Tag Archives: rail freight

CSX Q263 at Palmer, Massachusetts.

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I have a zillion photographs in Palmer, Massachusetts.

‘Zillion’ inferring an undetermined non-specific large quantity.

So why chase CSX’s Q263 down the Valley?

Silly question!

We arrived at the site of the old Boston & Albany freight house at the west end of Palmer yard just in time to catch Q263 (empty autorack train from East Brookfield) passing Mass-Central’s local freight.

I made these views with my Lumix LX7.

Irish Rail 129 Leads the Friday Norfolk Liner at Kildare.


May Friday Freight.

Years ago among the treats of Friday freight operations in Ireland were the extra moves. One of my favorites was Friday’s Dublin-Waterford Norfolk liner, which tended to get unusual locomotives and operated down-road midday.

On this day, the train had been held in Kildare during a spell of bright sunshine, but when it finally got the signal to proceed down-road clouds dimmed the scene.

Working with a Nikon N90s and a borrowed 300mm lens I exposed this Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO) slide of Irish Rail 129 leading the Norfolk liner through the crossovers west of Kildare station. This was way back in May 2001—18 years ago!


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Northern Loco on the Beet!


Gotta love the square format!

It was raining in Dublin, but clear and bright in Wellingtonbridge, County Wexford on 13 December 2003 when we visited to observe Irish Rail’s sugar beet operations.

Working with a Rollei Model T that I’d bought in San Francisco a few weeks earlier, I exposed a sequence of 120-size black & white photos on Kodak Tri-X of NI Railways 112 (on long-term loan to Irish Rail) that was shunting four-wheel sugar beet wagons for loading.

To obtain greater shadow detail and superior overall tonality, I rate the film at ISO 200 (one stop slower than the advertised 400 ISO) and processed it in a dilute bath of Ilfotec HC high-contrast developer.

For presentation here, I scanned the negatives last week using an Epson V750 flatbed scanner and then scaled/sized the TIFs for internet viewing.

You could make wall-size prints from the original negatives.

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New England Central 611 at Three Rivers, Massachusetts.


Thursday, April 25, 2019, photographer Mike Gardner and I convened at Palmer’s Steaming Tender for lunch. Afterwards we drove northward in search of New England Central’s road freight, 611.

New England Central’s clean locomotives in parent company Genesee & Wyoming’s orange, yellow and black paint, make for handsome subjects, and a welcome change to the days when patched faded liveries of the locomotive’s various former owners predominated.

Anticipating catching 611’s northward run from Palmer, we paused at Three Rivers to check some photo locations and were surprised to hear a southward train approaching.

Lo and behold! It was 611 on its southward run.

Lucky bonus.

After photographing the southward move, we continued our drive north to inspect locations . . . Stay tuned for more!

Photos exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

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Telephoto on the Beet: 400mm at Kilsheelan, Co. Tipperary.


It was a damp day back in 2005, when I made this 400mm view using my recently acquired Canon EOS-3 with a rented 100-400mm Canon image stabilizer zoom l.ens

In the lead was Irish Rail 185 (known in some circles as ‘Super Bo-Bo’ which delighted observers because it was missing the cowling around the exhaust and produced more sound than others of its class).

Sugar beet was loaded at Wellingtonbridge, County Wexford and transported by rail via Waterford and Limerick Junction to a processing plant in Mallow, County Cork.

In this view, exposed west of Kilsheelan, County Tipperary, by using a long telephoto lens, I compressed the train of very short four-wheel beet wagons into a virtual snake of rolling beet.

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Northward Medway Freight, Pampilhosa, Portugal—A Lesson in Crossing Lighting.

Hopefully you see a full -colour landscape-orientation image of a Medway freight train.
This is a portrait-orientation view of a Medway freight train.


Here’s a visually challenging situation: a semi-gloss black locomotive with yellow lettering cross-lit by the afternoon sun.

‘Cross-lit’: when a train has the front lit by the primary light source (in this case the sun) while the side of the train remains on the ‘dark side’ (that opposite from the primary light source).

In certain situations cross lighting can be used for dramatic effect; in others it may be viewed as unfortunate or non-conventional.

At Pampilhosa, I found cross-lighting was a good way to show the scenery, the empty freight train, and the effects of overhead catenary.

But does this photo work?

