Tag Archives: Pan Am Railways

A Tired Looking Beast—Charlemont.


February 6, 2019, Paul Goewey and I traveled along the old Boston & Maine to Charlemont, Massachusetts to catch Pan Am’s AD-1 on its return west.

One car led by just one locomotive, a former New York Susquehanna & Western DASH8-40B in tired CSX paint.

It was a long way to go and the light was dull.

Was it worth it?


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East Deerfield Railfan’s Bridge Update: Views from the New Bridge.

The old McClelland Farm Road bridge over the Boston & Maine tracks at the west end of East Deerfield Yard (near Greenfield, Massachusetts) had been a popular place to photograph trains.

Guilford SD26 632 leads EDRP (East Deerfield-Rouses Point) westbound at McClelland Farm Road on August 30, 1987. Kodachrome slide exposed using a Leica M2.

Known colloquially as the ‘Railfan’s Bridge,’ this vantage point had been featured in articles in TRAINS Magazine, Railpace and other popular literature for decades.

For more than a year a new bridge, parallel to the old bridge, has been under construction.

Last week, December 6, 2018, photographer Mike Gardner and I made a brief visit to East Deerfield to inspect progress.

The old bridge was still in place, while the new bridge was open and mostly complete.

Inevitably, fences will be installed, and how these may affect photography has yet to been seen. However, looking to the east, the view has been complicated by the erection of new electrical lines.

Below are a few views of the new and old McClelland Farm Road bridges.

Panoramic view of the new and old bridges.

The view looking west from the new bridge.
Here’s the sorry state of the old bridge. How many thousands of photos were made from this span?


Looking east from the new bridge.


The view from the new bridge looking toward the East Deerfield Loop.

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Morning Freight on the old Boston & Maine.

On the morning of November 14, 2018, I made these views of Pan Am Railway’s EDPO (East Deerfield to Portland, Maine manifest freight) crossing the Connecticut River as it left it’s western terminus on the old Boston & Maine Railroad Fitchburg route.

This side-lit scene benefitted from diffused directional light and a textured sky.

FujiFilm XT1 set for Velvia color profile with 18-135mm zoom lens.

FujiFilm XT1 set for Velvia color profile with 18-135mm zoom lens.

I exposed the photos using my FujiFilm XT1 and processed the RAW files to reveal maximum shadow and highlight detail while emphasizing the rich morning light.

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Tracking the Light Extra! Pan Am Railways Office Car Train Today.

This morning (November 14, 2018), I traveled with my old friends Paul Goewey and John Peters to make photographs of Pan Am Railway’s office car train.

The OCS began its run at East Deerfield Yard for its run down the Connecticut River Line to Springfield and Hartford Line toward Berlin and then to Plainville, Connecticut.

A gust of wind kicks up the dust at East Deerfield Yard filtering the back lit morning sun. Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.

Normally the bastion of Pan Am’s well-kept FP9s, today the OCS ran with GP40s because of the need to have cab-signal equipped/Positive Train Control compliant locomotives on Amtrak’s Hartford line and related connections.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.

I made these backlit photos in the morning from the old ‘East Deerfield Railfan’s Bridge’, a span soon to be replaced as the new bridge is nearing completion.

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Pan Am Pacing View at the New York State Line!

With photographer Mike Gardner behind the wheel, we were in hot pursuit of Pan Am’s EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction).

Rolling along with the train at the Vermont-New York state line west of Pownal, Vermont, I made this pacing view.

There’s wasn’t time for niceties such as carefully calculating exposure. I set the camera shutter speed dial to ‘A’ and exposed a burst of images in RAW.

After the fact I adjusted shadows and highlights in Lightroom to make for a better balanced photograph.

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Telephoto and Wide Angle of EDRJ at Rices.

Rices at Charlemont, Massachusetts used to be an interlocking, where the Boston & Maine’s line went from double to single track.

Back in the 1980s, I’d catch meets here between eastward and westward freights.

Much has changed.

Not only was the interlocking decommissioned and later removed, but almost all evidence of it, including the old signal bridge are now gone. Trees and brush have grown up between the railroad and the river, and trees along the road are taller than ever.

This now makes for a pretty challenging setting.

At some point I’ll present ‘then and now’ views, but these photos demonstrate telephoto and wide angle photos of the same train from the same vantage point.

There was nice afternoon light on Pan Am’s EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction) so I settled on my traditional location, which still gets a bit of sun late in the day.

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Hump-set in the Rain.

The sky opened up as the East Deerfield hump set was crossing the Connecticut River bridge at the east end of Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield Yard.

I thought the effects of the cascading rain added atmosphere to the scene.

90mm Fujinon telephoto view.

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The Big Bore.

In New England, ordinary people with virtually no knowledge of railroads are aware of ‘The Tunnel’.

They’ll ask me, ‘Have ya been up to that Housantonic Tunnel?’ Or comment, ‘That Hoosick Tunnel, by North Adams, it’s the longest in the world, Right?’

I’d like to speak with an etymologist, or someone with a deeper understanding of the evolution of New England names. I’ll bet that Hoosick, Housatonic and Hoosac all have the same root, but I’m more curious to know about how and when the variations in spelling originated.

But, it’s really the tunnel that interests me; 4.75 miles of inky cool darkness, occupied by legends, stories and ghosts and serving a corridor for trains below the mountain.

The other day, Mike Gardner and I made a pilgrimage up to New England’s longest tunnel; Boston & Maine’s famous Hoosac. (Please note correct spelling).

While waiting for westward freight EDRJ, that was on its way from East Deerfield, I exposed these photos with my FujiFilm XT1.

Telephoto view to draw in the East Portal.


The portal can’t be too dark, but the shafts of sunlight streaming down can easily be over exposed. As a result, I exposed for the light, than adjusted my RAW files in post processing to make for a more balanced image. This isn’t ‘fixing the photo,’ it’s maximizing the data capture and adjusting it for the most pleasing result.

