Valley Railroad and P&W NR-2


I took the scenic route into work this morning – about 45 minutes out of my way in fact. I did catch a little P&W action at the (almost) usual time, but the side trip on the way into the office was interesting as well. I headed a bit further west before I headed for Groton – making a stop in Essex at the Valley Railroad to check out what’s going on, which wasn’t much at all. At least I got a shot of the newly rebuilt #40 basking in the early morning sunshine.

Yep, the jaunt to Essex didn’t exactly yield what I was looking for (really can’t mention why I went there, but if you’ve seen what’s in the news lately, you might just figure it out), but like I mentioned I did get a shot of the Valley Railroad’s #40 steam engine sitting outside of the engine shop in the early morning sunlight. I also got a shot of one of the centercab switchers with a string of equipment outside of the shop.

Valley Railroad centercab #0901 with a string of cars next to the engine house
Valley Railroad centercab #0901 with a string of cars next to the engine house
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The lineup at Essex
The lineup at Essex
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Fresh from a rebuilding, Valley Railroad #40 waits outside of the Essex shops for her next assignment
Fresh from a rebuilding, Valley Railroad #40 waits outside of the Essex shops for her next assignment
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So I got my shots, and headed back south for I-95 north (which really runs east, but who’s counting?).

A bit later on I headed out for my walk at the normal time. Well, wouldn’t ya know it, like yesterday, NR-2 was early. I barely caught them at the south end of Fairview yard in Groton.

Providence & Worcester train NR-2 rolls through Fairview yard in Groton, CT
Providence & Worcester train NR-2 rolls through Fairview yard in Groton, CT
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OK, looked like they were heading west, but was it to the NECR or all the way out to Old Saybrook? What the hell, let’s try to get over the river ahead of them and catch ’em at Waterfront park again. So I headed for the Gold Star bridge. But as I was sitting at the stoplight, the Amtrak Shore Line dispatcher gave NR-2 the signal to head west. Damn, this would be tight. So I figured on something safe – I’ll head for State Pier road, get a shot there, and possibly head for the waterfront park.

I got to State Pier road just as the train was coming off of the Thames River drawbridge on the New London side, which gave me just enough time to park the car, and get the camera out for a couple quickie shots.

NR-2 rolls over State Pier Road in New London on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor
NR-2 rolls over State Pier Road in New London on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor
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NR-2s trailing unit rolls over State Pier Road in New London
NR-2s trailing unit rolls over State Pier Road in New London
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Yeah, nothing special, but what the hell…

I noticed they were slowing down – what’s going on? I got my answer a couple seconds later as NR-2 was calling the dispatcher asking why they were getting a restricting signal prior to Governor Winthrop Blvd. Apparently Shaw’s Cove was open for boat traffic, and NR-2 would have to wait a couple minutes. OK, maybe I can make it down by they swing bridge. So I climbed in the car and headed that way.

Well, AT&T had other plans for me. They were doing some work on the underground lines at State Street, so traffic was backed up well past the New London Day building. As I sat there in traffic, I heard the train roll through the station, and west to Old Saybrook. Oh, well, ya can’t win ’em all!

Thanks for looking!
Tom

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