Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blue and White

I had a morning off recently, and caught up with the eastbound Cambridge local in New Concord. The train was drifting through the recent snow, and I shot it from the ancient hump bridge that spans the tracks in town. The ice on the trees is rendered invisible by the morning light, but it shows up a little in the going away shot.

After the bridge shot it was off toward Cambridge, dodging black ice and the occasional snowplow. I rambled down back roads searching for a spot to shoot, only to be repelled by a lack of parking places- even on the most deserted roads it is usually not such a good idea to park in the travel lanes, especially in slippery conditions involving sharp curves. So I was repeatedly skunked until I found a road wide enough to park on. After surveying the situation briefly, I decided that my first attempt at a shot at this spot, some two years ago, would suffice, as it was boring and unscenic. On my way to turn around, I noticed an open field leading to the tracks, pulled over, and waited for my blue friends to show up. I shot a number to times as the train swept across the scene (with a disappointing lack of flying snow) and found a shot of the train just before plowing over some horses most satisfactory.

Nature was calling when I got to Cambridge, painfully so, so I missed a shot in town. I caught up with the train as it was attempting to enter a flexiflo terminal. I drove around and around, looking for a place to park, and finally ended up walking back to the crossing from a few blocks away. The two engines, separated from their train, were sitting at a switch, which was apparently iced in. As I was walking to the crossing, an MOW crew I passed on the way into town came to the rescue. As I shot a rescuing MOW worker heading into the sun, my boss called, inviting me to come to work for the afternoon. It was a fitting way to end my chase.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I was in Coshocton on Super Bowl Sunday, arriving early and stopping for lunch at Tim Hortons. I parked at my usual lunch spot by the tracks, and just as I was about to head off to my assignment, headlights appeared to the south. It was an empty OC coal train, heading back to the mine at Cadiz. Five minutes later it was rolling past, my coming toward shot ruined by lousy light and a boring sky. But the going away, of a still-clean 4027, was pretty nice, with the towering stacks of the rail-served Smurfit Stone Container factory behind the power.

Then it was off to my assignment. Despite the extra few minutes, I was still quite early for my assignment.

After my assignment, I drove around for a while looking for wild art. The front was taken care of already- it was Super Bowl Sunday, but maybe we had space inside. I had nothing to do before the game anyway. I headed east, and caught up with a train near West Lafayette. I shot the train with a bit of the abandoned humpy bridge in the foreground.

The train was a Pennsylvania Power and Light coal train, a run through job from Norfolk Southern. It consisted of mostly PPLX hoppers, an interesting assortment off hoppers built in the late 1960s. They were never painted, and adopted a variety of rusty hues.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Snow Day

We have gotten a lot of snow this winter, but due to other commitments I have not been able to shot any trains in said snow. So I get all the hassle, but not much of the joy.

That changed back on the second of February, when luck had me going to lunch as the northbound GLT crossed State Street with still clean 4027 leading, and the sun came out on the fresh snow as the two resident Super 7s, waited for their call to head to Newark later that night.