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Brian’s Visual Puzzle in THREE photos: Mystery Revealed!

Yesterday I received a correct guess to the conundrum I’d posted as Brian’s Visual Puzzle in THREE photos on July 11, 2018.

History ( and knowing that history) was key to solving the problem, since the answer wasn’t visible in any of the three photos.

To make things a bit more difficult, I didn’t caption the images, however I did offer an array of hints to assist with solving the problem.

I had several very thoughtful guesses, some of which were quite interesting.

Michael Walsh, a regular Tracking the Light viewer, was the first to submit the correct answer along with his explanation.

This is what he wrote:

I reckon the theme may be Pan Am Railways.

 The first picture shows the Pan Am building on Park Avenue in New York, which stands behind Grand Central Station. The name, colours and logo of the defunct Pan American World Airways were purchased by Guilford Rail System in 1998 and applied to their rail New England operations in 2006.

Park Avenue, New York City in December 1982 showing the Pan Am building a top Grand Central Terminal. Pan Am Railways takes its name from the old Airline.

 The third picture is of exceptional interest. It shows 1926-built combination car 16 of the Springfield Electric Railway, now preserved at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor CT. The 6.5 mile long Springfield line became a subsidiary of the Boston and Maine and was later de-electrified. In 1983, it became part of Guilford, along with the B&M.

Springfield Terminal number 16 is preserved in Connecticut. Under Guilford Springfield Terminal an important part of operations and many locomotive were letter for Springfield Terminal.

 The second picture is of North Conway station, on the Conway Scenic Railway. North Conway was near the north end of a lengthy B&M branch from Rochester NH, which connected with the Mountain Division of the Maine Central at Intervale, 7 miles beyond North Conway. The B&M branch and the MC Mountain Division were abandoned by Guilford, but some 50 miles, comprising portions of both lines, survive as the Conway Scenic Railroad.

The former Boston & Maine station at North Conway, New Hampshire. Boston & Maine and Maine Central are primary components of Pan Am Railways.

Michael’s answer is spot on: I have just one small correction and a comment; the north end of B&M’s Conway branch (pictured) was sold before Guilford acquired the B&M. I mention this because in each of the three photos, the subject predates their respective company’s role with Pan Am Railways (just to make the puzzle extra tricky).  Also, Springfield Terminal has played an important role in operations across the Guilford/Pan Am Railways system.

Thanks to everyone who submitted guesses!

Pan Am Railways has been routinely featured on Tracking the Light over the last six years.

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East Deerfield New Bridge—June 2018 Up Date.

We called it the ‘waste too much film bridge’.

How many thousands of photographs have been exposed from the old bridge at the west end of Boston & Maine’s East Deerfield Yard?

The new bridge is progressing. I made these photos a few days ago.

Old and new bridges at McClelland Farm Road, East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

As mentioned in an earlier post, a new pole-line has been erected to the east of the old bridge that threatens to ruin photographs. How will this ultimately affect views from the new bridge?

Suitable vantage points are key to making good photographs, so I’m curious to see what the new bridge offers. If it turns out to be of little use, I’ll need to find new vantage points.

South approach to the new bridge.

North abutment with Pan Am tracks in foreground.

Looking west from the old McClelland Farm Road bridge.

FujiFilm X-T1 photo -in-camera panoramic composite image.

What do you think?

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Pan Am Railways crosses the Connecticut; Old and Older and both Blue.

I had a late start the other day.

After intercepting Amtrak’s southward Vermonter on the Connecticut River Line, I drove to Pan Am’s East Deerfield yard(near Greenfield, Massachusetts)  to see if anything was moving.

Fortuity and patience combined enabled me to make photos of Pan Am Railways POED crossing the Connecticut River Bridge (immediately east of the yard).

In the lead was 7552, one of two (soon to be three) former CSX DASH8-40Cs wearing Pan Am Railways paint, plus one of the railroad’s last remaining 600-series six motor EMDs (619, that began its career as a Southern Pacific SD45) still in traffic.

Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.

Catching this pair of locomotives together is a coup. I’ve always found transition periods make for interesting photographs; during the last year, these second-hand GE’s have sidelined many of Pan Am’s older locomotives.

Will this be the last time I catch one of the 1980s era GEs working together with a 1960s era six-motor EMDs in Pan Am blue paint?

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Pan Am Railway’s EDBF: Stone Arches and DASH8s.

Using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm zoom lens, I exposed this view of Pan Am Railway’s symbol freight EDBF (East Deerfield to Bellows Falls) working the Connecticut River line at Bernardston, Massachusetts.

The early evening sun in May reaches the northside of the old stone viaduct at Bernardston.

I like the technological and geometrical contrasts of boxy General Electric diesels on the 19thcentury stone arch viaduct.

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East Deerfield West: Providence & Worcester 2009 leads the Plainville Job.

In 1982, Boston & Maine bought several routes in Massachusetts and Connecticut from Conrail. Among these were lines clustered around Plainville, Connecticut, accessed via trackage rights over Amtrak’s Springfield-New Haven Line.

Today, Amtrak’s route requires advanced signaling on leading locomotives and only a handful of Pan Am’s engines are so equipped. As a result, Pan Am sometimes operates a borrowed Providence & Worcester engine on its East Deerfield to Plainville freight.

As of last week, Pan Am’s EDPL was still operating on a daylight schedule, however with increased Springfield-New Haven passenger services to commence in June, this operation may become nocturnal.

I made these views from the old McClelland Farm Road bridge, a vantage point that will soon be gone when the new bridge opens.

Looking east from the old McClelland Farm Road Bridge.

EDPL prepares to cross over to access the East Deerfield Loop that connects with the Connecticut River line.

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Railfan’s Bridge East Deerfield: Old Bridge/New Bridge and some Bad News.

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.

See: Railfan’s Bridge at East Deerfield—my First Farewell.

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.

The view west from the old McClelland Farm Road bridge.