Brian Solomon is traveling in Portugal and may not be able to respond promptly to questions or queries. Hopefully photos will display without difficulty.

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30 years ago today: Conrail Meet at Sunrise on the Water Level Route near Batavia, New York.


Looking at this Conrail photo makes me feel that March 23, 1989 wasn’t that long ago.

I’d left my apartment in Scottsville, New York before dawn and headed west on Rt33 in my white Toyota Corolla.

I knew I had a westbound climbing Batavia Hill—the nominal rise of the Water Level Route that ascended the Niagara Escarpment on the way toward Buffalo.

My Leica M2 was loaded with Kodachrome 200 ‘Fast Kodachrome’ (three stops faster than K25, which was my normal film in 1989).

I parked the car west of Batavia near CP406 (where New York Central’s 1950s track re-alignment to avoid downtown Batavia rejoined the historic railroad route). With time running short, I hike east beneath the code lines and set up my Leica with a 200mm Leitz Telyt telephoto on my Bogen 3021 tripod.

I could hear the slow moving westbound as the sun glimmered above the horizon. But then behind me fast moving eastward stack train blasted for Donahue Road. . .

The headlight of the westbound appeared and over the next few seconds I captured a running meet between the two Conrail trains. K200’s warm color balance and grain structure made for the perfect combination to distill the moment.

Rolling sunrise meet on Conrail’s Water Level Route west of Batavia, New York.

I’ve run this photo in various publications and it’s one of my favorite Water Level Route views.

I spent the rest of the day photographing along the former Erie Railroad, which was alive with trains. I remember it all as if it was yesterday.

Also see my earlier post: ‘The Curse of the Code Lines’ http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2014/11/24/the-curse-of-the-code-lines/

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Freight in the Mist; Irish Rail 082 Leads Containers in Co. Roscommon.

Brian Solomon Publishing’s Tracking the Light rail-photo blog post photos and stories daily with feeds to Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler.

Irish Rail’s old Midland Great Western line to Westport follows a rock and roll profile as it works its way across the Midlands.

This is one of Ireland’s busiest freight routes which handles both container and timber traffic.

On misty March afternoon we waited at quiet overpass at Slieve located north of the River Suck (yes, that’s its name) in rural county Roscommon railway-west of the old station at Donamon.

I’d traveled from Dublin with brothers Paul and Jay Monaghan, I navigated and helped locate this photo location.

The roar of Irish 082 could be heard for miles before it came into view leading the down IWT Liner that runs between Dublin and Ballina Co. Mayo.

I exposed this view on the south side of the line using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm prime telephoto.

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Irish Rail’s Sligo Timber at Islandbridge.


Recently discussions of Irish Rail’s Sligo Timber have led me to ask, ‘When did this traffic end?’

Sometimes my memory offers a clear picture of the past, in other situations it is fuzzy and lacking desired detail. This is among the reasons I try to apply detailed labels and captions to my photographs near the time of exposure.

I recall the Sligo timber’s revival in Spring 2002, and my many opportunities to photograph timber trains on the Sligo Line and in around Dublin in the years that followed, but I’m unable to remember when the last train operated.

On guessing, I thought 2007 or 2008 was pretty close. So on reviewing my photo files, I was a bit surprised to find this photograph dated 21 May 2009.

Photo by Brian Solomon on 21 May 2009.

I exposed this view on Fujichrome from my regular spot at Islandbridge Junction, which shows Irish Rail 232 in the modern green livery leading a timber out of the Phoenix Park Tunnel. The construction-progress of the apartments at left helps me confirm the date of the photo.

So, when was the final movement of timber by rail from Sligo? I must have been away.

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Connecticut Southern Crosses the Farmington River at Windsor.


Here’s a follow up from Saturday’s post about traveling on CT Rail.

My CT Rail train had overtaken the southward CSOR freight south of Springfield. So when I got off at Windsor Locks, I drove to this location and waited for the freight to follow.

High water in the Farmington River made for a mirror-like reflection.

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Sugar Beet on the Move, October 2005.


The sun peeks through a laden sky after an Autumnal shower as Irish Rail V250, a sugar beet train from Wellingtonbridge to Mallow rolls along the Cork main at Shinanagh near Buttevant.

I exposed this view on Fujichrome Velvia100 using a wideangle lens.

My intent was to capture the dramatic light and textured sky.

This was to be Irish Rail’s final sugar beet season. The traffic ended forever in January 2006.

