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People. Hard to know what they are thinking sometimes. I go to Palmer Yard in MA on occasion and pretty much stick to the diamond. On my scanner I hear New England Central sending a train south to Connecticut from time to time, but never bothered to track the movement. This morning, I heard the chatter between the dispatcher and engineer and decided to go to an obscure crossing at milepost 63 to catch the train. As I am standing at the crossing with my camera pointed at the rails, another person approaches with her truck and, after looking at me, stops at the crossing, shuts off her truck and gets out right in front of me to make her own film. Okay. I was going to say something snarky but remembered my wife's favorite saying of kill 'em with kindness. Commented "Well, that was fun!" instead. She couldn't have been happier. I'll get over it.

@Mooner posted:

People. Hard to know what they are thinking sometimes. I go to Palmer Yard in MA on occasion and pretty much stick to the diamond. On my scanner I hear New England Central sending a train south to Connecticut from time to time, but never bothered to track the movement. This morning, I heard the chatter between the dispatcher and engineer and decided to go to an obscure crossing at milepost 63 to catch the train. As I am standing at the crossing with my camera pointed at the rails, another person approaches with her truck and, after looking at me, stops at the crossing, shuts off her truck and gets out right in front of me to make her own film. Okay. I was going to say something snarky but remembered my wife's favorite saying of kill 'em with kindness. Commented "Well, that was fun!" instead. She couldn't have been happier. I'll get over it.

Stealth mode......walk up to photo bomb her shot as the train rolls by....

Good work Moon

@RSJB18 posted:

Stealth mode......walk up to photo bomb her shot as the train rolls by....

Good work Moon

Looks like that but she was almost standing on the track and I stayed back enough not to get in the picture. You’ll note she is shooting vertical which I believe is considered a cardinal sin on the forum so she has 2 strikes against her. White socks with black shoes - strike 3?

My first time visiting Point of Rocks about a year ago.

During the week, I finally got my car back from the collision shop after a month. With an 81-degree day and sun, I decided to celebrate by driving an hour and seeing if I could find any action on Norfolk Southern's H-line, specifically the Hagerstown District. After observing a 12T or 12Z drop cars at Warren before heading north, I decided I wouldn't be getting any southbounds with the light and bounced for Shenandoah, hoping for a southbound on the Roanoke District or a northbound with a nose-out DPU. For the first time in a few months, I got lucky; 14Z, which had passed through Greenville, TN, the night before, had a new crew and headed north about a half-hour after my arrival. More importantly, the train had a rear, nose-out DPU, and an EMD to-boot, which is always a bonus on NS. I followed the train north and shot it at a few places, including these very hard-to-access position lights at control point Wilsons. Their counterparts at Stanley, VA, a mile south were replaced a little over a year ago with standard Safetran signals.  

I always enjoy your videos and photos, Dan…thanks for sharing them with us!  One question for you…have you considered using a tripod or some other device to stabilize your camera?  Even something makeshift would help to eliminate most—if not all—of the shakiness.  It’s the best advice I was given related to shooting videos many years ago.  Keep up the great work!

@Mooner posted:

People. Hard to know what they are thinking sometimes. I go to Palmer Yard in MA on occasion and pretty much stick to the diamond. On my scanner I hear New England Central sending a train south to Connecticut from time to time, but never bothered to track the movement. This morning, I heard the chatter between the dispatcher and engineer and decided to go to an obscure crossing at milepost 63 to catch the train. As I am standing at the crossing with my camera pointed at the rails, another person approaches with her truck and, after looking at me, stops at the crossing, shuts off her truck and gets out right in front of me to make her own film. Okay. I was going to say something snarky but remembered my wife's favorite saying of kill 'em with kindness. Commented "Well, that was fun!" instead. She couldn't have been happier. I'll get over it.



I had something very similar happen to me a few weeks ago.  I was set up to shoot a video of the Amtrak Vermonter exiting the south portal of the tunnel in Bellows Falls, VT when a woman and her daughter walked up right in front of me (and stood very close to the tracks!) to shoot a video. Guess I was in their way even though I was there first!

@Mark Boyce posted:

Dan, Nice video at Point of Rocks!  Do any passenger trains stop there any more?

Good job on the Norfolk Southern!  Also, congratulations on getting your car back!

Thanks Mark! No Amtrak trains, but on weekdays there's 3-4 inbound and 3-4 outbound MARC commuter trains during the morning and evening rushes respectively, running to DC and heading toward Martinsburg or Brunswick.  

@CNJ #1601 posted:

I always enjoy your videos and photos, Dan…thanks for sharing them with us!  One question for you…have you considered using a tripod or some other device to stabilize your camera?  Even something makeshift would help to eliminate most—if not all—of the shakiness.  It’s the best advice I was given related to shooting videos many years ago.  Keep up the great work!

I actually do have one, a decent Magnus tripod that Rich Melvin recommended after he made the same comment. When I shot this video in March, I can't remember if it had broken by this point, or, more likely, that I was lazy on this particular day because I wasn't expecting unique action. I know by May, it was broken, and I'd gotten into the bad habit of shooting everything hand-held because I was running and gunning on my shortline chases. I've tried to run image stabilization in post as my time and storage space allows, which helps a little.