Pan Am GE’s wearing tired CSX paint pass construction crews working on approaches for the new McClelland Farm Road bridge.

The old McClelland Farm Road Bridge at East Deerfield.

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.

The new pole line can be seen here on the right crossing over the tracks. To the uninitiated this may seem innocuous but in fact it poses an obstruction that may make views of the yard from the new bridge difficult to achieve without heavy cables running right through the middle of the image.

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.

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This Day 12 Years Ago—An old GP9 on the Move.

On this day (February 19, 2006), I exposed this photo of Guilford’s ‘Sappi Job’ at Fairfield, Maine.

In the lead is an old Boston & Maine GP9 that had been built in 1957 using some trade-in components from World War-II era FT diesels.

I was traveling with Don Marson and Brian Jennison and exposed this view on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3 with 180mm lens.

Last weekend, I was making use of that same lens to photograph Ireland’s Bord na Mona narrow gauge railways.

On the morning of February 19, 2006 (12 years ago today) Guilford Rail System GP9 51 leads the ‘Sappi Job’ off the old Maine Central Hinckley Branch at Fairfield, Maine on its way toward Waterville. Note the vintage GRS searchlight to the right of the locomotive.

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Four Motor GEs at East Deerfield.

I made this view of a pair of Pan Am Railway’s recently acquired four-motor GE diesels at East Deerfield Yard.

When they were new in the 1980s, these locomotives were intended for moving intermodal trains at top speed.

Conrail’s B40-8s (DASH8-40B) were routinely assigned in sets of three to trailvan and double stack trains on the Water Level Route, while Susquehanna’s similar locomotives would work its double stack trains on the old Erie Railroad ‘Southern Tier Route’

So, I find it odd to see them now in faded CSX paint at Pan Am’s East Deerfield.

Perhaps, its an appropriate photographic metaphor to picture them in fading afternoon light passing the shell of the old tower.

Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Slug-Set on the Connecticut River Bridge

Call this one Telephoto and Wideangle contrasts.

In October I called up to one of my favorite places and made these two views of the GATX slug-set that Pan Am Railways uses to work the East Deefield hump.

During the course of its duties the East Deerfield hump engine routinely pulls cuts of freight cars out onto the Connecticut River Bridge, which makes for ample opportunity to expose photographs.

Sometimes one view doesn’t give you the full picture.

I like the old bridge in this bucolic setting, and this also a great place to picture equipment. I’ve photographed dozens of trains here over years.

One view was exposed with my 12mm Zeiss Touit (wide angle) lens; the other with my Fujinon 90mm telephoto. The wideangle view takes in the scene; the telephoto photo focuses more tightly on the locomotive. By presenting both you get a more complete picture.


In this 12mm wide angle view, notice how the effect of soft sunlight on the bridge helps direct your eye to the locomotive.

On my FujiFilm XT1, the 90mm lens approximates the angle of view offered by a 135mm lens on a traditional full-frame 35mm film camera.

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Volcano at Keets Road—Pan Am Railway’s Connecticut River Freight.

Last week, Mike Gardner and I positioned ourselves at Keets Road south of Greenfield, Massachusetts on the old Boston & Maine Connecticut River Line.

Pan Am Railway’s symbol freight EDPL (East Deerfield Yard to Plainville, Connecticut) had departed East Deerfield and was idling on the Deerfield Loop track waiting to head south.

Finally, the train received the signal to proceed and began its southward trek. In the lead was GP40 352, one of several Pan Am diesels equipped with cab-signal equipment for operation over Amtrak south of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Once on the Connecticut River mainline the engineer opened the throttle to accelerate and his locomotives erupted with an dramatic display of noise and effluence.

Here are two of the views I exposed; a color view made digitally using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm f2.0 fixed telephoto lens, and a black & white view exposed with a Leica on Kodak Tri-X.

Pan Am Railways symbol freight EDPL approaches Keets Road crossing on the Connecticut River Line south of Greenfield, Massachusetts.

A closer view that I exposed using a Leica IIIa fitted with a 21mm Super Angulon wide angle lens. Kodak Tri-X black & white negative film, processed by hand in a special mix of Ilford Perceptol developer (mixed 1 to 1 with water) for 8 minutes at 68F, and then following stop, fix and rinse,  the negative was toned with a selenium solution (1 part to 9 with water) for 7 minutes, rewash, dried and scanned on a Epson V750Pro flatbed electronic scanner.

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A Crescent at Wisdom Way—Something different.

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Working with the Leica IIIa fitted with a 21mm Super Angulon and loaded with Kodak Tri-X, I exposed this vertical grab shot of Pan Am Southern’s eastward loaded autorack train 28N at Wisdom Way in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

I often work with two or more cameras, typically one is a film body and the other digital.

On this June 2017 afternoon, fellow photographer Mike Gardner and I arrived a few minutes earlier, and my primary image from the Wisdom Way bridge was a color view with my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a 90mm lens.

Kodak Tri-X processed in Ilford Perceptol 1-1 with water for 8 minutes at 70F, then toned in Selenium for 7 minutes. Negatives rinsed, washed, dry and scanned in color with an Epson V750 Pro.

The 21mm Super Angulon is a very unusual lens, but one I’ve been working with since the 1970s. Looking back over my early work, I often achieved more satisfying results with this lens than my other tools.

For this view I wanted a dynamic angle that was more than simple documentation so I chose to skew the horizon. I also slightly panned the moving locomotive, which has the affect of softening the background while keeping the numbers on the locomotive cab sharp.

Norfolk Southern 6991 is fitted with the ‘Crescent cab,’ a design unique to Norfolk Southern, thus making it comparatively unusual in New England.

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Here’s a tiny thumbnail view of the digital photo I made moments before the black & white view.

 

 

No Pot of Gold at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

This is the second in my series of East Deerfield ‘Railfan’s Bridge’ farewell; See: Railfan’s Bridge at East Deerfield—my First Farewell.

Sunday, June 25, 2017, Tim and I had circled Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield classification yard trying to find an angle, or a train.