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A Rolling Meet, a DPU and Sun at Highway F, Byron, Wisconsin.


With some pavement passing beneath us in spirited run on the ascent to Byron, Brian Schmidt and I arrived at the Highway F overpass near the summit of Canadian National’s Wisconsin Central line over Byron Hill in time to record the passage of a northward double stack train meeting a southward freight.

I’ve featured both trains previously on Tracking the Light:

Byron Hill, Lost Arrow Road—Old location Revisited in January 2019.

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2019/01/25/byron-hill-lost-arrow-road-old-location-revisited-in-january-2019/

Canadian National Kicks Up Snow at Ackerville.

For this post: as the northward train glided below me, I was watching for the DPU (the locomotive working as a ‘distributed power unit’, 1990s-speak for a ‘radio controlled remotely operated helper). I timed my exposure to document its passage as the uphill train approached.

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Classic Chrome: Irish Rail 230 with Bulk Bogie Cement at Limerick Junction.

On 19 May 2003, the sun was shining at Limerick Junction.

I made this view of Irish Rail 230 in Enterprise paint working an up-road bulk-bogie cement from Cork.

Using a Contax G2 rangefinder with 45mm lens, I exposed this view on Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO) . Key to my composition was the semaphore to the left of the train.

In 2003, Limerick Junction saw several weekday freights; today there are no revenue freight moves on this part of the system.

In recent weeks, Limerick Junction has been undergoing another major reconfiguration to install a platform on the south side of the Cork-Dublin line.

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An OBB (Austrian Railways) Electric Leads Freight at Bonn-Beuel, Germany.

OBB Taurus at Bonn Beuel. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

In September 2015, an Austrian Taurus electric leads a northward freight at the DB Station in Bonn Beuel, Germany.

Low angle and telephoto view add drama to compensate for an otherwise dull morning.

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February 2018 Foray into the Irish Bog in search of Narrow Gauge freight.

Since 2012, Denis McCabe and I have made detailed exploration of Bord na Mona’s three-foot gauge railways networks.

See: Irish Bog Railways—Part 1 [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-8J]https://wp.me/p2BVuC-oR

Irish Bog Railways—Part 3, March 2, 2013 [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-oR]

Irish Narrow Gauge: Bord na Mona Approaching Sunset [https://wp.me/p2BVuC-28X]

These photos are from our most recent foray. We caught this pair of empty trains working their way east from Clonbulloge to a loading area near Rathangan.

Bord na Mona typically operates trains in pairs to ease the loading process.

Moon-like landscape on the bog east of Clonbulloge.

Fair weather clouds were gradually giving way to sunshine.

Images were exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens.

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CSX Freight Rolls on the Reading; Two cameras, Four photos.

I made these views of a CSX freight operating on the former Reading Company in Philadelphia. My vantage point was from the sidewalk on the road bridge near the Strawberry Mansion Bridge over the Schuylkill.

The day was bright, but partially overcast, which benefitted my photography since bright sun would have resulted in a difficult and unflattering high-contrast situation.

This northward freight was moving slowly, allowing me to work with two digital cameras and expose a series of images as it went by.

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

A wider view from the same vantage point exposed with my Lumix LX7.

The lighting post provides a hint as to the location ‘City of Phila.’ Lumix LX7 photo.

Trailing telephoto view with the FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom. This offers some interesting roof detail of the General Electric diesels hauling the train.

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Pan Am Southern at Buckland—Pick the best of three Photographs.

Earlier this month, I exposed these three views of Pan Am Southern’s autorack train 287 working westward at Buckland, Massachusetts on the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg route.

The color view is a digital photo made with my FujiFilm XT1. This is Jpg using the in-camera Velvia color profile, which I scaled for presentation here, but otherwise left it unmodified in regards to color, contrast, saturation etc.

The black & white photographs are film images, exposed with a Leica IIIA fitted with a 1940s-vintage Nikkor screw mount 35mm lens. I used Ilford Pan F (ISO 50) processed in D76 (1 to 1 with water) and toned in selenium for improved highlights.

Telephoto view made digitally with a FujiFilm XT.

Wide-angle view exposed on black & white film.

No locomotive in this black & white photo. Is it always important to feature the locomotives?

I like to work with multiple cameras. I have my favorite of the three photos. Do you have your favorites?

