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Providence & Worcester train MFS-5 – The first revenue train to Willimantic in over 20 years

P&W train MFS-5 passes over Merrit Brook, as fellow photog Bob LaMay watches

Well, I took the day off from work yesterday (March 5, 2007) to photograph the historic first revenue run over the formerly dormant Providence & Worcester Willimantic Branch between Versailles and Willimantic, CT. Fellow rail photographer Bob LaMay joined me for the chase from Plainfield to Willimantic, and back to Versailles, where we called it a day. The only casualty for the day, other than a few sore muscles, was the Shetucket River ate one of my lens caps. I guess it could have been worse…

For now, here’s a few select shots – more will come in the days ahead.

The train was powered by PW 2215 and PW 4003, and traveled from Plainfield to Willimantic as light engines. Once they got within the yard limits, NECR train 608 was there, and spotted 20 cars for the P&W to return to Plainfield with.

First shot is of the light engines passing over a tributary of the Shetucket River just downstream of the Scotland Dam in Windham, CT. Yes, I meant to get Bob in the frame. :-)

P&W train MFS-5, consisting of light engines on the trip east to Willimantic, passes over Merrick Brook, a tributary of the Shetucket River downstream from the Scotland Dam.  Fellow photographer Robert A. LaMay joined the train in this shot.
P&W train MFS-5, consisting of light engines on the trip east to Willimantic, passes over Merrick Brook, a tributary of the Shetucket River downstream from the Scotland Dam. Fellow photographer Robert A. LaMay joined the train in this shot.
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View in the gallery

And here’s NECR 608, with a pair of ex-CN leased units for power, pulling south after dropping the 20 cars on the P&W main for MFS-5 to haul back to Plainfield:

New England Cnetral train 608 pulls out of Windham, CT after droppipng 20 cars for P&W train MFS-5 to bring back to Plainfield, CT.  This marks the first interchange between the railroads within the yard limits of the NECR's Willimantic Yard.
New England Cnetral train 608 pulls out of Windham, CT after droppipng 20 cars for P&W train MFS-5 to bring back to Plainfield, CT. This marks the first interchange between the railroads within the yard limits of the NECR's Willimantic Yard.
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View in the gallery

Now the train is just upstream of the Scotland Dam, crossing a causeway along the icy Shetucket:

Providence & Worcester train MFS-5 pulls along the Shetucket River above the Scotland Dam in Windham, CT.
Providence & Worcester train MFS-5 pulls along the Shetucket River above the Scotland Dam in Windham, CT.
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View in the gallery

And finally, the train gets closer to the Scotland Dam, as a fellow photographer waits for his shot. No, it’s not Bob, he was standing to my left at that time – any guesses who it is? 10 extra points if you get it right, and the points are completely worthless ;-)

A fan watches Providence & Worcester train MFS-5 skirt along the Shetucket River in Windham, CT on it's way east to Plainfield, CT
A fan watches Providence & Worcester train MFS-5 skirt along the Shetucket River in Windham, CT on it's way east to Plainfield, CT
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View in the gallery

That’s all for now. I’ll be posting some shots of the regular P&W freights NR-2 and NR-3 getting their trains together and departing Plainfield later on today, if all goes well. Stay tuned for more MFS-5 shots – I’ll probably post a couple more over the next few days.

Thanks for looking and enjoy!
Tom Nanos

2 comments to Providence & Worcester train MFS-5 – The first revenue train to Willimantic in over 20 years

  • Jim Warsher

    my guess is that the mystery person is Steve Carlson – LOL – either that or he is driving the train! Nice photos, Tom. You always have nice photos. When Tom Nelligan hangs up his jersey, you’ll be “it” for our six states.

  • Jim-

    Good guess – your second guess was partly correct – Steve was on the train, but I’m not sure who was at the controls. He wasn’t when they left Plainfield that morning, Jay Pease was. The mystery person would be Mr. Dave Horree, another P&W employee – one of the four of us photographing the move. But I do have a few shots of Steve jumping around getting shots…

    And thank you for the kind words, they are truly appreciated! It’s something I love to do, and I hope that comes across in my work.

    -Tom

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