Two trains, a steel worker, a cutter, some swans and Bob


Got out again this morning to take advantage of the sunlight, even though it was quite chilly. At least it wasn’t as windy as it was yesterday. But I did end up getting out a bit later than normal, which changed things a bit at the last minute. But that’s fine – I bagged two trains, more steel on the bridge, some birds, a US Coast Guard cutter, and ran into a guy named Bob.

Like I mentioned, I got out a bit later than normal this morning. As I was heading north, the radio was silent until I turned onto Route 12 at the Sub Base – NR-2 reported that they were south of MP5. Crap! A quick turnaround in a parking lot, and I was headed back south. I figured the best spot would be the Nautilus – if the traffic lights cooperated.

While I was sitting at the red light at the corner of Crystal Lake Ave and Military Highway, I could just picture NR-2 passing the Nautilus in front of me while I waited at the light. A moment later, the light changed to green, and I headed towards the Nautilus with no sign of NR-2. Phew!

I got into position just as the gates at the Nautilus dropped. The first shot I bagged was the lead power coming across the grade crossing at the Submarine Force Museum, with a Tomahawk cruise missile visible in the window of the museum

Providence & Worcester train NR-2 heads past the US Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT
Providence & Worcester train NR-2 heads past the US Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT
REF#:20071205-_MG_6183.jpg
View in the gallery

Next up a horizontal shot of the train, and a nice reflection approaching the USS Nautilus

NR-2, with a nice reflection, heads past the USS Nautilus in Groton
NR-2, with a nice reflection, heads past the USS Nautilus in Groton
REF#:20071205-_MG_6185.jpg
View in the gallery

Swiveling around to the south, a shot of the train passing behind the bare trees

NR-2 heads south past the USS Nautilus
NR-2 heads south past the USS Nautilus
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And back north, a shot of the trailing power passing the Nautilus

NR-2s tail end heads past the USS Nautilus
NR-2s tail end heads past the USS Nautilus
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View in the gallery

Then it was back into the car, and heading south. Next stop was at the Thames River drawbridge to check on the progress. I got to the parking lot next to the drawbridge, and there was a steel worker sitting on the top of the west tower.

A steel worker sits atop one of the columns
A steel worker sits atop one of the columns
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View in the gallery

And a wider view of the west tower

A wider view of the Thames River drawbridge's west tower
A wider view of the Thames River drawbridge's west tower
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View in the gallery

And I caught the worker apparently enjoying the view from his high perch

What a view!  A steel worker enjoys the view from atop one of the columns of the west tower
What a view! A steel worker enjoys the view from atop one of the columns of the west tower
REF#:20071205-_MG_6210.jpg
View in the gallery

I figured I’d try to catch NR-2 from further south, so I got back into the car. But as I moved back to the car, something in New London caught my eye. A large US Coast Guard cutter was moored in New London.

The US Coast Guard cutter Tahoma is moored in New London
The US Coast Guard cutter Tahoma is moored in New London
REF#:20071205-_MG_6207.jpg
View in the gallery

Turns out it’s the cutter Tahoma. Not sure why she’s here, but hey, it’s something different than the usual smaller cutters that frequent the Thames. After getting that shot, I got into the car, and made the 1/2 mile trek south to the next spot.

As I pulled into the parking lot, there was a familiar looking car parked down by the water. As I pulled closer, I saw the owner of the car – good friend and fellow rail photographer Bob LaMay. So we BS’d for a bit while waiting for Amtrak train 171 and NR-2 to follow them west.

A bit later, 171 came rolling across the drawbridge. I got a shot of them passing the west tower, with a pair of swans in the foreground

Amtrak train 171 crosses the Thames River as a pair of swans paddle south
Amtrak train 171 crosses the Thames River as a pair of swans paddle south
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And the swans continued towards us probably thinking we had some food.

Swans swimming towards us
Swans swimming towards us
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View in the gallery

Then another pair appeared from the south

A pair of swans paddle past
A pair of swans paddle past
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View in the gallery

Then Bob & I went back to the BS session waiting for NR-2 to come down the east leg of the Groton wye. A couple minutes later, we heard horns to the north – NR-2 was heading onto the Shore Line.

NR-2 makes their way onto the Thames River drawbridge
NR-2 makes their way onto the Thames River drawbridge
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View in the gallery

Then a shot of the shortish train stretched out across the drawbridge

NR-2 stretches out over the drawbridge as work continues on the west tower
NR-2 stretches out over the drawbridge as work continues on the west tower
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View in the gallery

And the trailing power passing the west tower

NR-2 passes the west tower of the Thames River drawbridge
NR-2 passes the west tower of the Thames River drawbridge
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View in the gallery

As part of our BS session between trains, Bob had asked if there was another shot to the south of where we were. Yep, there is, and we headed there next.

As we pulled into the parking lot, NR-2 was approaching the New London Amtrak station. First shot was the lead power passing by the Tahoma

NR-2 rolls through downtown New London in the shadow of the US Coast Guard cutter Tahoma
NR-2 rolls through downtown New London in the shadow of the US Coast Guard cutter Tahoma
REF#:20071205-_MG_6247.jpg
View in the gallery

Then a wider shot of NR-2s trailing power, the Tahoma and the station

NR-2s trailing power heads through New Lonodn, past the US Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma
NR-2s trailing power heads through New Lonodn, past the US Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma
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View in the gallery

And a couple standard across the river shots of the train crossing Shaw’s Cove

NR-2 heads for Shaw's Cove
NR-2 heads for Shaw's Cove
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View in the gallery

NR-2 crosses Shaw's Cove
NR-2 crosses Shaw's Cove
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View in the gallery

Then as the train was continuing west something caught my eye – a pair of swans were flying south over the water. So the natural shot was the swans with NR-2 in the background

A pair of swans fly by with NR-2 in the background
A pair of swans fly by with NR-2 in the background
REF#:20071205-_MG_6262.jpg
View in the gallery

Not a bad way to finish up the morning. Bob & I talked a bit more, then bid farewell – he was going to wait to try to catch a couple more trains, and I headed back to the office.

Thanks for looking!
Tom

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