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Irish Rail 220 with IWT Liner at Islandbridge Junction on 17 August 2017.

Clear blue dome. Nice view. Short walk.

Islandbridge Junction near Heuston Station in Dublin.

I exposed this photo of Irish Rail’s IWT Liner (Dublin North Wall to Ballina, Co. Mayo) on the morning of 17 August 2017 using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera fitted with a 27mm pancake lens.

Exposed at f9 1/500th of a second at ISO 400 using a 27mm pancake lens (provides an angle of view equivalent to a 41mm lens on a 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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Orange Locomotives on the Roll—611 works North.

New England Central’s 611 works from Brattleboro to Palmer and return.

The other day, Paul Goewey and I intercepted this freight on its northward run.

A former Conrail SD40 was in the lead, and a recently painted Providence & Worcester DASH8-40B was trailing. Two out of three locomotives wore Genesee & Wyoming’s corporate livery.

Then the sun came out.

We drove to a preselected location north of Barretts, Massachusetts and I made these photos with my FujiFilm X-T1.

To make for a more interesting composition, I positioned my camera to include the overhanging branch. The juxtoposition of the branch, clouds and train make for a nice triangular arrangement that is more interesting to look at the than just a train crossing a field. But would this work if the locomotives were black or dark green?

611 is often a very long freight.

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Catching Rail Freight on the Way to the Airport.

Opportunity is the operative.

At the end of April, Denis McCabe and I were on our way to the Basel Airport on the airport bus (image omitted). On the way, we spotted an over bridge on the double-track line that connects Basel with France.

Arriving at the airport, we concluded that we were too early to check in for our flight, so rather than waste time milling around the airport, we doubled back to the bridge, a mere 10 minutes away.

Among the photos I made in the interval at the bridge was this trailing view of an SNCF freight heading to France from Switzerland.

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

 

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Freight on the Italian Mediterranean Coast.

An FS (Italian State Railway) articulated electric locomotive leads a northward freight at Framura on Italy’s Mediterranean coast.

Using my Lumix LX7, I made this photo in the minutes before sunset in early April 2017. To make the most of the camera’s RAW file, I adjusted contrast and exposure in post processing using Lightroom and outputted this as a JPG sized for internet presentation.

Framura, Italy.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Tracking the Light!

Here’s a variation on a theme: another view of Irish Rail’s IWT liner at Stacumny Bridge near Hazelhatch.

Irish Rail locomotive 088 leads the up IWT Liner at Stacumny Bridge on 13 March 2017. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

Brian is Traveling for St. Patrick’s Weekend. New Material Daily!

An hour and a half at the Station.

Often when I seek places to photograph, variety is a goal. In other words, I’m not just looking for a steady parade, but also lots of different kinds of trains.

Railways in Czech Republic offer great variety. One of my favorite lines is the route that connects Děčín (in the northern part of the country near the German frontier) with Kolin (an important junction 60 kilometers east of Prague).

This secondary route bypasses the Czech capital and serves as a reasonably busy freight corridor. I’d photographed this line at various locations in 2009 using color slide film

On 14 October 2016, Denis McCabe and I re-visited the line and spent an hour and half at the rural station in Stará Boleslav, located in the Labe River Vallay across from Brandys nab Labem.

map_stara_boleslav_dscf6421

The building was a tired but classic structure with lots of character. In addition to mainline action we were entertained by a man unloading some coal wagons for local delivery.

cd_stara_boleslav_dscf6376

cd_stara_boleslav_dscf6377

cd_station_stara_boleslav_dscf6401

We arrived by local passenger train and departed with the next scheduled eastward local.

Below is a selection of images I exposed digitally with my FujiFilm X-T1 and processed with Lightroom to improve contrast, color balance and color saturation.

4:05 pm a westward local paused for a station stop with a specially painted electric.
At 4:05 pm a westward local paused for a station stop with a specially painted electric.

4:06pm. Car loads of coal were being unloaded for local delivery.
4:06pm. Carloads of coal were being unloaded for local delivery.

4:16 pm. A westward CD Cargo coal train glides through.
4:16 pm. A westward CD Cargo coal train glides through.

4:20pm. The coal train was immediately followed by this IDS Cargo tank train with an ancient but colorfully painted electric.
4:20pm. The coal train was immediately followed by this IDS Cargo tank train with an ancient but colorfully painted electric.

