I managed to get out today a little later than normal, but that was fine. There would be enough time for me to get my normal walk in, as well as catch Providence & Worcester train NR-2. But I’d get a bonus today – a meet in New London with an Amtrak Acela. But the cool part is I wasn’t in New London! Good thing for telephoto lenses…
Things started out normal enough – as I approached the Nautilus, NR-2 reported that they were south of MP12 and about 20 minutes from the sub base. That gave me enough time to get out to Red Top, walk to my spot and set up before NR-2s arrival in Ledyard. And that’s what I did.
I got everything set up well in advance of NR-2 – including my Speed Graphic. I was going to try one shot with the focal plane shutter, which I have yet to give a try. Everything seemed to be working mechanically, but I’m not sure of the timing. So I metered the scene for ISO 400 (I’ve got a roll of T-MAX 400 in the back), and a shutter speed of 1/1000s, which is the highest shutter speed for the focal plane shutter (not bad for something made in 1947, eh?). That came out to about f/8. So I framed the shot up, focused, set the aperture to f/8, and wound the shutter to 1/1000.
A couple minutes later, horns in the distance started echoing down the Thames River valley. NR-2 was sounding for the crossings at Dow Chemical near MP5. Moments later, headlights appeared in the distance, and NR-2 called the dispatcher reporting that they were south of MP5. As they knocked down Red Top, I got a shot of them coming into the light
Next the shot with the Speed Graphic (as usual I’ll post a scan once I finish the roll and develop it), and finally a shot of the entire train rounding the bend to the south. Note that all the power was on the head end today
I packed things up and headed south to hopefully meet up with them crossing the Thames River.
As I passed by them in Fairview Yard, it sounded like they were doing some work before heading west – it sounded like they were dropping the Tilcon cars that were on the tail end of the train, then continuing west. So I got a shot of the bridgework on the drawbridge
After that I headed south to the next overlook in anticipation of NR-2s trip west. After I got there I got a shot of a small boat speeding south
And a shot of the boat passing a larger vessel with a crane on board
Of course, I have to get a shot of just the bridge work
Then a seagull went whizzing past me, and I framed him up just as he was about to land
Just then, NR-2 contacted the Amtrak Shore Line dispatcher for permission to head west to East Lyme, then Old Saybrook. The dispatcher gave them the signal right away, so they were on their way. Before they hit the eastern edge of the bridge, I got a shot of the continuing concrete work on the western pier of the drawbridge. Looks like they’re finishing up the rebar for the second concrete pour
Then NR-2 appeared on the bridge
And another boat came speeding north in the river. Got a shot of them slowing down for the no wake zone through the drawbridge, and NR-2 coming off of the bridge in the background.
Then a wider shot of the ship with the crane aboard at the State Pier
Continuing south, I headed for the last spot I can photograph trains from this side of the river – directly across from Shaw’s Cove. I got there just as NR-2 was heading for the swing bridge.
Just then another horn, something that sounded very different from NR-2, started echoing across the river. A quick look to my left told me what it was – an eastbound Acela!
Looks like the timing is just right for an NR-2 and Acela meet on the bridge! Yep, a meet it was
And the timing was also just about right to get a shot of NR-2s power coming off of the bridge, and the Acela’s trailing power car heading for the bridge
Then one final shot of the two trains parting ways
A pretty cool way to finish off the morning. From there the 2 minute drive south, and back into the office for the rest of the day.
Thanks for looking!