I’m down in New Jersey for work this week taking a training class that unfortunately runs until after sunset. So I’ve had a few chances to play with the Lumedyne at night. So far I’ve been able to get out twice – once on the CSX Trenton Line in NJ and once on the Norfolk Southern Reading Line in Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday night I decided to head out for a bit and see what I could shoot. I figured that I’d head down the CSX Trenton Line and see if I could catch any trains. So I set my sights on Sunnymead Rd. in Hillsborough, NJ.
When I got there, I could see a glow on the horizon to the northeast, and the signal there was showing a green for a westbound out of Port Reading Junction.
And after a little bit of a wait, a work extra came rolling by
Then the scanner and signals went dark – it didn’t sound like anything was coming my way, so I decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel.
Wednesday night I did get out, but nothing was working out – most of the roads I use to get down by the tracks were closed due to flooding from the big rain/snow storm that came through. So it was back to the hotel with nothing new in the camera.
Thursday night was much more productive – damned cold & windy, but productive.
I had read about a railfan pavilion out in Macungie, PA on the Norfolk Southern Reading Line, so I looked it up, and it was a little more than an hour from the office. So I figured it would be worthwhile heading out there and seeing what kind of action goes by there under cover of darkness.
I found the park fairly easily, and pulled into the parking lot. Just then on the scanner I heard NS train 65J trip the detector a few miles east of me. OK, guess I had better set up!
It was a cold and windy night, with gusts hitting around 40MPH, so I was really glad I bought a sand bag to weigh down the Lumedyne on the light stand (don’t want to repeat the Hell Night on the P&W). I quickly set up the light as I could see 65J’s headlights heading towards me. I picked a quick position without doing a test shot, and then the train came into view.
Came out OK. So I looked around for some other angles. After figuring out what I wanted to shoot, I retreated to the warmth of the car to wait for the next train to come into range.
It didn’t take that long, because another westbound – 15T – hit the detector to the east. Back out into the cold I went, this time positioning the Lumedyne in a different spot. A few moments later I got 15T barreling past me.
After he cleared, and I got back in the car – did I mention wind chills were around zero? – I picked up the detector to the west of me, but this time for track 2, which meant an eastbound was heading my way.
A little while later NS train 39G came into view. This time I used a second flash to add a little more light on the pavilion, as well as the flag.
And with them rolling off into the darkness, I headed back to the car to warm up a bit.
A little while later, another eastbound tripped the detector. This time it was 16T heading my way. I took the second flash, and moved it inside the pavilion to give a little more light on the side of the power as it passed by.
And back into the car I went.
But this time the scanner was silent…for a little bit. Then I heard the dispatcher talking to 68Q – an eastbound loaded unit ethanol train. Apparently he was having power problems, and couldn’t maintain track speed. I figured I’d stick around for this one.
A little while passed, and 68Q tripped the detector to the west, so I headed back out into the cold and set up for another eastbound. I did the same layout as the previous shot – Lumedyne behind me and close to the tracks, and the other flash inside the pavilion for the side. They soon came into view, and I got this.
I also decided to get a shot of the loads rolling past
And got creative with the last car passing by the pavilion
With numb hands (I was an idiot and forgot my gloves at home), and the clock reading 10pm, I decided to call it a night and make the 1 hour+ ride back to the hotel.
Thanks for looking!