Tag Archives: photography

A Different Lancaster

8:50 am, October 3, 1987.

I was following the old Erie Railroad toward Buffalo and overtook a freight that had stopped a red signal.

This was Conrail’s OIBU and the location was East Lancaster, New York. I made a single Kodachrome 25 slide with my Leica M2 fitted with a 200mm Leitz Telyt lens mounted via a Visoflex and positioned on a tripod. My exposure was f4 at 1/15th of a second.

Not long after the slide came back from processing, I labled it. However at some point there after, I deemed this image unworthy and tucked it back into one of the many Kodak yellow slide boxes labled ‘2nds,’ where it resided for the last 36+ years in my parents attic.

I scanned it the other day, then imported the scan into Lightroom to correct for level, exposure and excessive cyan tint. The photograph has aged well! However the pole to the immediate left of the locomotive cab has always annoyed me.

Scan prior to post processeing adjustment
Same scan as at the top, but with my first round of corrections.
Scan following my final corrections.

Middle Division Revisited

One of my first acquaintances with the east end former PRR Middle Division was Easter weekend 1988. I met my old pal TSH in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, having driven south from Rochester, NY where I was studying Photographic Illustration at RIT.

On that trip, I exposed Kodachrome of Conrail trains at Duncannon, Thompsontown, Mifflin and Lewistown. We missed the sweeping curve at Mexico.

It wasn’t until explorations in this area a decade later with photographer Mike Gardner that I first made photos from Underpass Road in Mexico, Pa. (If there was an underpass here, there is no visible evidence of it today).

Last weekend, Kris, Seamus-the-Dog and I revisited this prime photo location on Norfolk Southern’s Pittsburgh Line where the grand sweep of the track in a bucolic setting with the Tuscarora Ridge in the background makes for a favorite place to watch trains.

We didn’t have to wait long before the distant sound of rolling thunder announced the approach of a westward freight.

It was the first of several train that we caught here.

Kris noted that I looked extra happy here.

There’s more to come!

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Railroad Avenue

In the June 2024 Trains Magazine, photographer Eric Williams has an intriguing photo essay on ‘Railroad Streets.’

Following this theme, last week, I made these photos on South Railroad Avenue in New Holland, Pennsylvania.

Road traffic is light in the early evening, which made for a good time for New Holland vignettes. Unfortunately, catching a train here has proved elusive for me. I’ve seen Norfolk Southern’s local working this end of the branch a few times, but thus far I’ve not had the opportunity to picture it on the crossing.

Nikkor Z-series 70-200mm zoom set to 200mm
Nikkor Z-series 70-200mm zoom set to 175mm

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Pushing the Envelope: Position Light at Dusk

I drive by this signal almost daily.

It’s not an easy item to represent photographically.

In light of midday, the lights are nearly lost in the inky ring.

At dusk, the lights standout, but they are are easily overexposed which has the unintended effect of desaturating the light color.

A more complicated problem is stopping a fast moving train when the light is optimal for catching the signal lights at their correct density and hue.

Focus is another issue. In this situation, I was working with an f2.8 70-200mm zoom wide open (f2.8). I set my shutter speed manually to 1/640th of a second. According to the camera meter this resulted in about 2/3s stop (-0.7) under exposure. ISO was set to 5000. My focus point was on plane with the signal. The signal and near track are sharp, but the train suffers both from motion blur and being slightly out of focus.

Not a lot of options to do better. But, I’ll keep trying.

Amtrak Keystone train 620 eastbound near Greenfield in Lancaster, PA. Westward signal 64.5 displaying ‘approach’ with amber lights.
Amtrak Keystone train 620 eastbound near Greenfield in Lancaster, PA. Westward signal 64.5 displaying ‘approach’.

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One Wonderful Lens

My AF Nikkor 35mm f2.0/D had resided in Ireland since 2018. After years without this amazing piece of glass, it has rejoined my roster.

Using an FTZ adaptor, I am able to use this lens on my Z-series mirrorless digital cameras. Until now I had only used this lens for traditional, analog photography. This had been among my favorite lenses for black & white.

I was curious to see how it would perform in the digital realm.

Poised at the Esbenshade Road crossing, I exposed this photo of Strasburg Rail Road 475 on its return run from Leaman Place.

Below are two versions. The top is a scaled version of the NEF RAW file without modification or adjustments.

The center is my interpretation of the NEF file with local and global adjustments to contrast, exposure, color temperature and saturation.

