Tag Archives: #rail freight

‘Strasburg Freight’ Rhymes with ‘SW8’

Strasburg Rail Road operates its freight on weekdays between the East Strasburg Station and the Norfolk Southern interchange at Leaman Place Junction (pronounced like ‘lemon’), in Paradise, Pennsylvania.

My friend Dan Cupper featured Strasburg’s freight operations in the October 2023 Trains Magazine in his article titled ‘The Strasburg Rail Road You Don’t Know.’

He tells the history and inside story in this well written and illustrated feature.

Most of the time I’ve photographed Strasburg’s freight has been by dumb luck. On this occasion, I paused at Black Horse Road to roll by a steam excursion, when I heard the bark of a diesel horn approaching Cherry Hill Road crossing.

On this afternoon, the freight led by SW8 8618, was working ahead of the passenger train , so I walked down the hill from the Black Horse Road crossing and made these photos using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Meet near Cove, PA.

A slow moving westward Norfolk Southern freight had crossed the former Pennsylvania Railroad Rockville Bridge in the evening light. After Kris and I made our images of the train on great span, we motored west on Highway 15 to catch it again.

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

A few miles west of Marysville, near Cove, PA, we spotted a stopped eastward train, and set up up to catch the two trains passing in the evening light.

Imagine if it were 1953, and these were trains led by Pennsylvania’s impressive M1 4-8-2 Mountains types.

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

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

CD Cargo—5 Years Ago!

On the afternoon of 15 October 2016, I was poised with my FujiFilm XT1 to capture this westward CD Cargo freight on the roll at Zebreh, Czech Republic.

Fresh blue and gray paint on an antique electric locomotive made for an interesting subject.

Czech mainlines are extremely busy. Zebreh is located on the heavily traveled east-west trunk line that runs east from Prague to Olomouc and beyond. Every few minutes a train passes, including a variety of freights and open access passenger operators.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!


Poceirao, Portugal; April 2014:

This image of a Portuguese Railways container train under a clear and cloudless sky exhibits the soft color palate of my Canon EOS 7D.

The locomotive pictured is a Siemens electric related to the Taurus and Vectron types in use across Europe.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Red Electric

In October 2016, Denis McCabe and I visited the Czech Republic seeking rail freight on the move.

The weather wasn’t brilliant, but we sure saw a lot of trains and a great variety of rail-operators and different types of locomotives.

One morning at Grygov, near Olomouc, we set up on the busy east-west electrified Czech mainline, and caught a procession of trains, including this RM Line Class 121 electric leading an eastward grain train.

Although the day was dull, the bright paint on the locomotive helped make for an interesting and compelling photograph.

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1.

Against the Sun at Millers

After photographing Pan Am Southern’s eastward ED8 passing searchlight signals at Lake Pleasant (See Monday’s Post), the chase was on!

Kris Sabbatino and I rolled eastward after the 106 car freight as it ascended the grade up the valley of the Millers River.

At Millers Falls, Massachusetts, we paused at the overhead bridge near the center of town that spans both former Boston & Maine and Central Vermont lines (now operated by Pan Am Southern and New England Central respectively) for a dramatic photo looking into the the afternoon sun.

Working with my Nikon Z6, I made a sequence of coming and going photos as the train roared by.

Later, I adjusted exposure, contrast and color using Adobe Lightroom to make for more pleasing images.

We continued after the train making more photos along the way!

ED8 rolls through Millers Falls, Massachusetts on Saturday March 6, 2021.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Crossrail Along the Rhein

On the evening of September 13, 2013, I made this digital photograph of a southward Crossrail intermodal freight working the right bank of the Rhein near Kamp-Bornhofen. The train is powered by a Bombardier TRAXX electric locomotive, among the most common types of modern motive power working German rails. 

The sinuous Rhein Valley offers countless views of the electrified mainlines on both sides of the river. This view was made from the left bank of the river south of Boppard, where I aimed across the water to capture the fading window of sun that lit the tracks later than other nearby locations.

I was traveling with photographer Denis McCabe on a weeklong trip in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, on which I exposed hundreds of digital and film photos of trains on the move (among other subjects).

Canon EOS-7 fitted with 18-135mm Canon zoom set at 117mm, camera-JPG scaled in Adobe Lightroom.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday — (even during electrical ‘outrages’ or ‘outages’).

CUrious Cement Cars-7 new photos!

In the title, I’m using curious as adjective to mean ‘unusual’ for alliterative effect.

Saturday, September 19, 2020, Kris Sabbatino and I briefly visited Rockland, Maine.

Years ago I’d photographed the short freight turn that brings cement from the Dragon cement works in Thomaston to a rail-barge transload on the Rockland waterfront.

I was curious if this operation was still running, so after a visit to inspect the Rockland roundhouse (still standing, still housing a locomotive), we followed the short branch that meanders through the neighborhoods down to the water.

Here we found a selection of the unusual pressurized cement cars used in the cement circuit. The wheels were shiny, so I we concluded the service still operates. Perhaps one of these days we’ll return to catch it on the move again.

I exposed these photos using my FujiFilm XT1.

Walong, California July 30, 2016.

On this day four years ago, I re-visited the former Southern Pacific crossing the Tehachapi mountains.

At Walong, popularly described as the ‘Tehachapi Loop’—where in the 1870s SP’s chief engineer William Hood applied this spiral arrangement to gain elevation while maintaining a steady gradient—I photographed this BNSF eastward intermodal train. (train direction is by timetable, not the compass.)

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with an 18-135mm Fujinon zoom, I made this photograph with the lens set to 21.6mm in order to take in most of the helical track arrangement. Exposure was f8 at 1/500 of a second at 200 ISO.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

TRAXX at Lorch, Germany

DB (German Railways) class 185 electrics are members of Bombradier’s TRAXX Family of locomotives.

These are a common type for freight service.

Last September, I made this view of a Class 185 leading a southward tank train rolling along the Rhein near Lorch at Im  Bachergrund using my FujiFilm XT1.

Autumn sun was softened by thin high clouds that made for almost ideal lighting.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.