Tag Archives: #railroad station

Harrisburg Station

The former Pennsylvania Railroad Station at Harrisburg, Pa., is the western terminus of Amtrak’s Keystone service, and also served by the Pennsylvanian that continues on to Pittsburgh.

This is a comparatively important Amtrak Station, which retains much of its classic charm. It is a clean, well used facility, however, I was surprised by the relative dearth of services and facilities in and around the station.

Last week, I made these photos of the historic structure with my Nikon Z7-II, and then adjusted the NEF RAW files with Adobe Lightroom.

My friend Dan Cupper had arranged for me visit several facilities in Harrisburg that were preserved by the Harrisburg Chapter of the NRHS, and those photos will appear in up-coming Tracking the Light posts. Stay tuned . . .

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Manheim, Pennsylvania

In the gloom of a cold winter night, we followed the old Reading Company tracks to the station at Manheim, Pa..

This preserved building is now maintained by the Manheim Historical Society. A few restored freight cars are displayed outside along with a Pennsylvania Railroad caboose, plus railroad artifacts such as historic baggage carts.

The tracks are operated by Norfolk Southern.

I exposed these photos with my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens mounted on a tripod. In post processing I adjusted the NEF RAW files to adjust color temperature, lighten shadows, control highlights and reduce contrast.

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Station Inn at Reinholds

Last week my sister-in-law Isablle phoned to say that she found the perfect place to meet for dinner. ‘It’s like a pub, it’s near an antique place, it has a train parked out front, and its only about a half an hour away from where you live!’

And she was right!

So Kris and I arranged to meet my brother Sean and Isabelle, and our friend Pat Yough (long time TTL reader).

Pat and I took turns to walk up an photograph the engines of the East Penn Railroad that were parked across the street by the old Reading Company Station.

The restaurant/pub was old school with a classic tin ceiling, big windows and pool tables.

I made these photos with my Lumix LX7. The staff were friendly and we all had a good time!


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Two Station Floors-21 years apart

The other day, Conway Scenic Railroad’s Buildings & Grounds crew coated the North Conway, New Hampshire station lobby floor with a glossy polyurethane protective finish. I made a few photos for the company’s social media.

Digital photo exposed with a Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens.

The resulting images reminded me a photo that I made at Washington Union Station back in May 2022. In that image, I preserved Daniel Burnham’s classical architecture using a Zeiss Hologon flat-field super-wideangle lens fitted to my Contax G2 rangefinder.

In both photos I used the same visual technique: to maximize the effect of a reflective floor, I placed the horizon relatively high in the frame, while keeping the camera close to the floor.

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Chester Depot Revisited

Crossing Vermont from west to east in January, Kris and I paused at the old depot in Chester on Vermont Rail System’s Green Mountain Railroad.

My first visit to Chester was back in the 1970s, when this was the regular run-around for the Steamtown excursion from Bellows Falls.

Freshly fallen snow covered the ground in our most recent visit, but the old station was just the way I remember it.

I made these photos using my Nikon mirrorless digital cameras.

Exposed using a Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens.
This is a digitally created monochrome version of the above image.
Over the years I’ve made many photos of this station.
Ok, so this is relatively new!
Snow covered siding at Chester. No CPR Pacific expected here today! (But I remember seeing CPR 1278 here!)

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Greenville Junction Station

The former Canadian Pacific Railway station building at Greenville Junction, Maine is a distinctive wooden structure dating to 1889. A local preservation group has embarked on a mission to preserve and restore the structure.

Since Kris and I visited Greenville Junction a year ago (June 2021), considerable work has been done to the station and it looks much improved!

See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2021/06/20/greenville-junction-westbound-at-the-station/

I was very pleased to witness this progress. My first visits to Greenville Junction were with my father on a family vacation back in 1972!

At one time the Bangor & Aroostook met the CPR at this location and a vestige of the connecting line is now used for equipment storage.

All photos were made in June 2022 using my Lumix LX7.

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Gorham Station

Driving around a few weeks ago, Kris and I paused at Gorham, New Hampshire, where I made these views of the old Grand Trunk Railway station

I wanted to feature broadside photographs that show the profile of the station perpendicular to the railroad rather than more common three-quarter views nearer to the tracks.

For these photos I was working with my Nikon Z6 fitted with my 70-200mm Z-series zoom lens. I made mild adjustment to constrast and saturation in post processing.

Do the modern highway vehicles improve or detract from the photos of the station?

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Bright Morning at the Station.

Friday morning I walked to North Conway station where I work.

It was a brilliant sunny day with a cool breeze and a textured sky.

The week after Labor Day is traditionally quiet. A lull in the masses. The summer crowds have gone, the leaf peepers have yet to arrive.

The leaves around the station are already showing hints of autumn color.

Everyday prospective train riders call and ask if the day of their trip will be during peak foliage—As if Conway Scenic Railroad’s ticket agents are visionaries or fortune tellers.

Conway Scenic Railroad’s North Conway, New Hampshire station.

I made these photos from North Conway, New Hampshire’s Schouler Park using my Nikon Z6 Mirrorless digital camera and processed the NEF RAW files using Adobe Lightroom.