The sun was out, and it was raining. Tim said, “This is some pretty weird weather.”

We crossed the old “Railfan’s Bridge” (McClelland Farm Road), and I looked eastward over the yard and shouted, ‘Holy —-, Look at the rainbow!’

It started out faint, and gradually grew more intense as the sun emerged from a cloud-bank.

Although it hung in the sky for ten minutes or more, there wasn’t a wheel turning. Pity too. I think of all the thousands of photos I’ve made around East Deerfield and in all kinds of light, but I’d never caught a rainbow before!

Exposed using my FujFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens and Lee 0.6 graduated neutral density filter.

 

June Morning Sun at Ayer.

June can be a challenging time to make photographs. There can be wonderful rich sun for couple of hours in the morning, and again in the evening, while during the day high-light presents difficulties with contrast and deep shadows. (Topics for future posts)

Last week, Rich Reed, Paul Goewey, Felix Legere and I arrived at Ayer, Massachusetts in good morning light.

MBTA and Pan Am Railways kept us busy for a little while. And I made these images using my FujiFilm X-T1.

I gauge my digital exposure using the camera’s histogram (a graph displayed in-camera that shows pixel distribution), and as a result I aim to capture the maximum amount of data by balancing the highlight and shadow areas.

If need be I can then adjust the exposure and contrast in post processing to make for the most visually appealing image without sacrificing the amount data captured

I’ve listed my exposures below each photo to provide a frame of reference.

The old Boston & Maine Ayer Tower is a relic of former times. The containers at left comprise the water train that comes down on Pan Am from Maine. ISO 400 exposed at f7.1 at 1/500.

MBTA train 1400 from Wachusett approaches its station stop at Ayer. ISO 400 exposed at f9.0 at 1/500. I’ve stopped down (reduced the exposure) by 1/2 stop to compensate for the reflective surface at the front of the MBTA train.

MBTA train 1400 is back lit at Ayer. Locomotive 2000, an HSP46, works at the back of the consist. Exposed at ISO 400 f9.0 1/500. Working with the camera RAW file, I’ve adjusted highlight and shadows in post processing to make for a better balanced image. (Lightened shadow areas and darkened highlights within the control  parameters as necessary to prevent a lost of data in the final image; excessive changes to the exposure will clip highlight or shadow areas and result in less information being displayed in the processed image).

Pan Am Railways is operating some former CSX GE-Built DASH8-40Cs in road freight service. A pair of these locomotives lead symbol freight EDPO (East Deerfield to Portland) out of Ayer’s Hill Yard on the east leg of the Ayer wye. The light gray building to the left of the train and the shadow it creates makes for a difficult exposure situation. ISO 400 f10 at 1/500th of a second.

ISO 400 f10 at 1/500th of a second. Although this image is a scaled version of the in-camera JPG, by working with the RAW file, I could have lightened the shadow area to the left of the locomotive to reveal more detail. I’ve opted not to do this however.

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Railfan’s Bridge at East Deerfield—my First Farewell.

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!

In the evening glow, Pan Am Railway’s prized former Canadian National FP9s lead the company office car train off the Deerfield Loop track at the west end of East Deerfield Yard. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

. You can see that the trees have been cut in preparation for the heavy works, expected to begin shortly. Lumix LX7 photo.

How many thousands, or tens of thousands, of photos have been exposed from this vantage point over the decades? FujiFilm X-T1 photo.

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’.

 

I wonder how the new vantage point will compare?

 

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Evening Sun, Southward Freight and a Signal Lesson.

Two weeks ago, my friend Tim and I made photos of Pan Am Railway’s EDPL crossing the Connecticut River at Holyoke, Massachusetts.

A short history: Back in 1982, Conrail spun off some New England routes, including a group of former New Haven Railroad lines in Connecticut. Providence & Worcester and Boston & Maine were among the lines that picked up former Conrail routes.

A vestige of this acquisition, is Pan Am Railway’s (which operates the old Boston & Maine) East Deerfield, Massachusetts to Plainville, Connecticut freight.

Since this Pan Am freight works over Amtrak’s cab signal equipped Springfield-Hartford-New Haven line, the leading locomotive must be fitted with cab signal equipment on that portion of the run.

Since Pan Am only has a few locomotives so fitted (including MEC 352 seen trailing in this view), so today’s train was led by (leased or borrowed?) Providence & Worcester GP38-2 2009 that has the necessary cab signaling (installed for use on P&W’s North East Corridor freight assignments.)

This has been a common occurrence in recent years. Significantly, P&W has been acquired by the Genesee & Wyoming family, and it will be interesting to see how much longer locomotives will operate in the older P&W livery.

Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 27mm pancake lens.

For the record: this photo was made on former Boston & Maine trackage, which is not cab-signal equipped. (Cab signal territory will begin about a dozen miles to the south of this location, once on Amtrak trackage)

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Pan Am Southern’s Boston & Maine at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Last week, on my way to Greenfield, Massachusetts, I learned there were a pair of westward freights heading over the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg route.

Pan Am’s EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction) was nearly ready to depart East Deerfield yard, while empty autorack train symbol 287 (coming from Ayer, Massachusetts) was to run around it and proceed west first.

I opted for a different angle, deciding to make photos from the passenger platform built to serve Amtrak’s Vermonter in 2014.

I made these views with my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with 18-135mm zoom lens.

Thin morning cloud/haze helped soften the effects of backlighting at this location.

Pan Am symbol freight 287 works west at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Wide angle view; Pan Am symbol freight 287 works west at Greenfield, Massachusetts.

About 20 minutes after 287, Pan Am’s EDRJ came into view. In the lead are two of the former CSX GE-built Dash8-40Cs. I made this view to show more of the environment, including the chain-link fence by the passenger platform.

Wide view of EDRJ.

Nice shade of blue on Pan Am painted EMD diesels. Wouldn’t the GE Dash8-40Cs look nice in this paint?

