A visit toward the end of January 2019 found the new bridge open to traffic in both directions and nothing left of the old bridge except the concrete bridge piers.
New photographer-friendly fences were in place on the west side of the bridge, while temporary chain-link fences were on the east. Presumably these will be replaced as the new bridge reaches completion.
The view west offers several good angles of the tracks; while (as previously discussed) the view to the east of East Deerfield Yard suffers from the installation of new power lines with heavy electrical cables that interfere with photography.
Construction crews are working on the approaches to the new McClelland Farm Road bridge over the tracks at the west end of Pan Am’s East Deerfield Yard.
This work has been on-going for about a year.As detailed in previous posts, the old bridge has been a popular place for photographers for many years and countless images have been exposed from this vantage point.
The new bridge is being built immediately to the west of the old bridge, and once it is complete and fully open to traffic, the old bridge will be removed.
Now for some bad news: in conjunction with bridge construction, the above ground electrical line has been relocated and is now carried across the tracks on a new pole-line located to the east of the bridges.
This obstruction poses a new challenge for photographers making photos of the yard and depending on the height of the new bridge mayruin the classic view.
I exposed these views of former CSX DASH8-40Cs leased to Pan Am that had just arrived on road freight POED from Portland, Maine.
Photos made with a FujiFilm X-T1 with 27mm pancake lens.
The old McClelland Farm Road bridge over the Boston & Maine tracks at the west end of East Deerfield Yard (near Greenfield, Massachusetts) has been a popular place to photograph trains since the steam era.
Known colloquially as the ‘Railfan’s Bridge,’ this vantage point has been featured in articles in TRAINS Magazine Railpace, and other popular literature for decades.
I first visited with my father and brother in the early 1980s, and have made countless photos here, many of which have a appeared in books, calendars, and of course on Tracking the Light.
My friend Tim coined it the ‘waste too much film bridge’ in the early 2000s, owing to our propensity to make an excessive number of photos as Guilford freight trains switched in the yard.
Although hackneyed and perhaps over frequented, it’s been a great place to catch the sunrise, make photos of the locomotives and freight cars, and work the evening glint.
At times, I’ve seen as many as 30 photographers here, all vying for position.
Imagine my surprise last month, when Tim and I arrived to photograph the elusive and much followed Pan Am Railways office car train, expecting to find a wall of lenses, and instead realized that we were the only photographers on site!
I used this opportunity to make some photos of the old bridge, soon to be replaced by a new span located 40 feet to the west.
Why is this my first farewell? Simply, the bridge isn’t yet gone. After it is, perhaps I’ll post a ‘final farewell’.