I’m always looking for an angle. A family outing on the Schuylkill River in September 2007 provided this opportunity. A SEPTA Silverliner IV glides across the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s Connecting Railway bridge.
In 1914, this massive arch over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia replaced the original 1867 double-track bridge made of stone arches and a metal truss span. Today it carries Amtrak’s North East Corridor. Although it resembles the stone arches it replaced, it is actually a reinforced concrete arch faced with sandstone.
For several years I’ve been eyeing the view from Laurel Hill Cemetery as a place to make a railway photograph of the former Reading Company bridges over the Schuylkill. I was intrigued by combination elevation and the complexity of the scene. My brother Sean and I scoped this out last winter, but the light was dull and trees blocked the angle I wanted for a southward train. Recently the view was improved as a result of extensive tree removal around the river-side of the cemetery. Yesterday, Sean, Mike Scherer and I investigated photographic views from Laurel Hill. Our timing was right; I made this image of CSX’s symbol freight Q439 rolling across the bridge at 2:22 pm. I’m pleased with this effort, since catching a train here has been a challenge and the angle is a new one for me, yet I see room for improvement. Finding a train here an hour or two earlier in the day might offer better light on the side of the locomotives, while a slightly longer lens would tighten my composition.