The last photo is an extreme enlargement of the unmodified file showing the headlight to demonstrate the resolution of the lens.

Nikon Z6 with Aan F Nikkor 35mm f2.0/D attached with an FTZ adaptor. Exposure: f3.5 1/500, ISO 200. No adjustments.
Adjusted NEF RAW file.

So, what worked with black & white film, also works with digital!

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SP SD45 on the Siskiyou Line—34 years ago!

On May 5, 1990, I spent the morning following Southern Pacific’s timetable westward MERV-M (Medford, Oregon to Roseville-Manifest) on the sinuous and steeply graded Siskiyou Line. This was led by SP SD45E 7504, which retained its 3,600 hp 20-645E3 diesel engine.

I made this photo at Ager (railroad timetable west of Hornbrook, California) on the run toward Black Butte. At the time SP was operating 7,500 ton trains on this amazing stretch of railroad.

Exposed on Kodachrome 25 using a Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron about 9:25am.

I made dozens of photos on that beautiful May morning. Most remain unlabled, although I have all my notes from that day. I was delighted to have an SP unit with its oscillating lights in the lead. Since at that time SP was actively removing the oscillating lights from its locomotives.

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Rolling Freight by Harris Tower

Among the attractions of the historic former Pennsylvania Railroad Harris Tower in Harrisburg is the continual parade of Norfolk Southern freights.

While this is a good venue for watching trains, it is a visually challenging place to picture them because of the array of urban clutter around the Harrisburg, Pa station,

The combination of wires and cables with an urban background results in some difficult photo choices. I’ve found one of the best ways to picture trains in this type of setting is to pan from a broad-side angle using a slow shutter speed .

I made these images using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70 and 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom lenses.

Nikon Z7-II with Nikkon 70-200mm set; 90mm, f13, 1/50th second, ISO 100

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Peace Road, Leola

On an afternoon drive, Kris and I traversed Peace Road in Leola, Pennsylvania, where I spotted this iconic scene.

The next evening was bright and clear and so we returned, and this time I brought my Nikon Z7-II with 70-200mm telephoto to frame up this photo.

I was inspired by a similar black & white image that photographer David Plowden made decades ago, so I composed several of the angles using the camera’s ‘Carbon’ profile.

The Carbon profile created an in-camera high-contrast, full-tonality monochrome Jpg, which I then imported into Adobe Lightroom for final adjustment.

I posted a version of this image to my Facebook page a few days ago and it received considerable interest, so I thought it warranted attention on Tracking the Light.

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Pink Tree-Part Three

I made another attempt a scoring a westward Amtrak Keystone passing a blossoming tree on Jefferson Drive in Lancaster, PA.

In my first attempt at this location, my efforts were foiled by a passing pickup truck that altered my composition and confused the Nikon’s autofocusing system. See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/amtrak-pink-tree-blossoms-fail/

I did much better with my second effort, which featured Norfolk Southern’s local freight on the New Holland Branch (which is adjacent to Amtrak’s electrified line). See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/flowering-tree-part-2-crescent-cab/

For this third effort, I reduced the size of my autofocus point and relocated it so it would not be affected by road traffic.

I also adjusted the zoom outward to provide a wider angle of view.

Although a car snuck into the photo at the last moment, at least the camera remained focused on Amtrak. This was more successful than my first attempt, but not as pleasing as my second effort. Time was running out for the pink blossoms, but I wasn’t done with this project yet!

Harris Tower & Museum

Part II of my Harrisburg tour included a visit to the former PRR Harris Tower that has been beautifully preserved by the NRHS.

Although this no longer serves to control train movements through the plant at the Harrisburg Station, the levers, interlocking bed and related equipment of the tower’s Model 14 Union Switch & Signal interlocking machine are maintained in working order.

A computer controlled simulation of trains, allows for a demonstration of how the tower worked, complete with illuminated indicator lights on the model board, and bells signaling ‘trains’ entering the plant.

Every so often a Norfolk Southern freight would roll by the tower for added interest.

I made this selection of images using Nikon Z7-II.

Special thanks to Dan Cupper for organizing my visit and to Jim Nowotarski and Brad of the NRHS for detailed explanations of the history and a working demonstration of the interlocking.

The tower is open for public visits seasonally on Saturdays. See: https://www.harrisburgnrhs.org/visit

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Flowering Tree-Part 2; Crescent Cab

I’ll run out of intriguing titles before I get to the end of this thread.

Last week, following my compositionally challenged, autofocus mishap with the flowering tree photos, I had a second opportunity to work the pink tree into some railroad photos.

