to photograph the train today.

So what was wrong with this photo? Why did this sit in the dark for 33 years? Three points come mind.

One: the photo is ever so slightly off level, probably about 1 degree. Back in the 1990s I was very sensitive about maintaining level. I typically carried a line-level with me at all times and almost always used a tripod to help ensure level. This is less of a problem today because my Nikon Z series and Lumix LX7 both feature a level in the heads up display.

Two: My composition is ever so slightly ‘off’. All things being equal, I should have positioned the camera slightly lower to the ground so that I could see a gap above the top of the rail to more clearly show the wheels better. Also this may have minimized the trees behind the locomotives.

Three: I was a film snob in 1990. Normally, I used Kodachrome 25. But for some season I loaded my camera with Kodachrome 64. I found this film did a poor job of rendering the sky which tended to appear as a greenish blue ‘aqua’ shade rather than the bluer ‘azure’ that was common with K25.

While I can’t do much about problem No. two, fixing the level and adjusting the color profile are easily accomplished in post processing. The top photo is my unaltered original; the bottom is my adjusted version, and I altered the sky to appear more like it would with K25.

Scan from my original Kodachrome 64 slide. This is unaltered (without correction). Exposed using a Nikon F3T with f4.0 Nikkor 200mm lens.
This my corrected version of the orginal scan. My goal was to make it look more like a Kodachrome 25 slide.

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Locomotives—August 27, 2016

Seven years ago today, I caught up with photographer Mike Gardner for a morning of photography near Palmer, Massachusetts.

It was a beautiful and clear sunny New England day. I made these photos using my old FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm Fujinon zoom lens.

New England Central 3039, a former Canadian National GP40-2L at Palmer, Mass. Fuji XT1 w 18-135mm lens set at 104mm f9 1/500, ISO 400.
CSX Q422 eastbound at Warren, Mass. Fuji XT1 w 18-135mm lens set at 123mm f5.6 1/500, ISO 400.
CSX Q422 eastbound at Warren, Mass. Fuji XT1 w 18-135mm lens set at 18.5mm f7.1 1/500, ISO 400.

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EMD SW8 at Zylonite

Last night, I interviewed some of my friends at the Berkshire Scenic Railroad via Zoom for an article I’m planning for Trains Magazine.

Among the items on the agenda was a bit of history behind SW8 8619.

Kris and I photographed this historic former New York Central locomotive last May on a trip with the New York Central System Historical Society.

I made this image on Ektachrome slide film with my vintage Nikon F3 during a planned runby at Zylonite, Massachusetts on a vestige of the former Boston & Albany Adams Branch operated on weekends by Berkshire Scenic.

This is one of three former New York Central SW8s that I photographed last Spring!

Exposed on Kodak Ektachrome slide film with a Nikon F3 and 24mm Nikkor Lens—May 2022.

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MBTA at CP 4-Allston, Mass

In preparation for my Keynote speech on the history of New England Railroading to the New England Rail Club last night, I culled through hundreds of representative images.

Ulimately, I displayed 67 slides, including a variety of 19th century views and maps, along with more than a dozen of my own images.

Among the photos that I didn’t display was this photo of an MBTA train taking the crossover on the Boston Line at CP4 near Allston, Massachusetts on October 6, 2011.

My talk was attended by several hundred members of the club and well-received.

Exposed using my Canon 7D with 200mm f2.8 lens.


iPhone photo by Kris Sabbatino

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Happy 2023!

Tracking the Light wishes you a Happy New Year!

I’m including two photos to usher in 2023. The first is one of the last photos that I made in 2022: a telephoto image of Mount Washington that I made from the viewing area off Route 302 near Bretton Woods yesterday afternoon when Kris and I were returning from Littleton, New Hampshire.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire, as photographed on December 31, 2022. Notice the route of the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

The second image is from a scan that I made yesterday evening of a vintage Kodachrome 25 color slide . I’d exposed this view of Conrail’s PASE (Palmer to Selkirk) on the afternoon of June 1, 1989. This is among my classic chromes and shows Conrail’s 6611, one of ten distinctive GE-built C32-8s that regularly operated over the Boston Line (former Boston & Albany main line) beginning in 1984. My slide had remained in the yellow Kodachrome box from the time it was processed until yesterday.