For today's video, I have a mix of tripod and handheld shots; I used my iPhone for a pair of shots, first because I (again) wasn't expecting this K64 to be memorable (needed SD card space) and later because I wanted good audio of the horn; I've found that even with an external mic, recording directly to the camera tended to flatten the sound.

All that said, this particular day, despite screwing up my white balance, I had really good luck and saw the K64 local with a GP38-2 leading long hood forward southbound, and with a SD40E leading northbound with an RS5T horn.

For today's photo, I went back a few months to October of last year, when I caught the Allegheny Valley Railroad's pair of ex-NS GP59s (the Twins) together on AVR-3, switching International Paper in Wylandville, PA. This line is the former B&O "Pike" or Washington & Pittsburgh subdivision, which ran from Pittsburgh to Wheeling, but now terminates a few miles south of Washington, PA.

Twinning for fall

Dan, thank you for the scoop!  I didn’t even think of MARC trains running that far out.

Marty, you see those two tone orange engines everywhere, but with different lettering.  I keep expecting B&P on all of them even though I know better.

Joe and Gary, I wonder if I will see any CN police cars here in Butler on the former B&LE.  Now I know to keep an eye out.

April 22, 2024 • Let’s get crazy & go rail-fanning with a fisheye lens.

Troy & Pontiac Michigan.

On this rail-fanning trip we are going to be using a fisheye lens to bend the horizon to get some very unique images. With extreme perspectives & radial blur.

Waiting for the Amtrak 350 arriving from Chicago. - - "Me"

Amtrak #4608 Charger at the Troy Michigan Station.

Pontiac Michigan is the end of the lime for train #350, The Wolverine Line. Amtrak does not use the turntable but the CN Wye Turn.

The CN Railroad Police have five new police vehicles.

CN Yard locos on a siding.

Pontiac CN Yard Turn Table.

Front ends.

Let’s jump into the F150 and go back to my train room.

Thanks for taking a look!

Train Room Gary - Hope to see you out rail-fanning 🚂

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Gary, the fisheye makes for some interesting photographs!

I mentioned the CN here in Butler, Pennsylvania the other day, and here you have more CN.  I had not seen any B&LE engines on the CN, former B&LE, for some time.  Yesterday, as I was walking from the parking lot to the store I heard an engine horn, there I saw two old pealing paint engines, one in B&LE orange and one in DM&IR maroon, pulling one lone boxcar.  I’m slow.  By the time I got the smart phone out of my pocket, they were gone behind a building and trees.  Sorry, no photograph. 😢😢

@Mark Boyce posted:

Gary, the fisheye makes for some interesting photographs!

I mentioned the CN here in Butler, Pennsylvania the other day, and here you have more CN.  I had not seen any B&LE engines on the CN, former B&LE, for some time.  Yesterday, as I was walking from the parking lot to the store I heard an engine horn, there I saw two old pealing paint engines, one in B&LE orange and one in DM&IR maroon, pulling one lone boxcar.  I’m slow.  By the time I got the smart phone out of my pocket, they were gone behind a building and trees.  Sorry, no photograph. 😢😢

Hi Mark: Thanks for checking out these photos.Yes: A fisheye lens can make some interesting images. I taught high school Graphic Arts & Photography for 36 years. Also the Yearbook Advisor on & off. The Yearbook staff enjoyed publishing fisheye photos in the Yearbook. Both this staff & photo students would return with all kinds of wild photos.

Thanks for checking out these photos.We all have that issue of missing a great rail-fanning shot. Gary from Michigan. 🚂

April 22, 2024 • Let’s get crazy & go rail-fanning with a fisheye lens.

Troy & Pontiac Michigan.

On this rail-fanning trip we are going to be using a fisheye lens to bend the horizon to get some very unique images. With extreme perspectives & radial blur.







Thanks for taking a look!

Train Room Gary - Hope to see you out rail-fanning 🚂

See.....027 curves do exist in real life.......

Some great and fun photos Gary. Thanks for sharing.

Bob

@coach joe posted:

@Christopher2035 you've included a couple of really dramatic photos in your usual incredible contribution,

the engines lights stand out against the threatening sky and dark background of trees

the lighting in this night time photo is just fantastic.

Thank you.  The first shot I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out because it was so dark out by that point and I shot it even darker as to not over expose the sky.

Sunday afternoon walk in the rain near milepost 103 on CSX Berkshire Subdivision. Amtrak Lakeshore Limited P449 from Boston to Albany at 3:35 PM heading west with 4 engines - 121, 88, 115, 111. Sure looks pretty coming through the bright green of the spring growth popping everywhere.

Got to the Canyon a few weeks back as I had out of state family in town and a reason to go.  The train was boarding for departure when we got to that part of the park.

Former Amtrak 239 in the lead.

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A compare / contrast image between 239 and 4128, a former NJT unit showing how the Juniata rebuilds of the NJT units placed the HEP generator where the rear porch is on the off the shelf EMD F40. 

