Tag Archives: #Mountain Division

Trackwork Monochrome

Last week I was part of a Conway Scenic crew involved with trackwork on the old Maine Central Mountain Division.

The light was December-dull, and the setting reminded me of trackwork scenes I’d photographed on black & white film back in the 1980s.

Working with my Nikon Z6 in a monochrome-mode, I made these digital images to capture the texture of the event.

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Sun and Snow at Milepost 64

The other day I was part of a crew that ran GP35 #216 light engine from Conway Scenic Railroad’s North Conway, NH yard to milepost 64 on the former Maine Central Mountain Division.

Our mission was to clear flangeways from ice accumulation and freshly fallen snow.

Once stopped at milepost 64, I climbed down and made a few photos using my Lumix LX7.

Although the sky was a flat December gray, the scene brightened when the sun briefly emerged from a low cloud bank over the Saco River.

Conway Scenic Railroad GP35 216 has paused at milepost 64 near Glen, New Hampshire. December 2021

Soon we were working eastward again.

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Two Angles on Willey Brook

The former Maine Central Mountain Division is known for its Willey Brook Bridge that appears to cling to the side the rocks on Crawford Notch in New Hampshire’s White Mountains

This October on two occasions—ten days apart, I photographed Conway Scenic Railroad’s westward Mountaineer on its ascent of Crawford Notch as it crossed this iconic span.

In the first view, I stood line-side just east of milepost 84 and looked back toward Willey Brook.

For the second photo, I took a position well below the bridge, just off Route 302.

I used the same camera-lens combination for both photos: my Canon EOS7D digital camera with a Canon f2.0 100mm telephoto lens.

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Speeders over Crawford Notch

This is my second installment of photo covering the private speeder trip on Conway Scenic Railroad over Crawford Notch. I acted as pilot on this rare opportunity to travel on the railroad using vintage Fairmont rail motorcars.

See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2021/05/23/speeder-trip-part-1/

I was traveling in the lead car as part of a group of 15 vehicles.

We proceeded from the State Yard at Kearsarge on the Redstone Branch in North Conway, NH to Mountain Junction in Intervale, then continued west on the Mountain Division through Bartlett and up the mountain over Crawford Notch.

I made these images using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens. Camera RAW files converted to DNG format using Iridient X-Transformer and the adjusted for color, contrast, exposure and saturation using Adobe Lightroom.

Bartlett, NH.
Near Frankenstein bridge.
Mp 83 looking west toward Mount Willard.
Site of the Mount Willard Section House.
Site of the Mount Willard Section House.
Milepost 84 at Crawford Notch.

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Speeder Trip-Part 1

On Friday, May 21, 2021, I served as the pilot for a private speeder trip over the Conway Scenic Railroad.

The speeders were largely from a Pennsylvania-based group that consisted largely of various privately owned Fairmont cars.

I traveled in the lead car and made photographs of the trip as it progressed westward over Crawford Notch. This first batch features Conway Scenic’s Redstone Branch from the State Yard at Kearsarge to Mountain Junction in Intervale.

These photos are scaled JPGs from larger JPG files exposed with my FujiFilm XT1 using the Velvia color profile.

It was a beautiful, if unseasonably warm Spring day for a run over the former Maine Central Mountain Division.

Stay tuned over the coming days for more photos!

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East Branch Bridge

Last week, I accompanied bridge inspector Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates on the second leg of his annual Conway Scenic bridge inspection.

Our first stop was the East Branch truss near Glen, NH.

I made these photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens. Images were converted from camera RAW to DNG format by Iridient X-Transformer then adjusted for internet presentation in Adobe Lightroom.

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470 Club Special in FIVE Black & White Photos.

On October 17, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad operated the annual 470 Club Special. This ran from North Conway to Mountain Junction, then made a side trip down the Redstone Branch to Pudding Pond, before proceeding west over Crawford Notch to Fabyan, New Hampshire.

I helped organize the photo stops.

In addition to the digital color photographs previously displayed on Tracking the Light (and in the pages of Trains Magazine), I exposed a roll of Ilford HP5 black & white film using a vintage Nikkormat FTN.

Yesterday (Sunday, December 6, 2020), I processed the film using my custom-tailored split development technique that I’ve previously detailed on Tracking the Light). This is intended to give the film broad tonality when scanning for internet presentation.

After processing, I scanned the negatives using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner driven by Epson software. These scans were scaled using Adobe Lightroom without any adjustment to contrast, exposure, or sharpness.

GP7 573 carried white flags.
Redstone branch.
Sawyers looking west.
Fabyan, NH.
Fabyan, NH.
Fabyan, NH.