Conrail PASE was a short-lived symbol freight that forwarded traffic from Palmer, Massachusetts to Selkirk Yard near Albany, New York. This view was made at milepost 84, located within the town of Monson, Mass., just over the Quaboag River from Palmer, which can be seen in the distance.

The BIG event for me on New Year’s Eve was the arrival of my latest camera! I hope to feature photos from this picture making machine over the coming weeks. I’ll reveal details about this new camera in upcoming posts during 2023! Stay tuned . . . .

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Moment in Time-August 14, 1988.

Conrail and the town of Palmer, Massachusetts were replacing the old South Main Street Bridge immediately east of the signals at CP83.

I made this view from the old bridge that was in its final weeks. New retaining walls had just been installed and machinery was working near the old Palmer Union station as Conrail’s eastward SEPW (Selkirk to Providence & Worcester) took the conrolled siding to make a meet with a set of westward light engines holding on the main track.

The old bridge featured classic wooden decking and makes for an interesting foreground. To make the most of the bridge and railroad code lines, I framed the scene with my Leica M2 rangefinder fitted with an f2.0 35mm Summicron.

A Central Vermont local freight was working the interchage track to the right of the Conrail freight.

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MBTA Norfolk-Trailing View

On our return from Cape Cod last month, we paused at Norfolk, Massachusetts for lunch and to roll by MBTA Train 2706 on its way to Boston, South Station.

During an earlier visit to Norfolk two years ago, Kris and I noted that MBTA/Keolis was working to install two-main track (signaled in both directions on both tracks) on this portion of the Franklin Line—a former New Haven Railroad route that was at one time graded for directional- double track, but in my lifetime has been a single track railroad. 

Some progress was made and on this visit I noted that new signals and crossovers were in place on both sides of Norfolk, however the track through the station has not yet been completed, and the signal heads turned away, indicating they were not yet in use.

Using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens, I made these trailing views of train 2706 looking toward Walpole and Boston.

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Five Angles on an FL9

Over the years, I’ve photographed hundreds of locomotives, on scores of railways, in dozens of countries.

Occasionally I’ve opted for the classic ‘three-quarter’ roster angle. More often I’ve opted for various more dramatic, interpretive, or dynamic views.

A long time ago I learned that when I find some equipment resting in a accessible location, to photograph it from a great variety of different angles, because you never know what might suit a book or magazine article later on.

Two weeks ago on our visit to Cape Cod, I had the opportunity to make a sequence of photos of this former New Haven Railroad FL9 that now works for Cape Cod Central and was assigned to the west end of the Polar Express at Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.

I have countless photographs of FL9s in various schemes when they worked for Amtrak, MTA, CDOT and Metro North, so this was an opportunity to do something a little different.

Perhaps the FL9’s most distinctive external attribute is the A1A Flexicoil truck at the rear of the locomotive.

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May 1978-Amtrak 448 Passes Palmer.

In May 1978, my father drove us to Palmer, Massachusetts to watch the passage of the eastward Lake Shore Limited (train 448). I made a series of photos using my pre-war Leica IIIA rangefinder on Kodacolor II color negative film.

This trailing view looks east toward the old South Main Street Bridge and Conrail’s Palmer yard. It looks like something nasty happened to the westward signal (at right). A pair of E8s led the train.

Despite their age, these old color negatives have held up reasonably well. I scanned them in 2016 using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner.

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Amtrak 449 on the eve of Change

May 4, 1997: I exposed this Fujichrome slide of Amtrak’s westward Lake Shore Limited (Boston section), train 449 rolling down the Quaboag River Valley near the former Boston & Albany station at West Brimfield, Massachusetts.

This was at a time when the train was carrying a fair amount of freight and mail on the head and tail ends of the passenger consist, and shortly before Amtrak replaced the old EMD F40PHs with new Genesis P42 diesels.

It was just about two years before Conail’s class 1 operations were divided and the old Boston & Albany was conveyed to CSX.