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The consist was full of cars with a lot of history, but this one grabbed my attention.  A former SP Harriman coach.  I haven't seen one of these in a while on a train at the Canyon.  It was a nice surprise. 

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@MartyE posted:

Hey Daniel

Hope all is well!

I'm doing well!  I miss getting paid to sell trains, though, and getting to hang around with y'all.

This week I've got two mid-tier videos from around the mid-Atlantic. The first is a grab-bag of Buffalo & Pittsburgh catches seen around Punxsutawney, PA, on the old B&O and Bradford on the old Erie while waiting of other road freights.

The second is the result of another weekend afternoon hoping for position light signal shots on the Norfolk Southern Hagerstown District. I don't have ATCS software, so unless there was a heads-up on Facebook I usually don't know what's running (and now the ATCS signals aren't readable by railfans). Such was the case on this day; I had resolved to get "documentary" shots of the CPLs through Shenandoah, but when I got to control point Vaughn, I found the signal displaying green for a northbound. I chased that train for a few miles, despite the backlighting, but then got really lucky and deduced they were meeting a southbound. Except for Stanley, the lighting still wasn't superb (mornings are better), but that one shot justified the afternoon for me, as the signals were cut over to modern "Darth Vaders" just under two months later.

I had a bit of free time this Thursday afternoon, May 16th, and decided to catch some action on the Grafton & Upton RR.  I was hoping to see G&U’s recently-repainted GP9R #1751.  The engine had been out of service for several years, but emerged from the G&U’s shop in March sporting a new black and orange paint scheme that appeared to be very similar to that of Precision Leasing.  Up until this point, the G&U had painted its engines black and yellow.

I headed to Upton, MA hoping to catch the G&U’s “GU-1” daily road freight switching cars at the Upton, MA yard.  Other than the clouds and drizzle, my plan and timing worked out perfectly.  The unexpected bonus was the 1751 being paired with Precision Leasing GP40-2LW #9619 which I had no idea was on G&U property!

I then chased the train as it headed north—with Precision 9619 and G&U 1751 hauling 13 empties—on its way back to the North Grafton, MA  yard, which is the end of the line and the G&U’s northern interchange point with CSX.  I was able to catch the train at a few locations along the way.  All in all not a bad hour and a half of railfanning!

Here are a few photos and videos of my chase…

GU-1 switching cars at the Hartford Ave. crossing, which is at the north end of the Upton, MA yard and transload complex…

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Northbound GU-1 at the Old Upton Road crossing in Grafton, MA…

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North Street crossing in Grafton Center, MA…a classic-looking New England town center…

Approaching the Snow Road crossing in North Grafton, MA…

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May 10, 2024 • Rail-fanning The Detroit River Block • Part 1

On this rail-fanning trip we are going to walk the Detroit River Block and check out the rail lines. Also take a look at ships on the river, Gordie Howe International Bridge, trackside structures and much more.

The M. S. Westcott in a USPS Mail Boat that takes mail out to the freighters and brings back shipments.

A man fishing for Detroit River Walleyes. To the left, The Ambassador Bridge & to the right The Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Getting closer. The Gordie Howe International Bridge is almost ready to hang the final road bed. Connecting Windsor Ontario to Detroit Michigan.

Street work being done at a rail road crossing.

Jefferson Ave trackside structure.

Whitefish Bay Freighter passing the Ambassador Bridge.

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@CNJ #1601 posted:

I had a bit of free time this Thursday afternoon, May 16th, and decided to catch some action on the Grafton & Upton RR.  I was hoping to see G&U’s recently-repainted GP9R #1751.  The engine had been out of service for several years, but emerged from the G&U’s shop in March sporting a new black and orange paint scheme that appeared to be very similar to that of Precision Leasing.  Up until this point, the G&U had painted its engines black and yellow.

I headed to Upton, MA hoping to catch the G&U’s “GU-1” daily road freight switching cars at the Upton, MA yard.  Other than the clouds and drizzle, my plan and timing worked out perfectly.  The unexpected bonus was the 1751 being paired with Precision Leasing GP40-2LW #9619 which I had no idea was on G&U property!

I then chased the train as it headed north—with Precision 9619 and G&U 1751 hauling 13 empties—on its way back to the North Grafton, MA  yard, which is the end of the line and the G&U’s northern interchange point with CSX.  I was able to catch the train at a few locations along the way.  All in all not a bad hour and a half of railfanning!

Here are a few photos and videos of my chase…

GU-1 switching cars at the Hartford Ave. crossing, which is at the north end of the Upton, MA yard and transload complex…



Northbound GU-1 at the Old Upton Road crossing in Grafton, MA…



North Street crossing in Grafton Center, MA…a classic-looking New England town center…



Approaching the Snow Road crossing in North Grafton, MA…



This looks like a great chase, you took some nice video! I know local folks aren't really partial to the leased end-cabs, but I've been meaning to get up there since I first saw they were using switchers. The new Geep is an extra incentive.

Last edited by pittsburghrailfan

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