Subtle control in post processing can really make a difference.

These images were adapted from the camera RAW files. I adjusted shadow contrast among other small changes to further balance for backlighting.

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Pan Am Panned—Office Car Special at Speed.

There’s nothing like a carefully executed panned photograph to convey a train at speed.

I’ve covered the panning technique a number of times on Tracking the Light; essentially this accomplished by using a comparatively slow shutter speed (in this situation I chose 1/60th of a second) and moving the camera with the subject as it passes through a scene.

The real trick is maintain smooth full-body motion and continue to pan after the shutter is released. Novice pan photographers often violate this rule and stop panning the moment they release the shutter, which tends to result in badly blurred photos.

Yesterday (May 18, 2017) I was traveling with Tim, a friend and fellow photographer, who suggested this location at North Hatfield, Massachusetts on the former Boston & Maine Connecticut River line.

Rather than make a conventional image, I opted for a series of panned views, of which this is but one in a sequence.

Exposed at 1/60th of a second using a FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with f2.0 90mm lens.

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East Deerfield Sunset‑Variations on a Scene.

Groundhog Day 2017.

Mike Gardner and I were in place at East Deerfield Yard (near Greenfield, Massachusetts) to document the arrival of Pan Am symbol freight POED (from Portland, Maine).

As the freight pulled beneath the bridge at the west-end of the yard, I made a series of photographs with different cameras.

I often work with two or more cameras at the same time: digital, black & white film, color slide film (results pending), more digital. That’s my style of making images. I sort out the results later.

Any favorites?

Lumix LX7 photo.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Exposed on Ilford HP5 with a Leica IIIa with 35mm Nikkor wide angle lens.

FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm lens.

FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm lens plus Lee 0.9 graduated neutral density filter.

FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm lens plus Lee 0.9 graduated neutral density filter.

Pan Am Railways’ ‘New’ DASH8-40Cs.

Back in 1989, the DASH8-40C was the latest offering from General Electric. In April that year, I photographed some glistening Conrail units at Buffalo’s Bison Yard. Some months later I was delighted to catch a freshly painted CSX DASH8-40C working on the old Baltimore & Ohio at Deshler, Ohio.

Fast forward to 2017; reports of Pan Am’s recent acquisition of 20 former CSX DASH8-40Cs has interested New England railroad observers. I’ll admit, I find it strange that these locomotives causing such a stir.

On Thursday January 5, 2017, fellow photographer Mike Gardner and I visited Pan Am’s East Deerfield Yard (located near Greenfield, Massachusetts).

Upon our arrival, we saw road freight EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction) getting ready for its westward journey. In the lead was a pair of the ‘New’ DASH8-40Cs.

I learned that this was the first run of these locomotives since arriving on Pan Am a few days earlier. Not to waste an opportunity we geared up for some photography.

And, yes, among the trains we photographed that day was EDRJ (always a favorite train to catch on the scenic westend of the old Boston & Maine). We followed it all the way to Eagle Bridge, New York, ‘new’ GEs in the lead.

Below are a few of the photos I made using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera. While we made the most of these old ‘new’ locomotives, in truth we probably would have photographed Pan Am’s EDRJ regardless of its motive power.

Still, I’ll be keen to see these old goats painted in Pan Am blue and white.

DASH8-40Cs glint in the morning sun at East Deerfield Yard.

EDRJ works upgrade along the Deerfield River at Zoar, Massachusetts.

EDRJ ambles along near Pownal, Vermont.

Sun and clouds color the sky near North Pownal, Vermont.

Approaching Petersburg Junction near the New York-Vermont state line.

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The Lost Waterfall at Bernardston.

You never know what’s going to change.

Photo exposed using 120 size Ektachrome film. Exposure calculated with a Sekonic Studio Deluxe handheld photocell (light meter).
Photo exposed on 120 size Ektachrome film. Exposure calculated with a Sekonic Studio Deluxe handheld photocell (light meter).

I exposed this view twenty years ago using a Speed Graphic with 120 size roll film back that I’d borrowed from Doug More.

A decade earlier, fellow photographer Brandon Delaney had showed me this bridge at Bernardston, Massachusetts on the Boston & Maine’s Connecticut River Line.

The bridge survives much as pictured here;  today it serves as the route of Amtrak’s Vermonter. However the old mill dam with accompanying waterfall were destroyed sometime after I made this December 1996-view.

Tomorrow, I’ll post a contemporary angle of the bridge.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

 

Pan Am’s Wabash Dome Crosses the Connecticut.

Yes, that’s what this is all about.

Should I translate?

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Why is a 'digital camera' use film in its name? Not sure, but it certainly causes confusion. And no, there was no film exposed in the making of this image.
Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Why does a ‘digital camera’ use ‘film’ in its name? Not sure, but it certainly causes confusion. And no, there was no film exposed in the making of this image.

Ok: Pan Am Railways (which takes its name from the old Pan Am Airways, the name that the railway’s parent organization acquired some years back) bought an old Wabash Railroad stainless steel dome.

Wabash was neither acronym nor a monicker.

Back in the day (before 1964 when the company was melded into the Norfolk & Western), the Wabash Railroad Company operated a Midwestern North American network that connected Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City gateways.

The Connecticut is the north-south river that bisects New England, and which forms the boundary between New Hamshire and Vermont while crossing the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. (Sorry, I don’t know if the state was named for the river or vice versa).

I made this photograph from the west bank of the river at East Deerfield, Massachusetts last August (2016.)

Hopefully that clarifies any confusion!

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Brian’s photos of Pan Am Railway’s Office Cars; Resurrected from Beyond.

Yesterday’s Tracking the Light featured the gripping headline:

“OH NO! I JUST WIPED MY CARD . . .”

And there I’ve told the story of how I accidentally erased my day’s finest efforts (and brought them back again.)

It’s bad enough to accidentally destroy your own work, but it’s especially galling to ruin the photos from such a great day. Bright sun, clear blue skies and a polished executive train moving a moderate speeds.

