In my younger days, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the Montreal Locomotive Works M-420s. I viewed them as ugly derivations of my favorite Alco RS-11s and C-420s.
That irrational bias never prevented me from photographing the M-420s at work. Since both Central Vermont and Providence & Worcester operated M-420s, they seemed common enough to me when I was photographing in southern New England in the 1980s.
I found this P&W M-420 getting ready for a day’s work near the diamond crossing at Plainfield, Connecticut in June 1986.
I exposed this view on Kodak black & white 120 size film using my father’s Rollei model T.
Yesterday (December 23, 2016) dawned clear and bright. Everything fell into place nicely, and without too much effort on my part, I made some nice photos of a New England Central (NECR) empty ethanol extra rolling through Monson.
Lately it seems that the elusive loaded ethanol trains tend to reach Stateline Hill in darkness. Over the last few weeks I’ve heard a number of these heavy trains laboring up the grade.
So, I was happy to catch this move. Not only was it the longest train I’ve photographed on the NECR in Monson, but it was my first time catching Providence & Worcester’s relatively new SD70M-2s.
Now that P&W and New England Central are both part of the Genesee & Wyoming family, perhaps these big locomotives will make more frequent appearances on the NECR line over Stateline Hill.
The old Boston, Barre & Gardner Railroad was a 19th century line that ran from Worcester, Massachusetts to Peterboro, New Hampshire.
Today, the bottom portion of the line serves Providence & Worcester’s through connection with Pan Am Railways at Gardner.
Last fall I explored this line between Holden and Gardner looking for locations.
On Thursday, February 11, 2016, Mike Gardner and I arrived at Gardner in time to find Pan Am’s ED-8 making a drop for the P&W. Earlier, another train, probably symbol 28N had dropped autoracks, so the yard was nearly full of cars.
Based on past experience, I quickly surmised that the P&W hadn’t arrived from Worcester yet. So after a quick lunch, we started working our way south against the train.
North of Princeton, Massachusetts there are several grade crossing with nicely curving track. The snow covered ground made for Christmas card scene.
Mike and I didn’t have to wait long before P&W’s symbol freight WOGR (Worcester to Gardner) came charging northward. We were impressed by the length of the train. One unit was at the head-end with a second locomotive at the back of the train.
Southbound the train was even more impressive, but it required about 3 hours of switching to put it all together.