At 4:24 pm, on the heals of the tank train was this CD Cargo train of new automobiles.
At 4:24 pm, on the heals of the tank train was this CD Cargo train of new automobiles.

4:32pm another westward local passenger train makes its stop.
4:32pm another westward local passenger train makes its stop.

Czech Railways use a blue light for 'stop' on their shunting signals.
Czech Railways use a blue light for ‘stop’ on their shunting signals.

5:01 pm, a diesel powered maintenance train rattles by eastbound.
5:01 pm, a diesel powered maintenance train rattles by eastbound.

5:14pm an electric in one of the older CD liveries leads a coal train eastbound.
5:14pm an electric in one of the older CD liveries leads a coal train eastbound.

5:34pm, our local train approaches as the station master looks on.
5:34pm, our local train approaches as the station master looks on.

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Beacon Park Final Farewell—August 2016.

My last view. (Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and Google Plus viewers may need to click on Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light to see the big picture).

This former Boston & Albany freight yard was the site of some my earliest photographic efforts.

My last-ever view of Boston's Beacon Park yard. Exposed using a Lumix LX7 and processed with Lightroom to adjust framing and contrast.
My last-ever view of Boston’s Beacon Park yard. Exposed in late-August 2016 using a Lumix LX7 and processed with Lightroom to adjust framing and contrast.

Several years ago, in a deal with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, CSX agreed to close its Boston yard to open the property for redevelopment. As a result, its intermodal yard at Worcester was expanded to accommodate the lost capacity.

The result is that Boston now has virtually no through rail-freight service. The trickle of remaining CSX rail-freight traffic is handled by a local from Framingham, Massachusetts. Container (and piggyback) traffic is accommodated by road.

Many years ago, Boston was a major freight hub, and Beacon Park was a very busy place—those days have long since passed.

For the last few years, the tracks at Beacon Park have sat disused and rusted.

Presently, track gangs are salvaging what remains of the old yard.

Someone, somewhere will declare ‘progress’.

Ironically, I exposed this view from a bus on the Mass-Turnpike Extension, the highway that more than 50 years ago assumed operation on considerable chunks of former Boston & Albany right of way.

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California Freight Cars—18 New Photos.

Too often railway photography focuses on the head-end.

When traveling, I tend to take a greater interest in what’s behind the locomotive(s).

I made these views of freight cars while exploring Union Pacific and BNSF in California.

Chip_car_Bealeville_DSCF2267

JB_Hunt_stacks_Woodford_DSCF2249

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Tank_car_DSCF2265

It’s interesting to see the mix of modern and antique cars on the roll. Some of these are more than four decades old, others are nearly new.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1, I exposed photos in a variety of lighting situations.

Articulated_autoracks_DSCF2685

Articulated_autoracks_DSCF2687

BNSF_ATSF_grain_car_at_Bealeville_sunset_DSCF1366

BNSF_ATSF_grain_car_at_Bealeville_sunset_DSCF1368

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BNSF_JB_Hunt_stacks_trailing_Caliente_DSCF2816

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BNSF_earthworm_grain_cars_at_Bealeville_sunset_DSCF1364

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Bord na Mona freight three years ago this day!

A pair of Bord na Mona loaded trains work west toward Lanesborough, County Longford on August 9, 2013.
A pair of Bord na Mona loaded trains work west toward Lanesborough, County Longford on August 9, 2013.

I made this image on Ireland’s three-foot gauge Bord na Mona (Peat Bord) near Lanesborough on this day three years ago.

To compress the space and make the most of the two trains following one another in close succession, I used my Canon 7D fitted with a 200m telephoto lens.

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The Big Chase: Wisconsin & Southern to Reedsburg—Second Try.

A week ago, I traveled with John Gruber and Scott Lothes for a day’s photography on the Wisconsin & Southern,

A couple of days previously, John and I had made some photographs exploring the line to Reedsburg (see previous posts). So armed with that experience plus good information on operations, we set out with Scott for another run.

Among the three of us we have a bit of photographic experience and a lot of railway knowledge, so we were in good position to make the most of the day. I always like learning from fellow photographers as everyone has their own way of seeing.

I have to admit that the old Chicago & North Western line between Madison and Reedsburg isn’t my strongest field of interest. When I lived in Wisconsin this line (then still operated by C&NW) was largely nocturnal. However in more recent times, John and I have made daylight photos.