Simply we’d nailed the Pan Am train at multiple locations in great light, and there were several sets (groups of photos) that I was really happy about.

Followed by the sickening feeling of loss.

The day's finest photos: GONE!
The day’s finest photos: GONE!

The film equivalent of this sort of disaster is the accidental opening the camera-back before rewinding, where-in you lose a half dozen photos or so, but if you close it up quickly you can usually save most of the roll.

The worse film-related catastrophe was when your box of film came back from the lab with a little green slip; ‘Owing to a unique laboratory occurrence, we are sorry to report . . .’

By contrast, my digital disaster was an easy fix (Click the link to read Monday’s post for details: http://wp.me/p2BVuC-4ih).

As I mentioned yesterday, when this sort of thing happens: avoid making it worse by continuing to use the card.

Although I’d ‘erased’ (wiped, zapped, cleaned) the camera’s memory card. In truth, all I’d done was erase the catalog. All of my photos remained on the card. Yet, resurrecting them was a slow painstaking process.

Here are some of my favorite photos that’d I never thought I’d have opportunity to post on Tracking the Light

Working west at Buckland. Exposed on a SanDisk Extreme PRO 32 GB memory car using my FujiFilm XT1. Erased accidentally and retrieved using RescuePRO Deluxe. For details see Monday's Tracking the Light.
Working west at Buckland. Exposed on a SanDisk Extreme PRO 32 GB memory car using my FujiFilm XT1. Erased accidentally and retrieved using RescuePRO Deluxe. For details see Monday’s Tracking the Light.

My friend Tim D. was behind the wheel, and driving well-known back roads along the Deerfield River scored us this view near Charlemont, Massachusetts.
My friend Tim D. was behind the wheel, and driving well-known back roads along the Deerfield River scored us this view near Charlemont, Massachusetts.

This was a grab-shot near Zoar. I have to admit, it was this view I was most disgusted having lost.
This was a grab-shot near Zoar. I have to admit, it was this view that I was most disgusted having lost.

Pan Am's office cars disappear into Hoosac Mountain.
Pan Am’s office cars disappear into Hoosac Mountain.

A friendly wave near Eaglebridge, New York.
A friendly wave near Eaglebridge, New York.

Lots of folks were out for this view at Fisherman's Lane in Schagticoke, New York.
Lots of folks were out for this view at Fisherman’s Lane in Schagticoke, New York.

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Pan Am catches the Glint at East Deerfield Yard on July 30, 2013.

Pan Am 603 catches the glint at East Deerfield, Massachusetts on this day (July 30) three years ago (2013). Canon 7D image adjusted in Lightroom to reduce contrast.
Pan Am 603 catches the glint at East Deerfield, Massachusetts on this day (July 30) three years ago (2013). Canon 7D image adjusted in Lightroom to reduce contrast.

Notice that by working with low sun and cropping the sky, I’ve  made an early evening image seem almost like a night time view.

Hint: it really helps to view this post on Tracking the Light to avoid cropping and get the details.

Tracking the Light is on auto pilot while Brian is traveling.

New posts every day!

Pan Am Southern; retro photos of a retro railroad; old tech in 2016.

Let’s gaze back in time; 30 plus years ago I was a young enthusiastic photographer with a 35mm Leica rangefinder. I was fascinated by the Boston & Maine, operated by Guilford Transportation Industries (as Pan Am Railways was then known).

B&M’s quaint operations, traditional signals, and antique General Motors diesels had a real appeal. Back then I focused on catching the EMD GP7s, GP9s, and GP18s, plus EMD switchers and run-through Delaware & Hudson Alco C-420s and C-424s.

I made hundreds of images trackside in those days.

On June 4, 2016, I picked up my old Leica, as I do from time to time, and loaded it with Ilford HP5 (often my choice film back in the day) and headed for Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield yard before dawn, (as I have since I learned to drive 33 years ago).

Antiques still run the rails on Pan Am.

Pan Am Railways' SD40-2s at East Deerfield Yard on the morning of June 4, 2016.
Pan Am Railways’ SD40-2s at East Deerfield Yard on the morning of June 4, 2016.

A real rare pair in 2016; back to back high-hood GP40s. How sweet is that? This is Pan Am's EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction).
A real rare pair in 2016; back to back high-hood GP40s. How sweet is that? This is Pan Am’s EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction).

©Brian Solomon 582516

As the EDRJ was getting its train together the morning fog began to burn off. Cosmic light.
As the EDRJ was getting its train together the morning fog began to burn off. Cosmic light.

©Brian Solomon 582517

My lens of choice has a long history.

In the 1970s and very early 1980s, I’d often photograph with a Nikon 35mm wide angle made with a Leica screw-mount.

This lens had gone missing for decades and only recently re-emerged. In the interval it had seized up (as old equipment does when the lubrication dries out). My dad sent it for servicing and its now back in our arsenal of working photographic equipment.

Good lenses are relatively common these days. Most off the shelf digital cameras have pretty good optics compared with many consumer-grade film cameras of yesteryear.

But, truly great lenses remain hard to find.

This Nikon 35mm is a great lens. Not only is it sharp, lightweight and compact, but it has a distinctive optical quality that is rarely found with modern lenses. In short it has ‘that look.’ (look at the photos).

Pan Am's EDRJ roars upgrade through Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts passing an old Boston PCC streetcar that resides at the Trolley Museum.
Pan Am’s EDRJ roars upgrade through Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts passing an old Boston PCC streetcar that resides at the Trolley Museum. I used to ride these cars on the Riverside Line in the early 1970s.

After exposing my film, I processed it with the aid of a Jobo film processor to my own custom formula.

Basically, I used a twin bath developer of Kodak HC110 with constant agitation at 71 degrees F for 4 minutes, 15 seconds. Stopbath for 30 seconds; twin bath fixer; rinse; permawash; and final wash. Negs were scanned as TIF files using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner at 3200 dpi . Nominal contrast adjustment was necessary with Lightroom.