This time, I used it as a prop for some morning images of Norfolk Southern’s New Holland local approaching Jefferson Drive in Lancaster. I’d featured the reflecting pond here in an earlier post.

Bright morning sun made for nice lighting. I was impressed by the leading locomotive, which was one of Norfolk Southern’s 6900 series SD60Es featuring the so-called ‘Crescent Cab’ (the railroad’s blunt-nose variation of the safety-cab).

I was delighted to catch the local freight here, but was still hoping to work one of these colorful trees into a photo of an Amtrak Keystone, so I knew I had to try again. Although it isn’t obvious in these photos, Amtrak’s former PRR electrified line to Harrisburg passes immediately to the left of the flowering tree.

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Great Northern Railway 131 at Connolly

After dozens of visits to Ireland over a span of 26 years, I finally witnessed former Great Northern Railway 4-4-0 number 131 under steam on 24 March 2024.

This also was a reunion with many of my old friends at the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI), Irish Rail and Irish Railway Record Society. And, it was Kris’s first trip behind steam in Ireland!

Many memorable photos were exposed that day!

I made these images at Dublin’s Connolly Station using my Nikon Z7-II.

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Riding the Bangor Line on Cloudy Day

We thought about traveling to Derry, but it was a dreary day and we had evening plans, so instead I suggested we take the train toward Bangor.

And, no, we were not in Maine!

So, Kris and I traveled from Belfast Great Victoria Street Station aboard an NI Railways train, and got off the train at Cultra to visit the Ulster Transportation Museum.

The museum has some of the finest preserved railway exhibits in Ireland, (and these will be the subjects of a future post.)

Overcast lighting makes atmospheric images at Cultra easier than on a bright sunny day. Oh, wait, have I ever visited Cultra on a bright sunny day??!

I made these images near the NI Railways station at Cultra using my Lumix LX7 and Nikon Z7-II digital cameras.

Lumix LX-7.
The old railway station building at Cultra makes for a nice prop, but the building is no longer serves the railway and has no modern affiliation with NI Railways nor any connection to the trains that stop here.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom.

How I photographed yesterday’s Eclipse

Yesterday was a working day for me, so I didn’t have time to drive hours to reach the path of totality.

I didn’t buy any fancy special equipment. I didn’t use any external filters. I didn’t use a tripod. I didn’t have special glasses. I also didn’t look directly into the sun, and so I didn’t damage my vision. Conditions were partially cloudy, which I found greatly aided my photography and made for more dramatic images.

The following photos of the solar eclipse were made on our back patio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania using my Nikon Z7-II mirrorless digital camera fitted with a standard f2.8 70-200mm Z-series zoom lens. This is the same equipment that I regularly use to photograph trains and other terrestrial subjects.

The Z7-II has a flexible/adjustable rear diplay screen that allowed me to point the camera skyward while looking away from the sun. I set the focus manually to infinity (confirmed by the digital readout on my lens). Likewise, I manually set the ISO rating to the lowest possible setting (‘Low 1.0’) which effectively provides an ISO rating of 40, and set the exposure (shutter and aperature) manually.

By exposing a series of test photos, I determined the optimal aperature/shutter speed combination to preserve the eclipse digitally. I’ve included this data in the caption below each image. I tried a few exposures at both ISO 64 and then ISO 40 at f22 1/8000th of a second, and ultimately settled on between f10 and f22 at either 1/2000th or 1/4000th of a second.

Just for frame of reference; f22 at 1/4000th of a second at ISO 40 is about 8 and 1/2 stops down (darker) than my standard daylight exposure for photographing trains in full sunlight.

After making several rounds of celestial exposures, I’d download the card to my Apple laptop to inspect the images before making additional images.

Using Adobe Lightroom, I scaled photographs from 51.4MB NEF RAW files to manageable sized JPGs to display via the internet. I made no corrections/alterations to color, constast, exposure etc.

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NI Railways—Vistas from Downhill Demesne.

The weather was rapidly changing when we walked across the grassy plateau of the Downhill Demesne located west of Castlerock, Northern Ireland.

Although it was bright and sunny, we could see dark clouds over the Foyle estuary to the west.

NI Railways operates an hourly service between Belfast and Derry, and one of our objectives was to capture views of these trains running along the coast. For my money, some of the finest views of trains in Ireland can be made from this plateau. The fee is putting up with the weather.