Until a few months ago the route still featured some vintage wig-wag grade crossing signals, and these had been the focus of my earlier efforts on the line. Since these are gone, we were able to take a more diverse approach.

The Reedsburg line is now but a branch on the sprawling Wisconsin & Southern freight gathering network, but historically the line was a key Chicago & North Western mainline between Chicago, Madison and the Twin Cities. For me this legacy makes the line more interesting.

We picked up the train at Wisconsin & Southern’s Madison Yard, and over the next few hours intercepted it more than a dozen times.

Knutson Drive in Madison, Wisconsin.
Knutson Drive in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sunny weather plus a single clean SD40-2 running short-hood first put us in a good position to make satisfactory images. On the previous run John and I needed to make do with the engine running long-hood first, which is a more challenging subject to photograph.

Here are a few digital photos from our second chase. Any favorites?

A view of scrap cars from an over-pass west of Lodi, Wisconsin. After all, a freight train is about the freight, right?
A view of scrap cars from an over-pass west of Lodi, Wisconsin. After all, a freight train is about the freight, right?

Pastoral Wisconsin scene near Okee.
Pastoral Wisconsin scene near Okee.

Crossing the Wisconsin River at Merrimac. John brought the car across on the ferry, while Scott and I waited on the south side of the river for the train.
Crossing the Wisconsin River at Merrimac. John brought the car across on the ferry, while Scott and I waited on the south side of the river for the train.

Devils Lake, Wisconsin. There's a variety of angles on this place, most of them better in the afternoon or evening. We were there at lunch-time and had to make the best of it. I've adjusted the contrast in Lightroom.
Devils Lake, Wisconsin. There’s a variety of angles on this place, most of them better in the afternoon or evening. We were there at lunch-time and had to make the best of it. I’ve adjusted the contrast using Lightroom. I’ve tried to maintain the sense of lighting while balancing it to produce a more pleasing overall image. It is of course possible to overdo contrast control, which may result in an unnatural appearing image.

Baraboo station. Compare this photograph with my black & white views posted a few days ago.
Baraboo station. Compare this photograph with my black & white views posted a few days ago.

Our freight works at Rock Springs where it dropped grain cars for loading.
Our freight works at Rock Springs where it dropped grain cars for loading.

Scott picked this spot. On the previous trip I'd tried a long telephoto view of the same bridge. I like this wide angle broadside better.
Scott picked this spot. On the previous trip I’d tried a long telephoto view of the same bridge. I like this wide angle broadside better.

We were a bit tardy arriving at the crossing. This is a quick grade crossing grab shot. Not much time to set up. As with a few of the other images, I've adjusted the contrast using Lightroom.
We were a bit tardy arriving at the crossing. This is a quick grade crossing grab shot. Not much time to set up. As with a few of the other images, I’ve adjusted the contrast using Lightroom.

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Tracking the Light Extra—IWT crosses in front of my bus to the airport

Posted live from Dublin Bus. I’m on the 747 bus on the way to the airport. The Wednesday-only second IWT liner (Ballina to Dublin Port) just crossed the road. I had a perfect vantage point from my  seat on the top deck.

I using my Lumix LX7, I exposed these views.

What fantastic luck!

IWT at the North Wall waiting to cross the road. 3:15 Pm September 30, 2015.
IWT at the North Wall waiting to cross the road. 3:15 Pm September 30, 2015.

View from the 747. 3:15 Pm September 30, 2015.
View from the 747. 3:15 Pm September 30, 2015.

3:15 Pm September 30, 2015. Dublin Port.
3:15 Pm September 30, 2015. Dublin Port.

View from Dublin Bus. 3:15 Pm September 30, 2015.
View from Dublin Bus. 3:15 Pm September 30, 2015.

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Tracking the light EXTRA: Irish Rail 233 works IWT on evening path

Most days Irish Rail’s Dublin-Ballina IWT Liner (International Warehousing and Transport; see: http://iwt-irl.com) departs the North Wall in the morning, typically between 9:20 and 11 am.

Today, it was set back to an evening path, much like the traditional liners that ran nightly up until mid-2005.

An added bonus was Enterprise painted Irish Rail 201 number 233.

This was like turning the clock back ten years or more.