Exposed using a Nikon N90S with 80-200mm Nikon zoom.

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Providence & Worcester from across a Pond.

Notice the article ‘a’ rather than ‘the’. For today’s Tracking the Light, I am posting a view literally made from across a pond, rather than taking a metaphorical view from ‘across the pond’ (used as an ironic understated allusion for the North Atlantic Ocean).

You know, just in case there was any confusion!

This photograph was exposed last Tuesday afternoon, on Providence & Worcester’s former Boston & Maine Worcester to Gardner, Mass., route, and features the daily northward freight heading for interchange with Pan Am Railways/Pan Am Southern at Gardner.

Interestingly, I was traveling with Mike Gardner (no relation to the town), and this represented the fourth railroad I’d photographed on that Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Pretty neat! And with a cool pond too!

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Monson Summerfest July 4, 2019

Today was Monson, Massachusetts’, annual Summerfest, which includes a classic parade on the town’s Main Street.

I was on hand with my FujiFilm XT1 and 18-135mm lens to capture the spirit of the event.

I’ve been photographing Monson’s Summerfest since the late 1970s.

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CSX Q263 at Palmer, Massachusetts.

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I have a zillion photographs in Palmer, Massachusetts.

‘Zillion’ inferring an undetermined non-specific large quantity.

So why chase CSX’s Q263 down the Valley?

Silly question!

We arrived at the site of the old Boston & Albany freight house at the west end of Palmer yard just in time to catch Q263 (empty autorack train from East Brookfield) passing Mass-Central’s local freight.

I made these views with my Lumix LX7.

Memory Card Full! (Read On)

Those dreaded red letters in my view finder!

So, there we were, poised and waiting . . . .

Mike Gardner and I had photographed CSX’s loaded autorack train Q264-21 (as featured with ‘DPU’ the other day on Tracking the Light) and were waiting for the crew to take the empty autorack Q263-23 west.

For more than an hour we waited at milepost 67 in Brookfield, Massachusetts.

As recommended, I made several test shots with my Fujifilm XT1 as the lighting conditions changed.

Test shot.

Then finally Mike announced ‘HEADLIGHT!’

I exposed a test burst of photos CSX Q263-3 in the distance and then . . .

OH NO!

[insert expletive here]

With a 32GB card, I can store hundreds of images. So many that I forget to even check how many I have left. And so at this critical moment, I’m left pixel-less.

The last frames in a burst of three . . . Had I only checked to see how many frames were left. You know I had a spare card (several) in my camera bag. Poor show, Brian.

Well, thankfully I had my Lumix LX7 around my neck and so managed a close-up photograph anyway. But there’s a lesson for you in this story. And for me too!

Lumix LX7 photo. The irony in this lesson is that I think I made a better photo with the Lumix.

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Autos East with Mid-Train Locomotives: CSX Q264 at CP79—3 Digital Photos.


In recent months CSX has adopted the practice of using distributed power on the former Boston & Albany.

Distributed power is essentially the application of radio-remote controlled locomotives positioned deep in a freight train and/or at its end to reduce drawbar stress and improve starting and braking characteristics with very long/heavy trains.

The concept dates to the 1960s, but much improved radio-controlled remote technology was introduced by GE-Harris in the 1990s where it has become standard operating practice, and the remote locomotives being known as distributed power units (DPUs)

Still, to me it seems like a novelty on the Boston & Albany route.

Yesterday (May 23, 2019), I made my first photographs of a CSX train with a DPU working east of Palmer.

Mike Gardner and I caught Q-264 (the loaded autorack train destined to East Brookfield) from the field of Route 67 near CP79.

By B&A standards, this was an enormous train for just two modern GE diesels.

I exposed these photographs using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens.

Head-end of CSX Q264 east of Palmer, Massachusetts.
Autoracks on the roll.
Mid-train DPU working hard on the grade up to Warren.

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Orange Paint and Soft Sun: New England Central 611 at East Northfield.


Monday, May 6, 2019, we set up at the classic location on the bridge at the junction East Northfield, where the New England Central and Boston & Maine lines come together, immediately south of the Vermont-Massachusetts state line.