We timed our arrival well. A Derry bound train passed just a few minutes after we found a suitable overlook. Minutes later dark clouds obscured the sun, the wind kicked up and soon we were pelted with hail and soaked with icy rain. Before the eastward train to Belfast came into view the sky started to clear.

This pattern repeated itself about an hour later. Such is the price of getting great scenic photos of NI Railways!

Nikon Z7-II photo from the Downhill Demesne.
Trailing view: Lumix LX7 photo of a Derry bound NI Railways train from the Downhill Demesne. You can see the rain coming!

Tuesday evening (April 9, 2024), I am presenting a program on our recent travels in Ireland and the UK to the Harrisburg Chapter NRHS. My program is scheduled to begin about 6:30pm at: Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, 61 Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.


The Elusive Timber Train

Irish rail freight is comparatively scarce today compared to my visits years ago.

While visiting county Mayo, I’d hoped to catch one of the several freights that still routinely grace the rails there.

On the advice of an old friend at Irish Rail, Kris and I paid our second visit to Manulla Junction on a rainy Monday March morning. After passage of the morning Dublin-Westport passenger train, we caught the once-per-week Ballina-Waterford timber train led by class 071 locomotive number 074.

I exposed these photos of the train as it squealed through the junction. It was like old times again! The sound of the turbocharged 12-645 roaring away brought me back many years.

Nikon Z7-II with 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom.

Vestiges of a Railway Long Gone

Clifden is located on the western periphery of County Galway. Between 1895 and 1935, it was served by a lightly traveled branch of the old Midland Great Western route.

In mid-March, we stayed at the Clifden Station House Hotel. The hotel included the Signal Bar & Restaurant, located across the carpark in the old Clifden Railway Station. This was decorated with antique signaling equipment, photographs and vintage railway advertising posters.

Interestingly, on my first visit to Clifden in 1998, I interviewed the railway gate keepers who lived in a railway cottage near the station. This elderly couple had closed the gate after the passage of the last train in 1935.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX-series cameras.

The Signal Bar & Restaurant is an adaptive reuse of the old Midland Great Western Railway station in Clifden, Co. Galway.
It has been 89 years since the last train served this station. Today, it is a popular railway themed bar and restaurant. We enjoyed live music performed here.
An old distant signal fits the pub’s railway signal theme. This semaphore can only display yellow or green.
How many visitors will recognize this antique Harpers Block Instrument? I remember when these relics of the telegraphy era were still in use in Waterford and elsewhere on Irish railways.

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2006 & 2024-Changes at Manulla Junction

Irish Rail’s station at Manulla Junction exists to serve as a remote transfer point for passengers to/from the Ballina Branch.

Passengers are afforded a cross-platform connection between Dublin-Westport trains and the Ballina Branch local. There is no sanctioned public access from nearby roads.

In 2006, Dublin-Westport services were typically provided by Class-201 hauled Mark III sets,; while the branch saw antique GM diesels hauling steam heated Cravens carriages.

In 2008, Irish Rail completed the re-signaling of its Mayo lines, which eliminated the Manulla Junction cabin and resulted in a re-alignment of trackage and the connection with the Ballina Branch.

Today, Hyundai-Rotem built ICRs work through trains to Westport, while pairs of 2800-series railcars provide the connection with Ballina.

At left: Irish Rail’s Dublin-Westport train consisting of Mark 3 carriages; at right, an 071 leads a steam heated Cravens set for Ballina. Exposed on Fujichrome on 2 May 2006. At this time the junction with the Ballina Branch was via a switch locate east of the platform.

Westport, Co. Mayo-Then and Now.

Westport, Co. Mayo is at the western periphery of the Irish Rail network. I made my first visit to Westport station in February 1998. Over the years, I’ve called in to make photographs on many occasions.

On our visit to Westport earlier this month, we made a brief visit to the old station where I found an Irish Rail ICR waiting to head up to Dublin.

I’ve included a couple vintage photos of Westport station along with views from 14 March 2024.

Irish Rail class 201 number 216 at Westport, Co. Mayo on 23 February 1998. Exposed on Fuji Provia100 (RDP II) using a Nikon F3T with 50mm lens.
Irish Rail empty timber arriving at Westport on 10 June 2006. In 2024, Irish Rail still loads a weekly timber train at Westport.
Lumix LX7 photo at Westport on 14 March 2024.
The antique post box at Westport is a functional relic from another era. 14 March 2024, exposed with a Lumix LX7.
Lumix LX7 photo at Westport on 14 March 2024.