5:54 pm, 23 September 2015.  Irish Rail 233 on the IWT Liner at the North Wall in Dublin. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
5:54 pm, 23 September 2015. Irish Rail 233 on the IWT Liner at the North Wall in Dublin. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

7:08pm, 23 September 2015.  Irish Rail 233 on the IWT Liner at the Gullet in Dublin.
7:08pm, 23 September 2015. Irish Rail 233 on the IWT Liner at the Gullet in Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo

Containers into the sunset! 7:08pm, 23 September 2015. Irish Rail 233 on the IWT Liner at the Gullet in Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo
Containers into the sunset! 7:08pm, 23 September 2015. Irish Rail 233 on the IWT Liner at the Gullet in Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo

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Double-headed Empty Coal Trains

Pairs of red electrics leading more or less uniform consists of coal cars make for great subjects as they wind their way along the supremely scenic Rhein Valley.

Most locomotive-hauled trains traversing Germany’s Rhein Valley work with just a single locomotive, and an ever-greater number of passenger trains use electric multiple units.

By comparison to continual parade of these more common trains, dual-red electrics on coal trains/and empties are relatively rare, and only make an appearance every few hours (often just after you move to change locations).

Here I display two empty trains train, both exposed on 10 September 2015. The first is a morning view on the Left Bank with a pair of DB class 185 electrics, the second is in the evening on the Right Bank across from Oberwesel.

Both feature scenery and sunlight.

Glorious clear morning sun makes for a post card view of DB 185s passing Boppard-Hertenach on the Left Bank. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1.
Glorious clear morning sun makes for a post card view of DB 185s passing Boppard-Hertenach on the Left Bank. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1.

Late in the day, a pair of elderly class 151 Co-Co electrics lead empties exiting a tunnel opposite Oberwesel. Within half and hour the sun had dropped below the ridge line, leaving this scene in shadow. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Late in the day, a pair of elderly class 151 Co-Co electrics lead empties exiting a tunnel opposite Oberwesel. Within half an hour the sun had dropped below the ridge line, leaving this scene in shadow. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

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Exceptionally Busy Double Track—September 12, 2015—Dozens of photos!

Die Bahn/Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) operates an intensive nation-wide railway network. The traffic on many lines is impressive.

Conveying volume in photographs is perhaps best done with image sequences.

On the morning of September 12, 2015, Stephen Hirsch, Denis McCabe, Gerry Conmy and I arrived at the Bonn-Beuel station (located on the Right Bank line between Koln and Koblenz) to make a few photographs.

Our choice of locations was fortuitous. As it turned out, planned line works at the Bonn Hauptbahnhof on the Left Bank line had resulted in diversions, and this normally busy line was pushed to its potential capacity.

In addition to the normal half-hourly passenger service and parade of freights, the line was also handling InterCity and EuroCity long distance express trains, plus a mix of freights that might ordinarily use the Left Bank route.

In addition to the two main tracks, Bonn-Beuel has passing loops (passing sidings), which were well used this day. In several instances, a train was held on the main track, while higher priority traffic was routed via the loops around it.

This selection of images is intended to demonstrate how DB handled a mix of traffic on a double track mainline; keep in mind that stopping passenger trains and freights coexisted on the same route.

I’ve included the time that each photograph was exposed, and organized them in chronological order.

10:35 am. Looking south at Bonn-Beuel. A freight is in the loop, a diverted IC train is northbound, while an diverted IC is accelerating away from the station in the distance.
10:35 am. Looking south at Bonn-Beuel. A freight is in the loop, a diverted IC train is northbound, while another diverted IC, southbound,  is seen accelerating away from the station in the distance.

10:36 am.
10:36 am.

10:36 am.
10:36 am.

10:38 am.
10:38 am.

10:39 am.
10:39 am.

10:42 am. Notice the freight rolling away on the near line in the distance. I 'm sorry to say I missed the coming on shot, as I was distracted by the other two freights coming toward me.
10:42 am. Notice the southbound freight rolling away on the near line in the distance. I ‘m sorry to say I missed the coming on shot, as I was distracted by the other two freights coming toward me. (One is hidden by the southbound)

10:42 am.
10:42 am.

10:47 am.
10:47 am.

10:53 am.
10:53 am.

10:56 am.
10:56 am.

10:59 am.
10:59 am.

11:02 am.
11:02 am.

11:06 am.
11:06 am.

11:06 am.
11:06 am.

I decided to relocate to the island platform, as this offered a better angle for the sun.

