Tag Archives: VRS

Vermont Rail System SD70M-2 on the Crossing.

Vermont Rail System operates portions of the old Rutland network, including the Green Mountain Railroad from Rutland to Bellows Falls, Vermont.

Last Friday (May 11, 2018), I followed eastward freight 263 from Rutland toward Bellows Falls. This is section of railroad that I’ve been photographing for most of my life.

Freights move at a relaxed pace, and even with the roadworks on-going on Vermont highway 103, I had no difficulty making a variety of photographs.

This view is at a rural grade crossing compass north (and railroad timetable west) of Gassetts.

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm X-T1 camera with 18-135mm zoom lens.

I like this angle because it features the distant mountain that mimics the Vermont Railway logo on the side of the SD70M-2 diesel-electric locomotive leading the train.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Vermont Rail System; the Dark Side.

On Friday May 11, 2018, I made this view of Vermont Railway System SD70M-2 432 ascending the grade at Mt. Holly on Green Mountain Railroad’s former Rutland.

Over the years I’ve made a number of photos at Mt. Holly, and I like to work the ‘dark side’ of the tracks here, because it better features the old siding that is still in place there.

This telephoto cross-lit dark-side view also adds a sense of drama and better features the mountains in the distance.

Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with a 90mm Fujinon telephoto lens; ISO 200 f5.6 1/500thof a second.

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Cavendish: A Study in High Light.

High sun in June doesn’t offer the most flattering light. Straight up and down sun, with harsh contrast, and inky shadows conspire to make for difficult photos.

Last week, Paul Goewey and I waited at this rural grade crossing near Cavendish, Vermont for Vermont Rail System’s southward (eastward) freight 263. Slow orders and other delays resulted in a much longer than expected wait.

I had Fomapan 100 black & white film in the Leica 3A. I’ve been experimenting with this Czech-made film since October last year. Among its benefits is its exceptional ability to capture shadow detail.

To intensify this desirable characteristic, I processed the film with two-stage development. First I let the film soak at 68F in a water bath mixed with a drop of HC110 and Kodak Photoflo for about 3 minutes.

For the primary developer I used Ilford Perceptol Stock for 5 minutes 25 seconds at 69F with very gentle agitation every 60 seconds. Then stop bath, two bath fixer, 1st rinse, Permawash, 10 minute second rinse.

I scanned the negatives using an Epson Perfection V750 Pro flatbed scanner, then imported the negatives into Lightroom.

Ideally my chemical processing should yield negatives that don’t require work in post processing. But in this case I found I needed to make minor adjustments to contrast and exposure.

I’ve presented two examples; one is scaled but otherwise unaltered. The other has my exposure and contrast adjustments.

The unaltered image. This is scaled for internet presentation but not adjusted for contrast or exposure.
By making minor adjustments with Lightroom, I lightened the shadow areas to make better use of the detail captured by the film, softened the overall contrast, lowered the highlights, and used a digitally applied graduated filter to adjust highlights in the sky to make the clouds stand out better.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Vermont Rail System—Cuttingsville Trestle, June 2017.

June 7, 2017 was a rare crystal clear day. Paul Goewey and I headed north to Vermont to retrace the path of the old Rutland Railroad, and retrace our own footsteps.

Many years earlier, we had made a similar trip to this railroad to photograph Maine Central RS-11 802 that had been loaned to the Green Mountain Railroad for the run from Bellows Falls to Rutland.

Where our 1983 adventured occurred in November on a gloomy gray day that soon turned snowy, this most recent trip benefitted from very fine conditions.

As we drove toward Rutland on Vermont Highway 103, we recalled the details of the earlier trip

In Rutland we located VRS freight 263 that was getting ready to depart. Positioning ourselves on the grade to Mount Holly we waited. Once the freight passed our first spot we entered in its pursuit, as one does, to make more photographs.

On the right Paul Goewey makes a digital photograph of Vermont Rail System GP40-2 303 working upgrade with train 263. Although I also exposed a black & white image, I made this digital photo using a FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a Zeiss 12mm Touit lens. Working with the RAW file in Lightroom, I altered shadow areas, increased saturation, and made other nominal adjustments aimed at improving the image quality for presentation on the internet.

Among the spots we preselected was this view of the Cuttingsville Trestle. I selected an angle similar to that featured by famous photographs made in Rutland Railroad days by accomplished photographer Jim Shaughnessy.

I’ve included the technical details in my caption above.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Vermont Rail System, Mt. Holly, October 9, 2004.

Red Locomotives and Red Trees.

GP40s in fall color.
On October 9, 2004, Vermont Rail System freight 263 is near the summit of the old Rutland Railroad near Mt Holly, Vermont.

Nine years ago today, I exposed this photograph of Vermont Rail System train 263 at Mt. Holly, Vermont while traveling with Pat Yough and a guest visiting from England.

Compare this view with that as presented in an early Tracking the Light post titled Red Locomotives in the Snow; Mt Holly, Vermont.

Finding peak autumn color is always a challenge, and finding it with a train moving can be even more difficult. It always seems that the best color isn’t anywhere near the tracks. On this day in 2004, the view at Mt. Holly was an exception to the rule.

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