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PanAm Under The Stars

I had made plans with Nick Palazini to try and do a little shooting along PanAm Railway’s District 3 and 4 on Saturday night.  Hopefully we would catch something along the way.  Our plans started out as meeting up at East Deerfield and playing it by ear from there.  Of course, things changed – as it turned out, for the better.

Saturday evening, before I left, I got a call from Nick.  He was in Westminster, MA and there were two trains tied down there – one that may be sitting for a bit, and one that would take off soon.  The sitting trains ended up being NMED and AYMO – with AYMO getting a fresh crew before NMED.  We figured that since NMED would be around for a while, I’d head up there to meet Nick instead of ED.  So after putting the girls to bed, I headed up to Gardner to meet up with Nick.

Once we met up, we combined into one car and headed east to Westminster to shoot NMED.  The first one Nick & I both did the lighting.

PanAm train NMED waits for a fresh crew at Westminster, MA
PanAm train NMED waits for a fresh crew at Westminster, MA
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PanAm train NMED waits for a fresh crew at Westminster, MA
PanAm train NMED waits for a fresh crew at Westminster, MA
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PanAm train NMED waits for a fresh crew at Westminster, MA
PanAm train NMED waits for a fresh crew at Westminster, MA
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With those shots in the bag, we headed back west to split back up into 2 cars, and continue along the PAR tracks to see if anything was hanging around.

We first stopped by Gardner to see what was up.  When we got there, we were greeted by a pretty much empty yard, but looking east, the signals were lit with a green.  Hmmm, something was nearby, so we opted to hang around for a few and see what showed up.

A few minutes later, EDNM showed up, and stopped a bit short of us.  But looking back at the signals, they were all now red.  Our guess is that NMED got a recrew, and were heading west.  But we took the opportunity to shoot EDNM as they sat still in Gardner.

PanAm train EDNM approaches Gardner, MA
PanAm train EDNM approaches Gardner, MA
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PanAm train EDNM waits for a signal to head east out of Gardner, MA
PanAm train EDNM waits for a signal to head east out of Gardner, MA
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After that, we continued west, checking spots as we went along.  Each time we were greeted by empty tracks.  The last set of empty track was at Farley’s, just west of Erving, MA.  There, in a light fog, were a couple signals near the crossing.  So we spent a little time shooting those signals (and the moon) before heading to East Deerfield.

The signals at Farleys and the moon
The signals at Farleys and the moon
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The signal at Farleys
The signal at Farleys
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The signals at Farleys under a dark night sky
The signals at Farleys under a dark night sky
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It was a good thing we left Farley’s when we did.  As we pulled across Railfan Bridge (which had a few railfans on it, despite being near 2am), we saw AYMO sitting at the signals with a fresh crew waiting to head west.  We had enough time to set up and get a few shots off before they pulled out.

PanAm train AYMO waits for the signals to head west out of East Deerfield, MA
PanAm train AYMO waits for the signals to head west out of East Deerfield, MA
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PanAm train AYMO waits for the signals to head west out of East Deerfield, MA
PanAm train AYMO waits for the signals to head west out of East Deerfield, MA
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With the signal, PanAm AYMO turns on their ditch lights, preparing to head west out of East Deerfield
With the signal, PanAm AYMO turns on their ditch lights, preparing to head west out of East Deerfield
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PanAm AYMO pulls out of East Deerfield, MA heading west
PanAm AYMO pulls out of East Deerfield, MA heading west
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From there, Nick was going to continue west, and I headed home.  So we bid farewell, and went our own ways.  It was a long night, but I think it was well worth it…

Thanks for looking!
Tom

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