11:10 am. Looking north at a southward EC train bound for Switzerland.
11:10 am. Looking north at a southward EC train bound for Switzerland.

11:11 am.
11:11 am.

11:13 am.
11:13 am.

11:14 am.
11:14 am.

11:17 am.
11:17 am.

11:18 am.
11:18 am.

11:18 am.
11:18 am.

11:21 am.
11:21 am.

11:24 am.
11:24 am.

11:24 am.
11:24 am.

11:27 am.
11:27 am.

11:27 am.
11:27 am.

11:29 am.
11:29 am.

11:32 am.
11:32 am. Regional express arrives.

11:33 am. Regional Express departs.
11:33 am. Regional Express departs.

11:35 am.
11:35 am. Southward IC arrives at Bonn-Beuel.

11:36 am. Panoramic composite of a DB class 101 with southward IC train.
11:36 am. Panoramic composite of a DB class 101 with southward IC train.

11:38 am.
11:38 am.

11;40 am. Notice the southward freight passing in the distance. Obviously my view of this was blocked by the passenger train.
11;40 am. Notice the southward freight passing in the distance. Obviously my view of this was blocked by the passenger train.

To avoid getting blocked again, I walked further south along the platform.

11:47.
11:47.

11:48 am.
11:48 am.

1150am_Green_class_140_Bonn-Beuel_DSCF2851
11:50 am. An old DB Class 140 in heritage olive green paint.

11:53 am.
11:53 am.

11:59 am.
11:59 am.

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TRAXX Roll Freight at Kaub—September 11, 2015

The Right Bank of the Rhein is a busy freight corridor. Trains run in waves, and often follow each other several minutes apart on their north-south journey across Germany.

Kaub station sits wedged into a hillside with a castle above, and a sweeping curve to the south. In the afternoon, the sun swings around, which makes it a great place to photograph trains on the move.

Bombardier’s TRAXX locomotives family includes several classes of electrics. While the DB red class 185s may seen repetitive, open access operations make for a bit of variety. It seems that there’s always another freight working its way up or down the Rhein Valley. And this provides an opportunity to refine photographic angles and technique.

Doubleheaded DB class 185 electrics lead a southward freight at Kaub, 4:40 pm.
Doubleheaded DB class 185 electrics lead a southward freight at Kaub, 4:40 pm.

Northward intermodal train at Kaub, 4:41 pm.
Northward intermodal train at Kaub, 4:41 pm.

Southward freight with a DB class 185 electric at Kaub, 5:15 pm.
Southward freight with a DB class 185 electric at Kaub, 5:15 pm.

VIAS Flirt makes a station stop at Kaub, 5:19 pm.
VIAS Flirt makes a station stop at Kaub, 5:19 pm.

5:24pm.
Kaub, 5:24pm.

Kaube, 5:28 pm.
Kaub, 5:28 pm.

Southward empty auto train at Kaub, 5:40 pm.
Southward empty auto train at Kaub, 5:40 pm.

Swiss BLS intermodal train at Kaub, 5:58 pm.
Swiss BLS intermodal train at Kaub, 5:58 pm.

I made this selection using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

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Extra Post—Freight from the St. Goar-St. Goarhausen Rhein Ferry.

The wonders of technology! I’m writing and posting this from a bus on the roll. The bus offers better WiFi than I have in my apartment.

Anyway, here’s a view I made from the Rhein ferry looking down river toward the famous Loreley Rock on Wednesday September 9, 2015.

Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1. One of the great features of this camera is the active level in the viewfinder. Such a tool aids making level images from a boat!

St Goar, Germany.
St Goar, Germany.

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Blue and Silver Electric at Speed—September 10, 2015.

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The fine art of the pacing shot was perfected many years ago. In the steam era, Jim Shaughnessy and others paced big steam across the prairies and grasslands in a quest for dramatic images.

I was traveling along the west bank of the Rhein a couple of days ago with Denis McCabe, Stephen Hirsch and Gerry Conmy.

The railway here is exceptionally busy. The sun was bright and we were searching for photographic locations.

‘Green signal. Southbound.’

A minute later, ‘there’s a train overtaking us!’

I unrolled the window, switched my Lumix on, set it to ISO 80 at f8 and used the ‘A’ (aperture priority) mode, and exposed this series of images in rapid succession.

Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.
Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.

Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.
Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.

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