Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Lord Byron at Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia.

‘Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright.’

Profound words for a man who never gazed upon, let alone exposed a photograph.

Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia locomotive 2032 Lord Byron leads freight 306 in July 1997. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon N90S with 80-200mm Nikkor zoom lens.

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Alco-Study; Nova Scotia.

July 25, 1997.

I’ve often liked to make detailed studies of equipment. On this day, George S. Pitarys, Bill Linley and I had been following a westward Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia freight.

Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Montreal Locomotive Works M630 on July 25, 1997.
Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Montreal Locomotive Works M630 on July 25, 1997.

In the evening it stalled near Afton and had to double the hill. This made for ample opportunity to make photos.

At one point when the train was stopped, I used my N90S with a 28mm lens to expose this backlit study of an M630 that was second unit in the consist.

I like the image for its great contrast and its ability to distill the curves and lines of the Alco Century profile. It’s moody, dark, and all about Alco.

See: Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia, Cape Jack, July 24, 1997

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Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia, Cape Jack, July 24, 1997


A Fleeting Glimpse of a Maritime Alco Diesel Oasis.

Railway train with water
On July 24, 1997, a Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia freight rolls west at Cape Jack along the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.

I featured this image of westward Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia (say it five times fast) freight in my big book Locomotive, published by MBI in 2001. The concept of the book was very large photo reproduction of classic locomotives. There were three sections; steam, diesel and electric.

In July 1997, I made this image on trip with George Pitarys and Bill Linley. George and I had flown to Halifax from Boston. We spent three glorious days photographing in Nova Scotia and did exceptionally well with the CB&CNS. At the time the railroad ran its eastward road freight in the morning and westward train in the afternoon, which favored sun angles most of the day. George and Bill’s expert knowledge of the line allowed us to make the most of every train.

I was especially fascinated by the opportunity to photograph locomotives against the seemingly endless blue waterscape. This elevated location at Cape Jack overlooking the Gulf of St Lawrence was one of the best places to make watery vistas. I exposed this on Fujichrome Provia 100F using my Nikon N90s and Nikon f2.8 80-200mm zoom lens. Exposure was calculated using a Sekonic Studio Deluxe handheld photocell and the camera’s internal matrix meter setting.

Here’s an excerpt from my text published in Locomotive:

The CB&CNS was created as the result of CN’s desire to spin-off lightly used feeder lines. Initially the CB&CNS was part of the RailTex family of short lines and acquired by Rail America in 1999. CB&CNS operated from Truro (in western Nova Scotia) to Sydney plus a few short branches. Until 1998, this railroad was one the final strongholds for big MLW-built Alco locomotives. These were regularly assigned to daily through freights. Most were painted in CB&CNS’s attractive black & yellow paint scheme with a large red lion to reflect the region’s Scottish heritage. 


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