Paul Goewey, John Peters and I had convened in Palmer and traveled north along the New England Central hoping to catch 611 on its southward run toward Palmer, which it does most weekday mornings.

We caught it several times, as pictured in Tracking the Light on May 7, 2019, before proceeding to this location.

Elevation and soft morning sun made for an excellent setting to picture the train in action. I made these views using a FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

We didn’t rest here, and continue south with the train to make more photographs.

FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.


Cross-lit Crossing the Connecticut.

In late April, after an interlude to photograph Amtrak 56, the northward Vermonter, Mike Gardner and I resumed our photo chase of New England Central’s northbound 611 (Brattleboro, VT to Palmer, Massachusetts and return), that would soon follow Amtrak’s train on it way north toward Brattleboro.

We arrived at the west end of the old Central Vermont Railway bridge over the Connecticut River (near the junction with Pan Am’s Boston & Maine at East Northfield) shortly before the freight crossed it.

Mike assumed a position at the classic location on the south side of the bridge, while I improvised with a view on the north side.

Why photograph from the ‘dark side’?

In this instance, I feel that the north side of the bridge offers a superior view of the setting, while cross lighting the train adds a sense of drama.

FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto.


Lumix LX7 photo.


Lumix LX7 photo.

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Central Vermont at Palmer, Massachusetts—July 1986.


I exposed this view of Central Vermont GP9s on Kodak 120 Tri-X Professional, a film that came with an ISO rating of 320 compared with 400 for the off-the-shelf variety.

This was CV’s southward road freight number 444 which terminated at the Palmer yard, south of the crossing with Conrail’s former Boston & Albany.

I made this image on July 23, 1986; the previous day Conrail began its single track operation of the Boston Line by cutting-in CP83 and CP92, removing one track from service and thus ending directional double-track operation (rule 251) between those two points.

Close examination of this photo will show that the old westward main track is cut short of the CV crossing.

This is a much enlarged scan of the above photo to better illustrate the single-track section over the Palmer diamond.

This was one of many photos I made around Palmer during the single tracking of the B&A route. Today the CV route is operated by New England Central, and the Boston & Albany line is CSX. There were far fewer trees by the tracks back in 1986.

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Pup on the old Boston & Maine: SW1 at Holyoke—August 1987.


Classic photo from my archives: In the late 1980s, I’d buy film from Frantek in South Hadley, Massachusetts. This was across the Connecticut River from Holyoke.

Typically on my way back with a fresh load of film, I’d seek out the Boston & Maine, which would often have a switcher working the Holyoke yard or on industrial sidings.

I made this photo on a bright August 1987 morning using my dad’s Rollei Model T with super slide insert. My film choice of the day was the recently introduced Kodak T-Max 400 in 120 format.


Guilford had just repainted this old Boston & Maine SW1 into its company livery and lettered it for its operating entity Springfield Terminal. The SW1 was colloquially known as a ‘Pup’ because it was a small switcher type.

The view is looking toward Springfield with B&M’s Connecticut River bridge just beyond the factories.

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CSX Q264 Meets Sunrise at East Brookfield.


This is a follow up to last week’s post: February Sunrise and Headlight on the Horizon. (see: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2019/02/06/february-sunrise-and-headlight-on-the-horizon/).

A week ago, on Wednesday February 6, 2019, Paul Goewey and I caught CSX’s Q-264 rolling through CP64, the interlocking at East Brookfield near the train’s terminus on the East Brookfield & Spencer Railroad (the local short line switching railroad that unloads the autoracks for regional distribution).

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 and 90mm lens, I exposed this view at ISO 800.

I also made a grab shot with my Lumix LX-7.

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February Sunrise and Headlight on the Horizon.


This morning, February 6, 2019, my photography began with this westward view at CP64 in East Brookfield, Massachusetts.

‘Headlight!’ I announced, as I watched the sun tickling the distant hills.

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm lens.

Paul Goewey and I anticipated the passage of an eastward CSX autorack train.

Sometimes the thrill of photography is that distant twinkle on the horizon and wondering how it will play out.

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East Deerfield—Twenty Two Years Ago Today.

