Tag Archives: Western Rail Road

Sunrise on the old Western Rail Road; Middlefield, Massachusetts.

Since 1841, the rails of the old Western Rail Road (later Boston & Albany, and for the time-being CSXT’s Boston Line) have served as a conduit of commerce through the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.

I made this photograph at sunrise using my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a Zeiss 12mm Touit lens and a graduated neutral density filter to control contrast.

My friend Mel Patrick has often posed the question: ‘must all railroad photos show trains?’

Exposed in May 2016 using FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera with 12mm Zeiss lens.
Exposed in May 2016 using FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera with 12mm Zeiss lens.

Tracking the Light posts daily.


State Line Tunnel, Canaan, New York July 9, 2013


Brand New General Electric Locomotives at a Classic Location.

CSX at State Line Tunnel
CSX eastward Q012 at State Line Tunnel on the morning of July 9, 2013. Despite its name, the tunnel is actually several miles west of the New York-Massachusetts border. Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens.

On the morning of July 9, 2013, I visited State Line Tunnel on CSX’s former Boston & Albany mainline. This is a favorite place to catch trains in action on the line.

The air was heavy with moisture and as a result sound carried exceptionally well. I arrived at my location at 6:48 am. At 6:54, I could hear an eastward train blowing for a crossing near Chatham, New York, approximately 10 miles to the west (as per the timetable). At 6:56, the train reported a ‘clear’ signal aspect over the scanner.

Since the only signal in the area is located at CP 171 (the control point east end of the siding at East Chatham) I knew the train was about to cross the New York State Thruway. I then could trace the progress of the train as it sounded for various crossings in Canaan. By 7:04 am, I could cleared hear the engines working upgrade.

A 7:08, CSX’s intermodal train Q012 came into view. In the lead were three factory-clean General Electric ‘Evolution-Series’ diesel-electrics in the 3100-series (model ES44AC). As modelers might say, ‘right out of the box.’ Nice!

CSX at State Line Tunnel
A motor drive has its advantages. I made a sequence of images as the Q012 roared eastward. Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens.
New CSX GE-built ES44ACs.
This is my favorite of the three images. I like the foliage in the foreground which adds depth.

The train roared into the tunnel below me as I exposed a sequence of images with my Canon EOS 7D and 40mm pancake lens. I’d brought a tripod, but opted not to use it, as hand held gave me greater flexibility.


About 40 minutes later, I heard a westward train sounding for Stateline crossing. I relocated, and made images of CSX light engines exiting the west portal of the tunnel.

Until late-1988, this line had directional double track. Since then, just a single main track passes through the tunnel. The railroad uses the 1912-era bore, leaving the older 1840s-era bore void of track.

State Line Tunnel
Headlights gleam inside State Line Tunnel.
State Line Tunnel.
State Line Tunnel is a relatively short bore. The twin tunnels were built decades apart, and at one time both bores had twin tracks in them.
New CSX ES44AC at State Line Tunnel.
The tighter view gives a better view of the new engine but obscures the older tunnel portal. Why make one photo when three will do?
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