Greenfields, an Old Castle and a Passenger Train.

I could have titled this post as “Railcar passes Milepost 47 1/4”.

Years ago, when Irish Rail was rebuilding its line between Athenry and Ennis, I’d scoped this location in County Galway south of Ardrahan, near Labane. At the time antique General Motors diesels (classes 141/181) were being used for per-way trains carrying rail, sleepers and ballast.

During our explorations in the west of Ireland earlier this month, Kris and I re-visted the bridge at MP 47 1/4 in order to photograph a revenue train passing the old castle. We were pleased to find that the hedgerows had been recently trimmed.

I made this sequence using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom. In post processing, I made some minor adjustments to enhance sky detail and provide more pleasing contrast.

Irish Rail to Mallow-Nine New Photos.

Earlier this month we traveled by train from Killarney to Mallow.

While I’ve made many rail journeys through Mallow over the years, more often than not this was just a place to change trains.

This trip we traveled specifically to Mallow. Kris wanted to visit Crystal Earth in the village, where she bought some decorative stones. We also enjoyed lunch and a coffee and caught up with friends at Irish Rail who gave us a driving tour of the town and of the railway station.

An unseasonable snowfall in the Dublin area had resulted in delays to InterCity trains to Cork and Kerry. As as result there was a parade of trains in the evening. While we waited for our return to Killarney to depart, I made a variety of photos of the passing trains.

Kris enjoyed the lush views of County Kerry as we traveled from Killarney toward Mallow aboard an Irish Rail ICR.
Mural at the Irish Rail station in Mallow, Co. Cork.
Irish Rail InterCity Railcar at Mallow.
Kent Station to Mallow suburban train arriving at Mallow. The 2600-series railcars are 30 years old this year.
Late-running Dublin-Cork train arriving at Mallow.
A second Dublin-Cork train approaching Mallow just a few minutes later.
Locomotive 234 is the highest numbered of the 201-class General Motors diesels.

A Short Trip on a ‘Really Old Train’

Earlier this month, while visiting Killarney, Co. Kerry, we stayed at the Great Southern Hotel, a grand old railway hotel across from Irish Rail’s station.

Years ago, I traveled from Killarney aboard Irish Rail’s Cravens carriages. These rolling antiques were heated with steam that wafted alongside the train as it sat in the station.

On our recent visit, Kris and I decided to take a short spin out the line to Tralee and bought day return tickets, which we used to travel on the evening train. As the train approached Killarney, a young man on the platform, who was speaking with a friend on his mobile phone, exclaimed ‘Like, there’s this really old train. One of the square ones.’

With visions of the Cravens in my head, initially I had difficulty understanding what this fellow was describing. As the 2600-series railcars rolled into Killarney, it occured to me that these were now antiques that had been on the move for thirty years!

In 1982, I would have viewed sets of Budd-RDCs built in the early 1950s as ‘old trains,’ and those cars were just as old to me, as Irish Rail’s 2600s were to the young man at Killarney.

So Kris and I Traveled out and back on the old 2600s. Not quite the experience of traveling on Cravens, but we still enjoyed our trip!

Old 2600s at Killarney.

Photos exposed using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series Zoom.

Night photography in Cork City.

Working with my Nikon NZ-II mounted on a compact Gitzo tripod, I made a variety of photos around Cork City.

The tripod allowed me use a lower ISO, which required a slower shutter speed but captures a greater amount of data with minimal loss.

Working with Lightroom, I adjusted shadows and highlights to reduce contrast and make for better balanced images despite the prevailing darkness punctuated by harsh artificial light.

Bridge over the River Lee.
Kent Station, Cork.

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Cobh Junction—Glounthaune, Cork.

Over the years I’ve made numerous visits to Irish Rail’s Glounthaune station in County Cork. But only rarely, I have I made night photos here.

This was one of several photos exposed on the down platform using my Nikon Z7-II mounted on my old mini-Gitzo tripod during our brief visit to Glounthaune a couple of weeks ago.

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High ISO at Woodhill, Cork.

During our week-long visit to County Cork, we took many photos and became re-acquainted with the area’s railways.

I made these views at Woodhill on the Cobh Branch of Irish Rail’s 830pm train from Cobh to Kent Station. To minimize the motion of the passing train, I set the ISO on my Nikon Z7-II to 25600.

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Charing Cross Vignettes

We spent nearly a week at the Clermont Hotel that is physically part of London’s historic Charing Cross Station.

In our wanders around the neighborhood, I made these photos of the railway station and its environs.

