Tag Archives: Siemens

Modern American Railroading in Soft Light.

Here’s a thoroughly today scene: An Amtrak Midwest Siemens Charger at Milwaukee’s Intermodal Terminal.

Diffused afternoon sun works well with the geometry of the station’s architecture and the curves and lines of the Siemens Charger.

Using my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a 12mm Zeiss Touit, I opted for a skewed angle that accentuates this modern scene.
In post processing, I adjusted contrast and color balance.

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First Encounter: Amtrak Charger.

I was curious to experience one of these new locomotives.

The Siemens-built Charger is powered by a Cummins diesel and has a European appearance.

Among their Amtrak assignments is the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha corridor.

I waited on the platform at the new Sturtevant, Wisconsin station. The eerie blue glow of the locomotive’s LED headlights could be seen reflecting off the rails long before the train arrived at the station.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Zeiss 12mm Touit, I set the ISO to 6400 and panned the train arriving at 1/30thof a second at f2.8.

To better balance the color and keep contrast under control, I modified the camera RAW file in Lightroom to produce this internet suitable JPG.

Here’s a screen shot of the camera-produced JPG with EXIF data for comparison.

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Amtrak 163 at Providence, Rhode Island.

Amtrak ‘Cities Sprinter’ ACS-64 number 633 tows one of its sister electrics with train 163 as it arrives at Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

I exposed this view using my Lumix LX-7.

Amtrak’s line at Providence is charmless, but functional. Heavy electrification in an urban environment is rarely picturesque. To make a satisfactory image of a moving train takes patience, skill or both.

This is a routine view of American passenger rails in action, nothing sexy, and nothing complicated or tricky photographically.

Lumix LX-7 digital photo exposed at 12:19pm on December 2, 2017; ISO 80, f4.0 at 1/400th of a second, handheld with adjustable camera zoom lens set to the functional equivalent of a 65mm focal lens on tradition 35mm film camera.
Here’s a screen shot of the photo with a window showing the EXIF data stored with the digital file.

Does my cross-lit midday view of a Siemens electric with 1970s-era Amfleet passenger cars work for you?

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German Electric in Connecticut—November 2015.

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Siemens-built ACS-64 640 zips along with Amtrak train number 160 at Milford, Connecticut on the former New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.

The other day, I made this image from the far end of the station platform. I set my shutter to 1/1000th of a second, pulled the zoom back to its widest position (18mm), and had the drive set to ‘CH’ (continuous high)—which allows for a rapid burst of images.

Amtrak train 160 at Milford, Connecticut.
Amtrak train 160 at Milford, Connecticut.

This arrangement of settings allowed me to catch the locomotive very close and in sharp focus.

Here are two additional  images from the burst:

This one is a bit more distant but features more of the background and right-of-way.
This one is a bit more distant but features more of the background and right-of-way.
Nice capture on the logo. However, if this had been my only view, I'd be disgusted with my effort.
Nice capture on the logo. However, if this had been my only view, I’d be disgusted with my effort.

 

Tracking the Light Extra: Amtrak at Trenton, New Jersey—October 19, 2015

Sent from Amtrak 56, the Vermonter.

Exposed with my Lumix LX7 this morning at Trenton, New Jersey.

Amtrak ACS64 number 632 leads a Keystone train destined fro Harrisburg, PA.
Amtrak ACS64 number 632 leads a Keystone train destined for Harrisburg, PA.
Amtrak ACS64 number 632 leads a Keystone train destined fro Harrisburg, PA.
Amtrak ACS64 number 632 leads a Keystone train destined for Harrisburg, PA.
Amtrak Keystone train destined for Harrisburg, PA, departs Trenton on October 19, 2015.
Amtrak Keystone train destined for Harrisburg, PA, departs Trenton on October 19, 2015.
Amtrak ACS64 number 648 leads the northward Vermonter (train 56) at Trenton. This post was transmitted from this train.
Amtrak ACS64 number 648 leads the northward Vermonter (train 56) at Trenton. This post was transmitted from this train.

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Scenery Supreme with MittlerheinBahn

MittlerheinBahn operates modern Siemens-built electric multiple units on all-stops local trains on the picturesque Left Bank route between Köln and Mainz, Germany.

