Several days ago, I posted a view of a dusty diamond in the Bellows Falls, Vermont yard that I exposed way back in 1978. Tracking the Light readers wrote in and wondered if this disused section of track survived, and one suggested that it did still exist.
So, the other day, I stopped over in Bellows Falls while driving northward and searched for the old diamond at the southeast area of Vermont Railway’s former B&M/Rutland yard.
I’ll admit that I drove over the section of track in question before I finally spotted it, well buried in dirt and partially covered by a puddle.
Making matters difficult, was that in my youthful focus on the diamond, I completely cropped the building next to it, which if I had included in my earlier photo, would have made finding the location easier.
Below are several comparison views plus a scan from the original slide.
This is a follow up to my Tracking the Light post of December 23, 2016, where I explained that on Wednesday December 21, 2016, Otto Vondrak sent me the sad news that the old station at Berlin, Connecticut had been gutted by fire.
This was reported as a ‘total loss.’
I generally avoid accidents, derailment sites, and fires. However, a few weeks ago, I decided I should take a look at the remains of the Berlin station before the scene was made unrecognizable.
Ok, how about then and when? (click on the link to Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light to see the modern view).
These photos were exposed 28 years apart from essentially the same place in West Warren, Massachusetts.
One view was made of an eastward Conrail freight in March of 1984; the other of an CSX freight at almost the same spot on November 15, 2012.
In both situations I opted to leave the train in the distance and take in the scene.
Over the years I’ve worked this vantage point with a variety of lenses, but I’ve chosen to display these two images to show how the scene has changed over the years.
In the 1984 view notice the code lines (the ‘telegraph poles’) to the left of the train and the scruffy trees between the railroad and the road. Also in 1984, the line was 251-territory (directional double track).
Over the last couple of days, I’ve displayed contemporary images I made on Pan American Railways lines. Today, I’ve dug deep into my archives and pulled some negatives I exposed in the same territory back in 1985.
February 10, 1985 was a busy day on Guilford’s Boston & Maine lines. I was traveling with John Peters and Norman Yellin and we made it all the way to Mechanicville, New York, having started in the Millers River Valley, east of East Deerfield.
Toward the end of the day, we chased B&M’s MERU (Mechanicville to Rumford, Maine), photographing it at several locations, including Eaglebridge and Petersburg, New York.
Since last week I ended a chase of a Pan Am freight at the crossing near Petersburg (east of Petersburg Junction where the old Rutland ‘Corkscrew Line’ crossed the B&M), I though these images would make an interesting comparison.
Where last week, Paul Goewey and I were following a westward freight, 28 years ago we were traveling eastbound. In both situations the light was fading.
I exposed the vintage images on Kodak B&W film using my father’s Leica M4 with a 35mm Summicron lens. Unfortunately, my notes from the day don’t include what exposures I used, nor how I processed the film. Ironically, I had the M4 with me last week too, but the shutter was giving me difficulty so I had to rely on my digital cameras!