Reflecting on the P&W, and fishing with Amtrak


No, I’m not going to bore you with a philosophical diatribe about my reflections about railroading and more specifically the Providence & Worcester railroad. But rather I’m going to be a bit more literal here – Mill Cove in Ledyard, CT was quite calm and gave up some very nice reflections of P&W train NR-2 as they rolled along the causeway between the cove and the Thames River. And as for part two of the title, you’ll just have to read on…

I got out for my walk this morning a bit later than usual, and with no scanner chatter, I took a chance and headed for Mill Cove in Ledyard, CT to try to catch P&W train NR-2. As I got to the bottom of Long Cove Road, the body of water greeted me with a very smooth surface, just begging for a train to come along so it could return a a nice reflection. A look at the trees told me that I might get my wish – there was hardly a breath of air moving, which meant the glass-like water would remain that way for a bit. Well, at least until the sun got a bit higher and triggered some convection.

So I pulled into the parking lot at Erickson Park, grabbed my scanner and began my usual walk around the park. Not more than a couple minutes into my walk the scanner began talking – NR2 was reporting to the Worcester dispatcher that they were south of MP5! Holy crap, they were right on top of me! So a quick sprint back to the car, and a quick ride to the south got me to my spot just as NR-2 was sounding for the crossing at Red Top. I grabbed the camera, and ran up the hillside to get a better angle. I got into position just in time to meter the scene, make a quick exposure adjustment, and begin shooting NR-2 hitting the causeway.

Providence & Worcester train NR-2 heads onto the causeway between a very calm Mill Cove and the Thames River in Ledyard, CT
Providence & Worcester train NR-2 heads onto the causeway between a very calm Mill Cove and the Thames River in Ledyard, CT
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Then a shot with the entire train visible, and an ever so subtle ripple on the water

NR-2 rolling along a very calm Mill Cove
NR-2 rolling along a very calm Mill Cove
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Next up was a trio of shots, that get progressively wider as the train continues south

NR-2 rolling along a very calm Mill Cove
NR-2 rolling along a very calm Mill Cove
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NR-2 and its reflection rolling past Mill Cove and the Harvard Boat House in the background
NR-2 and its reflection rolling past Mill Cove and the Harvard Boat House in the background
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NR-2 making a nice reflection in Mill Cove
NR-2 making a nice reflection in Mill Cove
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And a staple of mine – a shot of the power crossing the inlet bridge, giving an nice reflection in the south end of the cove.

NR-2 heads over the inlet to Mill Cove
NR-2 heads over the inlet to Mill Cove
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That was followed by a couple shots of the trailing power. First was a tight telephoto of the trailing power, and the P&W “supergon”

NR-2s trailing locomotive rolls over the causeway between a calm Mill Cove and the Thames River
NR-2s trailing locomotive rolls over the causeway between a calm Mill Cove and the Thames River
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And another of the trailing unit crossing the inlet at the south end of the cove

NR-2s trailing locomotive heads over the inlet to Mill Cove
NR-2s trailing locomotive heads over the inlet to Mill Cove
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From there, I made my usual move to the south of the Thames River drawbridge. I stopped at the first spot closest to the bridge and got a telephoto shot of the concrete work continuing on the west pier

Concrete work continues on the west pier
Concrete work continues on the west pier
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Then a shot of the east tower nearing completion

Closeup of the east tower
Closeup of the east tower
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Next the fisheye was put on for a wide shot getting the entire bridge in the frame

A wide view of the Thames River drawbridge and the moveable span replacement project.
A wide view of the Thames River drawbridge and the moveable span replacement project.
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And back goes the telephoto for a horizontal shot of the concrete work

Concrete work continues on the west pier
Concrete work continues on the west pier
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Then a fishing boat caught my eye. He crossed under the Gold Star then the Amtrak bridge, and began to circle around a buoy, then grabbing it to hoist whatever was below into the boat.

A fishing boat works near the Thames River drawbridge
A fishing boat works near the Thames River drawbridge
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As they were doing that, I heard a familiar rumble – Amtrak train 171 was moving onto the bridge from the Groton side of the Thames. So the natural shot was one of 171 and the fishing boat

Amtrak train 171 crosses the Thames River as a fishing boat works below
Amtrak train 171 crosses the Thames River as a fishing boat works below
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A closer look at the guys in the fishing boat still didn’t give me a clue as to what they were doing. But it looked like they were cleaning off the line below the buoy.

Fishermen cleaning off a line
Fishermen cleaning off a line
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View in the gallery

NR-2 still wasn’t moving, so I decided to head to the next overlook just to the south. As I climbed in the car, the P&W channel woke up with a “here we go” call. Of course, as I’m on my way out, they start moving. But I got lucky, the engineer asked the rear unit to give him a push – that should give me enough time to head downriver a bit to the next spot.

I got there as NR-2 was making their way past the signal, so I got a shot of the tower from this more southerly angle

A view of the east tower
A view of the east tower
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Then NR-2 headed onto the bridge

NR-2 makes their way onto the Thames River drawbridge
NR-2 makes their way onto the Thames River drawbridge
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And past the ongoing work

NR-2 heads across the soon to be replaced (June 2008) Thames River drawbridge
NR-2 heads across the soon to be replaced (June 2008) Thames River drawbridge
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Of course, I had to work the fishing boat into this shot too

NR-2s trailing locomotive passes over a fishing boat
NR-2s trailing locomotive passes over a fishing boat
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And one final shot of the trailing power heading for the work area

NR-2s tail end heads across the Thames River in the shadow of the construction project
NR-2s tail end heads across the Thames River in the shadow of the construction project
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View in the gallery

It was time for me to pack up and head back to the office for the rest of the day.

Thanks for looking!
Tom

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