Finally getting through the backlog, and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A couple weeks ago I took Thursday the 23rd off from work for a couple reasons. First, my oldest daughter had a half day from school, and the youngest one had a doctor’s appointment. Since my wife hasn’t cloned herself yet (appt. was at the same time as the bus was dropping off), I had to get the big one off of the bus. But with some time before that happened, I headed out first thing in the morning to Plainfield to meet up with Nick Palazini and hopefully chase the two Providence & Worcester jobs that run south out of there – NR-2 and NR-3. But as with anything railroad related, nothing goes as planned.
Nick & I planned on meeting up in Plainfield at about 7am, and hopefully we could catch both P&W trains NR-2 and NR-3 heading out of Plainfield, and chasing them south.
Not too long after we arrived, NR-2’s power rolled down from the engine house and onto the Norwich main. What was odd, though, was that they weren’t getting any cars, and just moving down to the south end of the yard.
Well, when they didn’t stop to pick up any cars, we figured they were heading out of town as just light engines…not the most interesting thing to shoot, but I figured it was worth a try. Hell, we’d just be sitting around waiting for NR-3 to come on duty, so why not?
Well, because of some slow drivers, and uncooperative traffic lights, we barely caught up to them at Clayville Pond in Griswold. Just as we pulled onto the bridge north of the pond, NR-2 blasted south below us. That gave me enough time to jump out of the truck, into the bed, and snap a shot of them rolling away from us along the causeway that bisects the pond.
Nick passed on the shot, though…
After that, we figured it would be next to impossible to catch them, so we headed back for Plainfield to wait for NR-3
While sitting around waiting and BS-ing at Plainfield, we noticed the track crew heading this way. So what the hell, something different to shoot. Looks like they were heading down the Willimantic branch to do some work to the west.
Also shot a flock of birds that were heading overhead
After the crew made their way west, we went back to the bullshit session while waiting for NR-3 to come into view.
Not long after that, NR-3 came rolling into view.
And the head end power made their way onto the Norwich main, and tied onto the string of cars on the main, left by WONR.
All the while, the trailing power waited on the wye
While they were moving cars around, a couple shots just struck my eye…so of course I took the shots!
Then they were ready to finally assemble the train for the trip south
While they were doing their final preparations for the trip south, Nick & I decided to get a head start and get into position just south of the yard limits board. After a little wait (and more BS-ing), NR-3 rolled into view
And now the chase was on… After getting in the cars, we headed south on Route 12. This time people actually got out of our way, instead of driving 10 under the speed limit! Unfortunately, we didn’t beat them to Clayville Pond, so I tried a pacing shot through the trees.
But our next stop was the Shetucket River, on the Lisbon/Norwich line. With the speed reduction through Taft’s Tunnel, we were able to get ahead of the train by about a minute or so, giving us enough time to get down by the river bank and shoot them crossing the bridge.
More speed restrictions through Norwich gave us the time to get down to the south end of the short Norwich tunnel and get a shot of them pulling through.
And a shot of the trailing power through the signals near MP12
Then the final shot we were planning on – one looking down the yard. We figured this would be it because it would be next to impossible to catch them once they get rolling out of the yard.
But once we got back to the cars, we could hear over the radio that they’d be doing a little work here in Norwich, which should give us enough time to get ahead of them. We figured we might have enough time to get to the Route 2A bridge in Preston. So we set our sights on that area.
But on the way south, I figured it would be too close for us to walk all the way out from the commuter lot on Route 12. So we headed for the little tidal pond near MP7 in Ledyard.
We got there a couple minutes before we heard NR-3 to the north, confirming my feeling that we never would have made it out on the bridge in time. Moments later, NR-3 rolled across the causeway
And at that point we called it a day. Hey, despite the crappy weather (the weather-geeks were calling for sunny skies – that didn’t happen until I got home!), we did rather well. Stay tuned for Part II…
Thanks for looking!