On January 13, 1997, I exposed this Fujichrome Provia slide of Guilford’s EDWJ ready to depart Boston & Maine’s East Deerfield Yard (Massachusetts).

This was two years prior to the Conrail divide and at the time East Deerfield was a relatively quiet place.

I was working with my N90S fitted with a Nikkor 80-200 AF zoom lens.

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Millers Falls High Bridge—Two Views.


Why make one photo and when you can get two?

I like to work with more than one form of media.

In this instance, New England Central’s southward 611 (Brattleboro to Palmer turn) was crawling across the antique Millers Falls Highbridge in its namesake Massachusetts town.

My vantage point was the 2007-built Route 63 highway bridge.

This is more than a century newer than the parallel railway span.

First I exposed a burst of digital photos using my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with 90mm lens. Then I made a single black & white photo on HP5 using a Nikon F3 with 50mm lens.

By design the black & white view is textured. I realize that black & white doesn’t appeal to everyone, yet I’ve worked in black & white for my entire life, and I often find my traditional film photos more interesting to look at than the digital images.

And that is why I do both.

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CSX on this day Five Years Ago-November 2, 2013.

Five years ago today, I made this view of a westward CSX autorack train on the old Boston & Albany near mp 67 from Route 148 in Brookfield, Massachusetts.

This was exposed digitally using my Canon EOS 7D with a fixed focal length 200mm ‘prime’ lens. This view is the camera produced JPG, scaled for internet presentation.

November 2, 2013.

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Palmer Station in Paranormal Poster

Palmer, Massachusetts’s Steaming Tender restaurant has featured my photo in a recent poster advertising a Paranormal Interactive Investigation to be held at the old Union Station building on February 5, 2019.

Steaming Tender’s advertising poster. My photo was reproduced with permission.

I made the original photo on Kodachrome in 1992 using my Nikon F3T with 105mm Nikkor lens mounted on a Bogen 3021 tripod.

This scan of the original color slide was used to promote my Silver & Steel photo exhibition.

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Three Years Ago Today: New England Central at Belchertown, Massachusetts

It was July 6, 2015, three years ago, that Paul Goewey and I photographed New England Central at Springfield Street in Belchertown, Massachusetts.

Our vantage point is from the old Central Massachusetts Railroad right of way—a line that was abandoned in the early 1930s, when Boston & Maine obtained trackage rights over the parallel Central Vermont (now New England Central) line.

On this Day, July 6, 2015, I caught Connecticut Southern 3771 leading the southward New England Central 611 at Springfield Street in Belchertown, Massachusetts.

I made this view using my FujiFilm X-T1.

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Memory and MBTA at Middleborough.

It had been a very long time since my last visit to Middleborough, Massachusetts— decades.

I made these views of an outbound MBTA from the Route 28 overpass south (west?) of the old New Haven Yard.

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm telephoto.

Dull summer overcast lighting is just as I remembered it, but the scene is so much changed there was little else to correlate this view with that in my memory, except for the old New Haven Railroad freight house in the distance (upper left).

I wonder if that will be there next time?

This tighter view focuses on the MBTA train.

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Palmer’s Busy Bright Morning—four new photos.

The day dawned clear and bright. I spent an hour at CP83 in Palmer making good use of the light. The railroads cooperated and supplied a parade of eastward trains, and these favored the sun for classic views.

I’ve made countless thousands of photos at Palmer, Massachusetts, but it’s always nice to keep the files fresh.

CSX eastward intermodal—probably Q012—passes the signals at CP83 in Palmer, Massachusetts. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm telephoto lens.

New England Central GP38 3845 works a local freight on the interchange track.

NECR 3845 shoves back.

Moments after New England Central’s local disappeared from view, CSX’s B740 arrived with cars for interchange. (exposed at f5.0 1/640 ISO 200)  It was about this time that things got interesting! Stay tuned for more.

Soon the scene is likely to change since CSX is installing new equipment for its positive train control signaling, and this will likely result in new signal hardware in place of the Conrail-era signals installed during single-tracking in 1986-1987.

Then something unexpected happened, and by shear luck I caught a rare move! Stay tuned for Part 2.

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.