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Pssst! Wanna buy a Railroad Station?

Last week I learned, much to my surprise, that the old Boston & Maine station at Berlin, NH is still standing. So yesterday (31 July 2021), Kris Sabbatino and I drove to the east side of this old New Hampshire milltown to investigate.

I made these photos from the street using my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.

I’ve seen stations in better shape than this one. Also, it has been without regular passenger service for about 60 years. The tracks have been lifted and its a long walk from the center of town. But it has a ‘For Sale’ sign out front! (If you are interested).

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Boston & Maine Station at Laconia, NH

A few weeks ago, Kris and I visited the former Boston & Maine station at Laconia, NH.

I’d seen a postcard view of this Romanesque classic and wondered if it still stood, so on an unrelated errand to Laconia we took the time to look for the old building, which, as it turned out, wasn’t hard to find.

A bonus was the ‘Burrito Me’ restaurant at one end! later in the day, I went in and ordered burritos for the two of us, which we consumed under the awning of the old building.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7.

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Semaphore Silhouette-Ely, Vermont.

We paused last winter at Ely, Vermont where I made this silhouette on Ektachrome of the old Boston & Maine station and its historic train order semaphore.

This was one of several slides I made that day of railroads in Vermont.

Why film? Because it works. Because some photos made on film wouldn’t as well if exposed digitally. But most importantly, because I like film. I made my first Ektachrome color slide c1971, and some 50 years later, I still occasional expose slides.

Canon EOS-3 loaded with Kodak E100; 40mm Canon pancake lens set at f22. Film processed by AgX lab. Slide scanned using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner.

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Grand Trunk Station Groveton, NH.

It was a wintery weekend a few weeks ago, when Kris Sabbatino and I briefly revisited the forlorn former Grand Trunk station along Genesee & Wyoming’s St. Lawrence & Atlantic at Groveton, New Hampshire.

I made these digital studies using my Nikon Z6 digital camera, and processed the files for color and contrast in Adobe Lightroom.

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Crawford by Starlight—night photo technique

The other evening, Kris Sabbatino and I stopped at the old Maine Central station at Crawford, New Hampshire shortly after moonrise to make night photos of the station.

I mounted my Lumix LX7 on a heavy Bogan tripod and set the ISO to 200. Working in manual mode, I set the camera to between 40 and 80 seconds and tripped the shutter manually (without using the self timer).

Working with the RAW files in Lightroom, I made slight adjustments to highlights and shadows.

Catching the stars in the night sky has always been a favorite effect of mine. I first tried this back in 1977 in my back yard in Monson, Massachusetts.

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Grand Trunk Station at South Paris-3 views.


South Paris, Maine.

There’s no Eiffel tower here. Not a big one anyway.

I exposed these photos digitally using my FujiFilm XT1 with Fujinon 18-135mm lens.

The railroad is operated by Genesee & Wyoming’s St. Lawrence & Atlantic—a line that I traveled on back in the 1990s.

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The Old Groveton Station-four recent photos.

The old Groveton (New Hampshire) station building stands where the former Boston & Maine met the old Grand Trunk. Today the GT route is operated by Genesee & Wyoming’s St Lawrence & Atlantic (known by its reporting marks SLR) while the B&M line is the very lightly used New Hampshire Central route to Hazens, Whitefield and beyond toward Littleton.

On visits here in the 1990s, I’d found the now defunct New Hampshire & Vermont switching the old paper mill at Groveton. But the mill is now a memory. The once imposing structures dwarfed the little brick station building.

I made these digital photos on a recent visit with photographer Kris Sabbatino. All were exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit and adjusted for shadows/contrast in post processing with Lightroom.

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Boston & Maine Station—Morning and Evening

This is my office.

On April 15, 2020, I made photos as I arrived and as I departed to show the light at the respective times of day.

In my recent article on the Conway Scenic Railroad in May 2020 TRAINS Magazine, I discussed the railroad’s North Conway station in detail, but didn’t picture the iconic structure.

This will be rectified in an upcoming issue, but I thought I’d present these recent photos on Tracking the Light.

I’ve always focused on my immediate surroundings, photographing the ordinary, the common as well as the unusual and the extraordinary.

Over time, the common scenes often have the best staying power.

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St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

All was quiet last Sunday when we passed through the once busy railroad hub at St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Vermont Rail System services the former Canadian Pacific (née Boston & Maine) north-south line, but there was no sign of activity during our brief visit. However, on my previous trip to the town, I rolled by the southward VRS freight, and featured this further down the line in a series of Tracking the Light posts. See:



Fellow photographer Kris Sabbatino and I focused on the large railway station building that is a centerpiece of the town, then went to explore the nearby  former Maine Central truss over the Passumpsic River that represents the far west end of the old Mountain Division—the railroad line utilized by Conway Scenic Railroad over Crawford Notch.

I’d photographed this bridge many years ago, but wanted to re-explore it, as it now has greater relevance for me.

The light was flat, and although dull, this seemed appropriate for the circumstances. In additional to these digital photos, I also exposed some black & white film that I intend to process at a later date.

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