Trains operate on an hourly basis throughout the day, with more frequent services at peak times.

The service is affordable, comfortable and the scenery provides an unending tapestry of wonder.

These trains come at such regular intervals, it would be easy enough to let their passage go undocumented while waiting for more unusual movements, such as freights with colourful engines. But I always try to make the most of all trains.

Over the course of a week I exposed dozens of images of MittlerheinBahn’s trains, often using them as a catalyst for complex scenic compositions. Would these views work if there were no trains in them?

Köln Hbf. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Köln Hbf. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Take a spin! These trains offer a smooth ride at a reasonable price. Large windows provide a great view of the scenery. Lumix LX7 photo.
Take a spin! These trains offer a smooth ride at a reasonable price. Large windows provide a great view of the scenery. Lumix LX7 photo.
A view from a vineyard near Boppard. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
A view from a vineyard near Boppard. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Two ways to see the Rhein; by train and by ship. A view south of Boppard. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Two ways to see the Rhein; by train and by ship. A view south of Boppard. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
At Oberwesel, where castle towers and walls make for a Medieval setting. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
At Oberwesel, where castle towers and walls make for a Medieval setting. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Climb a tower for a better view. (Really I was waiting for a freight, but we'll get to that in a later post.) FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Climb a tower for a better view. (Really I was waiting for a freight, but we’ll get to that in a later post.) FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Local trains pass on opposite sides of the Rhein, both were in motion. (as were the clouds!)
Local trains pass on opposite sides of the Rhein, both were in motion. (as were the clouds!)
A wink of sun north of Bingen. Would this be a more interesting image if the train was closer, but bathed in shadow?
A wink of sun north of Bingen. Would this be a more interesting image if the train were closer, but bathed in shadow?

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Riding the Tide: Norfolk, Virginia’s Light Rail.

  • In the last couple of decades, a number of North American cities have adopted light rail as a preferred mode of public transport.Personally, I don’t make distinctions between light rail lines, streetcar lines, interurban electric lines, and/or trolley lines, since all use essentially the same technology with minor variations in the way they are adapted.
  • Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
    Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
  • Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.
    Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.

    In early June, in between other Virginia-based rail-events, Pat Yough and I made a brief visit to Norfolk, Virginia to take a spin on that city’s new light rail system, which is cleverly called ‘The Tide.’

    Nice Siemens trams (light rail vehicles) glide along on regular intervals. Part of the route is built on an old railroad right of way. It is my understanding that plans are in the works to extend the route east toward Virginia Beach.

  • For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.
    For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.
    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.
    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.
    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.
    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.
    Lumix LX7 photo.
    Norfolk, Virginia is a tidy city. Plume Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.
    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.
    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.
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Amtrak’s 600 at Zoo Junction.

Sunday, December 7, 2014.

Tracking the Light presents a few views at this busy location.

Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is in transition as the old battle-worn AEM-7s are being phased out and the new Siemens ACS-64 ‘City Sprinter’ locomotives gradually assume their duties.

 

Fellow photographer Pat Yough and I were out to make good use of the sunlight. We’d caught Amtrak 600 the ‘David L. Gunn’ (recently named for Amtrak’s former president 2002-2005) working a Harrisburg-New York Penn Station Keystone on the Main Line and were aiming for another photograph of this unique locomotive.

Amtrak AEM-7 924 crosses the Schuylkill River  working toward Philadelphia's 30th Street Station on the former Pennsylvania Railroad.. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak AEM-7 924 crosses the Schuylkill River working toward Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station on the former Pennsylvania Railroad. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak AEM-7 924. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak AEM-7 924. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
New Amtrak ACS-64 621 leads a Northeast Regional train at Zoo Junction. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
New Amtrak ACS-64 621 leads a Northeast Regional train at Zoo Junction. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
A former Metroliner cab-car leads a Keystone service at Zoo Junction. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
A former Metroliner cab-car leads a Keystone service at Zoo Junction. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak 600 was named 'David L. Gunn' and works at the back of a Keystone train. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak 600 was named ‘David L. Gunn’ and works at the back of a Keystone train. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak 600 was named 'David L. Gunn' and works at the back of a Keystone train. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Amtrak 600 was named ‘David L. Gunn’ and works at the back of a Keystone train. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

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Daily Post: Amtrak Cities Sprinter Revenue Run, February 7, 2014

 Photos of Amtrak’s Latest.

