NR-2, 190 and a few Rhode Islanders 1


Today was a bit different than usual – not only was it sunny and above freezing, but I had some visitors on my usual photography jaunt – a few folks from the Ocean State decided to shoot the Providence & Worcester along the Norwich Branch. They started the day in Plainfield, and we met up in Groton a bit later on.

This morning, I got a call from Nick Palazini – he, Ron Chouinard and Jon Guilbeault were leaving Plainfield chasing NR-2, so they gave me a heads up on the train’s departure. We had arranged to meet up at the USS Nautilus overlook park ahead of the train, so I figured I had a good 20 minutes before I had to head out. So I finished up some work and headed north to the park.

As I got there, the trio was already there waiting in the parking lot. Once I pulled in, we all exchanged greetings and settled in for a bit of chat before the train showed up. Not long after we started our conversations did we hear horns to the north, followed by NR-2 reporting that they’re south of MP5. That meant the horns were from Dow Chemical, and we had a few minutes before the train would be in front of us. That was a good thing, because the tracks were still in the shadows. A few more minutes should throw some sunlight on most of the causeway in front of the first nuclear submarine.

As we were waiting, a signal maintainer (presumably a P&W maintainer), broke out his ladder and began working on the crossing gate at the Submarine Force Museum. As soon as the crossing activated, he got off his ladder and headed out of the grade crossing in advance of NR-2s arrival.

A signal maintainer works on the grade crossing signal at the US Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT as NR-2 approaches
A signal maintainer works on the grade crossing signal at the US Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT as NR-2 approaches
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A few moments later, NR-2 came through the crossing, giving a nice reflection in the calm waters in front of us

Providence & Worcester train NR-2 rolls past the USS Nautilus at the US Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT
Providence & Worcester train NR-2 rolls past the USS Nautilus at the US Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT
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As the train was rolling past, the way the shadows were still across the tracks, along with the moon hanging low in the sky. As the trailing power slipped into the shadows, I snapped a shot with the moon in the upper right corner of the frame

NR-2 rolls into the shadows at the Nautilus with the moon overhead
NR-2 rolls into the shadows at the Nautilus with the moon overhead
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And I took another shot a second or so later that I had intended to crop rather tight. It’s a shot of just the reflection of the trailing power, along with the moon, in the water.

Reflections of NR-2 and the moon
Reflections of NR-2 and the moon
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Next up the three amigos from RI wanted to head to the overlook south of the Thames River drawbridge. So that’s where we headed.

We got there as NR-2 was approaching the signal at the top of the Groton wye. It looked like we didn’t have long to wait as the Amtrak Shore Line dispatcher was getting the train right out on the corridor with a wait. A minute or so later, NR-2 made their way onto the drawbridge

NR-2 heads onto the Thames River drawbridge
NR-2 heads onto the Thames River drawbridge
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As the train was heading for the New London side of the river, I snuck a shot of Nick shooting the freight crossing the river

Nick Palazini gets a shot of NR-2 crossing the Thames River drawbridge
Nick Palazini gets a shot of NR-2 crossing the Thames River drawbridge
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As the train left view, we headed for the next spot right across the Thames from the New London station and Shaw’s Cove.

We got there just as the train was approaching the station. As Nick and Jon got their shots, I got a shot of them in action

Nick and John take shots of NR-2 across the Thames River
Nick and John take shots of NR-2 across the Thames River
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Sorry Ron, I didn’t get a good one of you in action. I promise I’ll get one when I visit the Valley sometime in the near future!

Next up I worked the moon into another shot. This time a wider shot with the moon at the extreme top, and the train lost in the clutter of the city below

NR-2 snakes through downtown New London, with the moon overhead
NR-2 snakes through downtown New London, with the moon overhead
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And back to the tighter shot of the train stretched out over the Thames River drawbridge.

NR-2 crosses Shaw's Cove
NR-2 crosses Shaw's Cove
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Listening to the scanner, it sounded like Amtrak train 190 was heading for Shaw’s Cove. A minute later 190 came into view, and I got the first shot of it rolling onto the bridge over Shaw’s Cove, with a fishing boat in the frame

Amtrak train 190 heads towards Shaw's Cove
Amtrak train 190 heads towards Shaw's Cove
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And a bit wider, again with the entire train stretched out over the swing bridge

190 crosses the Shaw's Cove swing bridge
190 crosses the Shaw's Cove swing bridge
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And finally a shot of the train pulling into the New London station for their scheduled stop

190 pulls into New London station
190 pulls into New London station
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As the passengers boarded across the river, Nick, Ron & Jon decided to head north to try and catch NR-3 heading out of Plainfield. So we bid eachother farewell – they headed north, and I headed south to the office for the rest of the day.

Thanks for looking!
Tom

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