Photos were exposed digitally using my Nikon and Lumix cameras.

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Paddington Station at Dusk

London’s Paddington Station offers the extreme contrast of very modern trains in a Victorian setting.

I highlighted Paddington Station in my book Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, published by Kalmbach Media in 2018:

Kris and I paid several visits to this grand theatre of British Railways during our February 2024 trip. The most visually impressive was on the return from Oxford on a Saturday evening, when the blue glow of dusk fascilitated added charm. Recent restorations of the train shed included some stunning lighting of the iron work, which is made most impressive during the transition from day to night.

I made these photos with my Nikon Z7-II.

Circle/District Line at Embankment

At peak times, London Underground trains on the Circle/District Line run about every two minutes. We were waiting for an anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise) Circle Line train.

With a roar and a blast of musty air trains entered the station.

Using my Lumix LX7, I made these photos at Embankment in the heart of central London. One of the benefits of working with digital photography in the Underground is the ablity to get good white balance.

DART at Connolly Station

Dublin Area Rapid Transit is an electrified suburban service focused on Dublin’s Connolly Station. This shares routes with diesel powered trains and provides a regular interval passenger service.

The oldest of its cars are the German built 8100, 8300 series units that date to beginning of the service in the early 1980s. I first photographed the DART in 1998.

I made these photos on Satruday using a Lumix LX3. Kris and I were on our way to Malahide, which is the northern extremity of the DART service.

Following its recent re-introduction to my camera arsenal, I’m continuing to experiment with a Lumix LX3, after nearly a decade since my original LX3 failed following more than 65,000 exposures. The LX3 was my first digital camera.

Central Vermont Alco RS-11

Forty-two years ago I regularly listened to the radio program Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy adapted from the books by Douglas Adams and presented by BBC.

My father had bought a Grundig portable radio that received shortwave among other frequencies. In the wee-hours, this allowed me to tune in this exotic program from across the pond.

One of the themes of Hitchhikers was the number 42, which was the answer to the ultimate question of the Life, the universe, and everything.

During this same time, I took a photography class at the Wilbraham & Monson Academy taught by Mark Bistline. Among other things, Mark introduced me to Ilford HP5 black & white film. Until that time, I’d largely only used Kodak films.

My father drove me to the Central Vermont Railway yard in Palmer, Massachusetts. I exposed my roll of HP5 with my Leica 3A rangefinder, making a series of images of CV’s Alco RS-11 number #3614 that was idling there.

I also made a recording of the locomotive. I don’t know what became of the recording, but the HP5 negatives still remain in my collection 42 years later.

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Twilight Glow at Reinholds

A week ago and a world away, wintery dusk settled over Reinholds Station, Pennsylvania.

The blue hour was golden.

Next to the old Reading station rested former New York, Susquehanna & Western GP18 1802.

This quaint setting is rare in 21st century railroading and befitting of a model railroad.

Photos were made with a Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm mounted on a Bogen tripod to allow for long exposure. NEF RAW files adjusted using Adobe Lightroom.

Energy Train on Chrome

For my birthday, my father had given me a roll of Fujichrome Provia 100F.

More than 40 years earlier, he would often provide a roll of Kodachrome (with Kodak mailer) on my special day. I still have many of those slides in my collection, most of subjects long since gone.

While visiting Cape Cod, I finished the Ektachrome that had been in my Nikon for months and loaded up the lone roll of Fujichrome Provia.

Among the film photos I made on the trip was this view of Mass-Coastal’s ‘Energy Train’ passing the harbor at Buzzards Bay on its return from Rochester, Massachusetts.

I received this processed film back from the lab last week. I was delighted! Almost every color slide was a winner!

Yard Office at Pittston

Back on November 17, 2023, Kris and I had paused at Reading & Northern’s Pittston Junction yard.

It had been months since the last time I exposed a color slide.

I had my Nikon F3 with me because we were on our way to Cape Cod, and I anticipated wanting to make a few slides of our trip.

So after making a variety of photos with my digital cameras, I dusted off the F3 and made two Ektachrome slides of Reading & Northern 2535, in what appeared as a classic railroad scene.

Why just two slides? Well, this was because after I exposed the second photo the battery in the camera died. That is one of the dangers of infrequent camera use.

When we final got to the Cape, I replaced the battery and finished off my roll of film.

Exposed on Kodak Ektachrome 100 using a Nikon F3 with 35-70mm Nikkor zoom. Slide scanned using a Nikon LS5000 slide scanner.