Undoubtedly, someone will ask, ‘but isn’t that a lot of work?’

Yes, it is.

And, ‘Couldn’t you just convert your digital files to black & white?’

 You could, yes.

And, so I ask, ‘do you have any favorites here?’

With a roar of 645 diesels and a cosmic cloud of exhaust, EDRJ approaches the east portal of the famed Hoosac Tunnel on the morning of June 4, 2016.
With a roar of 645 diesels and a cosmic cloud of exhaust, EDRJ approaches the east portal of the famed Hoosac Tunnel on the morning of June 4, 2016.

North Adams, Massachusetts.
North Adams, Massachusetts.

The trees are taller at Eagle Bridge, but this station looks today much as it has looked for at least three decades. I've feature this in my book; Railway Depots, Stations and Terminals.
The trees are taller at Eagle Bridge, but this station looks today much as it has looked for at least three decades. I’ve feature this in my book; Railway Depots, Stations and Terminals.

Eagle Bridge, New York, the old Boston & Maine station is a relic of former times.
Eagle Bridge, New York, the old Boston & Maine station is a relic of former times.

Railroading gone retro! Hooray!
Railroading gone retro! Hooray! Ilford HP5; f8 1/200th of a second.

Tracking the Light has new material every day.

 

 

Busy Day on Pan Am Southern’s West End—ten new photos.

I’ve said it before, I’ll write it again: If you don’t make the effort, you won’t get any photographs.

Yet, there have been many times where I’ve driven up the valley of the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts and was rewarded with only pleasant weather and fine scenery; not a bad thing, but . . .

On the morning of May 28, 2016, an early start allowed me to catch five trains between East Deerfield Yard and the Hoosac Tunnel.

My familiarity with this railroad and the terrain gave me the insights to act, while some clever driving allowed me to make the most of the opportunities that the railroad provided.

It helped to have fine Spring weather, which aided in creation of some satisfying images.

An empty auto rack train was tied down on the siding between Soapstone and East Portal. I exposed this view using my Lumix LX7 with the HDR setting that combines three images exposed in rapid succession and combines them. HDR infers 'high dynamic range', which is one tool available to digital photographers for working in high-contrast settings.
An empty auto rack train was tied down on the siding between Soapstone and East Portal. I exposed this view using my Lumix LX7 with the HDR setting that combines three images exposed in rapid succession and combines them. HDR infers ‘high dynamic range’, which is one tool available to digital photographers for working in high-contrast situations..

The East Portal of the famed Hoosac Tunnel.
The East Portal of the famed Hoosac Tunnel.

I heard a whistle deep in the valley to the east. Curiously, this was a second empty auto rack train that was overtaking the train I'd photographed earlier. In the lead was Norfolk Southern 6900 which features a modern variation of the Safety cab. Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 at East Portal.
I heard a whistle deep in the valley to the east. Curiously, this was a second empty auto rack train that was overtaking the train I’d photographed earlier. In the lead was Norfolk Southern SD60E 6900 which features a modern variation of the Safety cab. Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 at East Portal.

I exposed this grab shot of NS SD60E 6900 as it roared by, moment before it entered the gloom of the tunnel. I adjusted the contrast in post-processing to make for a more pleasing image. Notice the profile of the locomotive cab.
I exposed this grab shot of NS SD60E 6900 as it roared by, moment before it entered the gloom of the tunnel. I adjusted the contrast in post-processing to make for a more pleasing image. Notice the profile of the locomotive cab. Panasonic LX7 Photo.

An eastward freight approaches East Portal.
An eastward freight approaches East Portal.

Once a week Pan Am runs a unit clay slurry train from the connection with Vermont Rail System at North Bennington/Hoosick Falls to Maine. This often runs with Pan Am locomotives.
Once a week, Pan Am has run a unit clay slurry train from the connection with Vermont Rail System at North Bennington/Hoosick Falls to Portland, Maine (symbol NBPO). This day it was later than usual. (So I’m told).

Pan Am 617 leads the clay slurry train eastward at Charlemont, Massachusetts. Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1.
Pan Am 617 leads the clay slurry train eastward at Charlemont, Massachusetts. Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1.

While waiting for the clay slurry train, I was delighted to catch this westward move, Norfolk Southern symbol 11R that runs from East Deerfield to Enola, Pennsylvania.
While waiting for the clay slurry train at Shelburne Falls, I was delighted to catch this westward move, Norfolk Southern symbol 11R that runs from East Deerfield to Enola, Pennsylvania.

Trailing view of Norfolk Southern DASH9-40C 9258 at Shelburne Falls. (That's the Shelburne Falls trolley museum at the right).
Trailing view of Norfolk Southern DASH9-40C 9258 at Shelburne Falls.

I was looking for long sections of tangent track to best feature the effect of the clay slurry train which carries white tank cars full of clay used in the paper making process. Here I photographed it a Shelburne Falls (Buckland).
I was looking for long sections of tangent track to best feature the effect of the clay slurry train which carries white tank cars full of clay used in the paper making process. Here I photographed it a Shelburne Falls (Buckland). That’s the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum at the right.

Omya_cars_Shelburne_Falls_DSCF8067

Norfolk Southern 11R was held at Buckland. The next siding (Soapstone-East Portal) was occupied by an empty auto rack train. The only eastward freight I'd seen was the once-per-week clay slurry train. 'Do the math' as they say; there must be another eastward freight! So I drove as fast as I could (with in legal parameters) back up to the east portal of the Hoosac Tunnel. I arrived about three minuted before Norfolk Southern 28N (loaded auto racks) exited the mountain. Not bad for one morning's effort! (PS, it isn't always this busy).
Norfolk Southern 11R was held at Buckland. The next siding to the west (Soapstone-East Portal) was occupied by an empty auto rack train. The only eastward freight I’d seen was the once-per-week clay slurry train. ‘Do the math’ as they say; there must be another eastward freight! So I drove as fast as I could (within legal parameters) back up to the east portal of the Hoosac Tunnel. I arrived about three minutes before Norfolk Southern 28N (loaded auto racks) exited the mountain. Not bad for one morning’s effort! (PS, it isn’t always this busy).