Yesterday (February 7, 2014), after several months of testing, Amtrak’s new ACS-64 Siemens built ‘Cities Sprinter’ locomotive 600 made its first revenue run on Amtrak train 171 (Boston to Washington).

My dad and I went to Milford, Connecticut on the North East Corridor to catch the new electric. Pop made some B&W photos with his Leica M3 from the east end of the platform. I worked the curve at the west end with my Canons.

I popped off a couple of slides with the EOS 3 with a 100mm telephoto, and exposed two bursts of digital images using the Canon 7D with 20mm lens.

 

Brand new Amtrak electric 600 leads train 171 (Boston to Washington) at Milford, Connecticut at 10:56am February 7, 2014.  Canon 7D with 20mm lens. f4.5 1/2000th second, ISO 200.
Brand new Amtrak electric 600 leads train 171 (Boston to Washington) at Milford, Connecticut at 10:56am February 7, 2014. Canon 7D with 20mm lens. f4.5 1/2000th second, ISO 200.
Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.
Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.
Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.
Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.

Amtrak_171_ACS_64_engine_600_at_Milford_trailing_1_IMG_4213

Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.
Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.

By the way the 20mm on the 7D has a field of view equal to about a 35mm lens on a traditional 35mm film camera.

The new electric sure looked nice! I’ll be keen to see the B&W photos and slides when they are processed.

After 171 passed, I made a few photos of a Metro-North local, then Pop and I went over to inspect the recently opened Metro-North station at West Haven, where we made a few photos of passing trains.

Did you get to see Amtrak’s latest electric?

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News Flash: Amtrak ACS-64 Debut.

Today Amtrak number 600 worked train 171 from Boston.

Brand new Amtrak electric 600 leads train 171 (Boston to Washington) at Milford, Connecticut at 10:56am February 7, 2014.  Canon 7D with 20mm lens. f4.5 1/2000th second, ISO 200.
Brand new Amtrak electric 600 leads train 171 (Boston to Washington) at Milford, Connecticut at 10:56am February 7, 2014. Canon 7D with 20mm lens. f4.5 1/2000th second, ISO 200.

Click to see more photos: Amtrak Cities Sprinter Revenue Run, February 7, 2014

After several months of testing, new Amtrak ACS-64 ‘Cities Sprinter’ 600 made its first revenue run on Amtrak 171 (Boston to Washington).

My dad and I went to Milford, Connecticut on the North East Corridor to catch the new electric.

Snow and sun made for a nearly perfect morning.

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Photography and Articles featured in German publication ModellEisenBahner

Excerpt of my article in the January 2013 ModellEisenBahner
Excerpt of my article in the January 2013 ModellEisenBahner
Cover of January 2013 ModellEisenbahner
Cover of January 2013 ModellEisenbahner

My article on Electro-Motive’s AC traction diesels is featured in the January 2013 issue of Germany’s ModellEisenBahner. This deluxe glossy publication offers superb photo reproduction and my images of Burlington Northern SD70MAC and Conrail SD80MACs are top notch. My detailed text for the article was translated into German by my editor Stefan Alkofer. I’m credited for photography and writing at the end of the article as per the magazine’s style. These American diesels are of interest to German readers because that use Siemen AG’s three-phase traction system and so represent a successful application of German technology on American railroads. In my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to photograph Electro-Motive’s various AC traction diesel models across the United States. These images have also been featured in a variety of American publications, including my latest book North American Locomotives.

In addition, a special ModellEisenBahner issue (MEB-Spezial Nr. 15) that focuses on American railways and American photographers features a short article I wrote on my father’s first visit to Germany in 1960 along with several of his vintage photos. My dad’s photos also help illustrate a detailed article on New York Central in the same issue.

Here’s a link to ModellEisenBahner’s webpage: https://www.modelleisenbahner.de/

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