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Frankenstein on Halloween!

Where better to photograph a train on Halloween than Frankenstein trestle?

This afternoon, Kris Sabbatino and I ventured to this iconic landmark to catch the eastward Conway Scenic Mountaineer.

Mount Washington seen to the right of the train was covered in fresh autumn snow.

The bridge is named for the nearby cliffs, which were named not for the characters of Mary Shelley’s fictional story, but rather for the family of German artists that painted landscapes of the Mount Washington Valley in the 19th Century.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens.

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Work Train Views

Last week, spending the full day with a Conway Scenic Railroad Work Extra enabled me to make many hundreds of photos.

I published a few in my earlier post Work Extra at Frankenstein (see: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2020/06/27/work-extra-at-frankenstein-four-photos-and-a-big-rock/).

Having finally made the time to review and process the full day’s take, I’ve found some more choice images for presentation here.

All of these images were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera

Redstone Branch.
Sawyers River.

Frankenstein
Below mp80.
Sawyers River.
Sawyers River.

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Mountaineer Climbs the Mountain!

June 27, 2020 was the Conway Scenic Railroad’s Mountaineer debut!

This was the big day!

I organized banners for the locomotive  . . .

And a ribbon-cutting photo-op with Dave and Rhonda Swirk at North Conway, New Hampshire.

The guests were boarded.

I departed ahead of the train by road and hiked in to the Frankenstein trestle where I caught the train on film and video. Then, I laid chase to intercept it again at Crawford, NH. A neat trick considering all the equipment I was carrying.

At the end of the day, I was interviewed on the radio for broadcast Monday.

Dave Swirk cuts the ceremonial ribbon for the first Mountaineer!
Mountaineer at Frankenstein.
Mountaineer arriving at Crawford station. Maine Central 252 is the locomotive that hauled the last revenue road freight over the Mountain Division back in 1983, and had the honor of leading the first Mountaineer from North Conway to Crawford.

George Small, Rhonda and Dave Swirk, and Bob Marquardt with the Mountaineer Banner at Crawford.
Conway Scenic Railroad’s president and general manager Dave Swirk (left) with Mountaineer’s first narrator, Steve Nickless at Crawford Station.

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Work Extra at Frankenstein! Four Photos (and a BIG Rock).

The other day, in preparation for debut of Conway Scenic’s Mountaineer, the railroad operated a work extra with locomotive 1751. This ran up the former Maine Central Mountain Division to clear debris and rocks that had fallen on the line.

To move the heaviest rocks, railroad president and general manager Dave Swirk personally operated an excavator.

I traveled with the train to document its work.

On the return run, I posed a sequence of photos at the famous Frankenstein bridge.

Photos exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.

Today, Saturday June 27, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad the Mountaineer will make its inaugural run between North Conway and Crawford Notch.

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Looking toward Mount Washington—three photos.

Friday, January 17, 2020, I joined the Conway Scenic train crew of a light engine sent west on the old Mountain Division to inspect the line and clear snow and as far as Rogers Crossing east of Bartlett, New Hampshire.

It was clear, cold afternoon, which made for some magnificent views along the Saco River and looking toward Mount Washington.

My primary intent was to document the move and gather some video footage of the railroad operating in the snow.

using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens, I made these views at milepost 62 west of Intervale.

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Meet at Mountain Junction

On Select Fridays, Conway Scenic operates an RDC trip for children out on its Redstone Line—former Maine Central Mountain Division running east from Mountain Junction. Last Friday, July 19, 2019, I took the opportunity to travel with the crew on this run.

At Mountain Junction we cleared for the Valley Train led by GP7 573 that was on its return run from Bartlett to North Conway, New Hampshire.

When the Valley Train passed us, I made this view from the cab of Conway Scenic’s former Susquehanna (originally New Haven Railroad) RDC number 23, named Millie.

You know, I could have named this post: The Valley Meets Millie at Mountain Junction.

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Maine Central 573 at Bartlett—Two Days, Two Photos.

Here’s two photos of Conway Scenic Railroad’s former Maine Central GP7 573 running around the Valley Trainat Bartlett, New Hampshire on the old Mountain Division.

One was made from the train on a cloudy day, the other from the road near the section house as the engine was cutting off from the train.

Some contrasts: Cloud versus sun; vertical versus horizontal; traditional versus interpretative; road versus rail.

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Some viewers commented that they were unable to see the ‘cloudy’ photo. For this reason, I’ve rescaled and re-uploaded a version of the original vertical photo plus an EXTRA horizontal image from the same sequence.