Tracking the Light posts every day.

Tracking the Light Extra: Pan Am Executive F’s executed in Black & White.

Here’s another view from productive day last month photographing Pan Am Railway’s Office Car Special in the snow.

I made this view with my Canon EOS-3 on HP5 at Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

It is an old school technique to capture a traditional looking train.

PAR-1 kicks up the snow on the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg line at Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts on the afternoon of February 15, 2016. Exposed on HP5 black & white film, processed with Kodak HC-110 and scanned with an Epson V600 flatbed scanner.
PAR-1 kicks up the snow on the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg line at Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts on the afternoon of February 15, 2016. Exposed on HP5 black & white film, processed with Kodak HC-110 and scanned with an Epson V600 flatbed scanner. This view is full-frame (without cropping or contrast alteration in post-processing)

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Pan Am Railways on the Boston & Albany—February 2016.

In the last few months I’ve been lucky to catch a variety of the more obscure operations on the Pan Am Railways system.

Last week, Mike Gardner and I spent the afternoon around North Adams, Massachusetts.

EDRJ arrived with two locomotives to drop for local freight AD-1.

Pan Am AD-1 is seen on the Boston & Maine mainline at North Adams. Exposed on HP5 using a Canon EOS-3 with 20mm lens.
Pan Am AD-1 is seen on the Boston & Maine mainline at North Adams. Exposed on HP5 using a Canon EOS-3 with 20mm lens.

Boston & Albany on the left, Boston & Maine on the right. Exposed on HP5 using a Canon EOS-3 with 70-000mm lens.
Boston & Albany on the left, Boston & Maine on the right. Exposed on HP5 using a Canon EOS-3 with 70-200mm lens.

Although, we had high hopes of following EDRJ west toward the Hudson River Valley (uttering the now-famous battle cry, ‘To the River!’), Pan Am had other ideas.

History will forgive them.

So instead we followed AD1 down the old Boston & Albany North Adams branch to Zylonite.

Zylonite on the old Boston & Albany, now Pan Am's Adams branch. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
Zylonite on the old Boston & Albany, now Pan Am’s Adams branch. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Who would have thought a high-hood GP40 would be working the old North Adams Branch! This was once the territory of Alco road switchers. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
Who would have thought a high-hood GP40 would be working the old North Adams Branch! This was once the territory of Alco road switchers. Exposed with a Lumix LX7

Pan Am local freight AD-1 on the Adams Branch at Zylonite.
Pan Am local freight AD-1 on the Adams Branch at Zylonite. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1.

Looking north toward North Adams.
Looking north toward North Adams.

Former Canadian National Railways GP40-2L wears a nice shade of blue. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
Former Canadian National Railways GP40-2L wears a nice shade of blue. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

I was familiar with the run, since my father and I traveled over it back in October on the Berkshire Scenic RDC (see: Berkshire Scenic’s Hoosac Valley—A Dozen Photos!)

After a taste of this surviving segment of B&A’s extension to North Adams, we followed the abandoned vestige of the line that runs southward to Pittsfield, then made the most of the late afternoon on the former B&A mainline!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Drama Along the Deerfield River; Gone Retro—February 18, 2016.

At this exact location thirty years ago, I made a dramatic black & white view of a westward Guilford freight on the Boston & Maine.

Thursday, February 18, 2016, I stood in my own footprints, and recreated the drama.

Photographer Mike Gardner and I were on one of our railroad photo quests.

Pan Am Railway’s freight EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction) was working upgrade along the Deerfield River toward the Hoosac Tunnel.

While I made some digital images, I also exposed several photos on Ilford HP5 using my Canon EOS3 fitted with a 20mm superwide angle lens.

Some writers have come to call this ‘analog photography’. Let’s use the word film: I made the photo on black & white film.

When I returned home, I brought the film into the darkroom and I processed it using chemicals (as you do).

I’ve detailed my secret recipe for black & white in the Tracking the Light post titled: Black & White revisited; Old Tech for a New Era part 2—Secrets Revealed! (http://wp.me/p2BVuC-4o) please click the link to see the post.

For this roll of film I made some minor adjustments to the basic formula.

The goal of my special process is to allow for a black & white negative that when scanned provides optimum tonality and contrast without the need for post processing adjustments.

This is significant for two reasons: 1) I’ve maximized the film’s tonality, thus allowing to capture the most amount of information. 2) I’ve minimized the amount of time I need to spend adjusting individual images.

Exposed on February 18, 2016 with Ilford HP5 black & white film. Processed in Kodak HC-110 1:32 for 5 minutes at 68 degrees F, three bath fixer, and then selenium 1:9 for five minutes; rinse and dry. Scanned digitally using a Epson V600. No post processing contrast or exposure adjustments. Original exposure was f16 1/500th of a second with 20mm lens.
Exposed on February 18, 2016 with Ilford HP5 black & white film. Processed in Kodak HC-110 1:32 for 5 minutes at 68 degrees F, three bath fixer, and then selenium 1:9 for five minutes; rinse and dry. Scanned digitally using a Epson V600. No post processing contrast or exposure adjustments. Original exposure was f16 1/500th of a second with 20mm lens.

With this photo, I scanned the original negative, and then scaled it in Lightroom while applying my water mark. I did not make adjustments to exposure, contrast, or similar. This is in essence and unmodified scan.

Here I’ve intentionally selected a very contrasty scene. This demonstrates the success of the process and makes for a dramatic photograph of modern railroading.

By using HP5, which is rated by Ilford at 400 ISO, I’ve intentionally selected a comparatively grainy film. This adds texture and grittiness to the image. I  wonder how it will appear on your screen? On mine it is exceptionally sharp with broad tonal range.

What do you think?

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