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NR-2 along the River and the Bay

Had a bit of a frustrating day at work yesterday.  So I decided I needed to get out and go on a nice walk somewhere to relax a bit this morning.  And while I was contemplating where to go at my desk, I got my answer over the scanner.  Well, at least it was the first part of my answer.  Part two was decided on the road…

As I mentioned, I was listening to the scanner at work while thinking about where and when I wanted to head out for a walk.  Just then the Providence & Worcester dispatcher acknowledged NR-2s passing by the Jewett City detector.  OK, that would work – I should have enough time to finish up what I was doing and make it up into Ledyard to shoot the train along the Thames.

So I wrap things up about 20 minutes later, and head out.  While on my way north, the scanner was silent until when I was passing through Gales Ferry, where NR-2 reported that they were south of MP12.  OK, I had two choices at this point – one was to turn around & bag them at Mill Cove, and the other was to press north and try to catch them somewhere around MP7.  I decided on the latter – I’m a bit spent on Mill Cove having shot there from nearly every angle…

As I was pulling into the little parking spot at 7, I noticed something to the north – NR2 was heading for Stoddard Cove!  Oh, crap!  So I grabbed my cameras, locked up the car and sprinted down the hill, then a bit north to near the MP7 marker.  As soon as I got into position, and nearly caught my breath, NR2 came into view – with one whole boxcar in tow.

Providence & Worcester train NR-2, with one boxcar in tow, appears north of MP7 in Ledyard, CT
Providence & Worcester train NR-2, with one boxcar in tow, appears north of MP7 in Ledyard, CT
REF#:01-20100304-420204365-_MG_4821.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 08:17:16
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)179.00 (179/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

Then I got a couple shots of them approaching me

NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
REF#:02-20100304-420204365-_MG_4827.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 08:17:19
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)114.00 (114/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
REF#:03-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9372.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 08:15:37
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.004 s (1/250)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

And a couple going away

NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
REF#:05-20100304-420204365-_MG_4837.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 08:17:30
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)139.00 (139/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
NR-2 rolling along the Thames River in Ledyard
REF#:06-20100304-420204365-_MG_4848.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 08:17:46
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

Not a bad catch.  Now for the climb back up to the car…

On my way up to the car, I looked at my watch – it was still quite early, so I figured that another stop would be in order.  I thought about where for a few seconds, and I figured that the Niantic Bay Boardwalk would be the best bet.  With Amtrak beginning their project to replace the existing Niantic River drawbridge beginning, I figured that I’d get some shots of the boardwalk while it’s still there (part of the project is to tear out the existing boardwalk and replace it with another once the drawbridge is completed).

So I made my way down to the parking area on the west side of the boardwalk since the east side down by NAN was closed.  I parked the car, used the porta-potty there to get rid of my morning coffee, and headed to the walkway.

As I was walking east, I noticed a guy set up with a camera and tripod about a quarter of the way down.  As I walked past him, I said “good morning,” which he gladly returned.  But as I passed by him he said “are you Tom Nanos?”  Of course, being that guy, I said yep, and he introduced himself.  He’s a friend of local Mark Shenking Vinny (his YouTube channel is here).  So while waiting, we were talking a bit, then he said that another friend of his wanted to meet me and he was on his way down (what am I some kind of celebrity???).  I said sure – glad to meet other local fans.  A few moments later he walked up and I met Brian (his YouTube stuff is here).  We sat around and talked for a bit, waiting for NR2.

Not long after Brian showed up I heard “hot rail eastbound” on the scanner – that only meant that 190 was heading through Crescent to our west (there was an Amtrak track car passing through the interlocking heading west, which was holding up NR2 at the east end of NAN).  Moments later, the rails began to sing and 190 rolled past us.

Amtrak train 190 blasts through Niantic along the boardwalk
Amtrak train 190 blasts through Niantic along the boardwalk
REF#:08-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9375.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:06:27
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

I got one shot with the guys in it (as I usually do when I’m around other railfans)

Railfans Vinny & Brian get their video of 190 passing
Railfans Vinny & Brian get their video of 190 passing
REF#:09-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9384.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:06:35
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Soon after that, the track car reported that they were clear of Crescent interlocking and heading west, which prompted the dispatcher to free up NR2 to head west to work Rings End.

A few moments later, the huge NR2 came into view near NAN

NR-2 appears at NAN
NR-2 appears at NAN
REF#:11-20100304-420204365-_MG_4875.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:13:08
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Then skirted along the not-long-for-this-world boardwalk

NR-2 rolling along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk, which will be removed for the construction of the new Niantic River drawbridge.
NR-2 rolling along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk, which will be removed for the construction of the new Niantic River drawbridge.
REF#:12-20100304-420204365-_MG_4881.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:13:46
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

As they slowly approached, I got a few more shots with the guys.  First one with Vinny

Vinny waits for NR-2 to get into range
Vinny waits for NR-2 to get into range
REF#:14-20100304-420204365-_MG_4894.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:14:28
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)107.00 (107/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Then a couple with the two guys

Vinny & Brian wait for NR-2 to get closer to begin their video
Vinny & Brian wait for NR-2 to get closer to begin their video
REF#:15-20100304-420204365-_MG_4898.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:14:39
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)77.00 (77/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

NR-2 passes by Vinny & Brian
NR-2 passes by Vinny & Brian
REF#:16-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9398.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:13:21
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

From there, it was over to Rings End to shoot a bit there.

The guys decided to drive and I opted to walk over there – seemed easier to just walk over.  On my way over, I found a different angle, along with an old section of track in the weeds, where I shot NR2s power heading down towards the lumber yard.

NR-2s power heads down the spur to Rings End Lumber to pick up an empty centerbeam lumber car
NR-2s power heads down the spur to Rings End Lumber to pick up an empty centerbeam lumber car
REF#:17-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9404.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:16:03
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

And by the time I got over to Main Street, NR2 was already coupled onto the empty centerbeam, and preparing to head back towards the main

NR-2 grabbing the empty at Rings End Lumber in Niantic
NR-2 grabbing the empty at Rings End Lumber in Niantic
REF#:18-20100304-420204365-_MG_4907.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:20:15
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/640)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Then they approached and crossed Main Street.

NR-2 approaching Main St. in Niantic
NR-2 approaching Main St. in Niantic
REF#:19-20100304-420204365-_MG_4912.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:21:10
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/640)
Focal Length (mm)139.00 (139/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

NR-2 crossing the stop & protect grade crossing at Main St. in Niantic
NR-2 crossing the stop & protect grade crossing at Main St. in Niantic
REF#:20-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9409.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:19:44
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Just then, the Amtrak New London dispatcher told NR2 to put it away into the siding because he couldn’t run them west since the track car hadn’t made it that far and there were a couple Amtraks in the picture.

While walking back, I got a shot of the train put back together

NR-2 back together on the Amtrak Shore Line, track 1
NR-2 back together on the Amtrak Shore Line, track 1
REF#:22-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9417.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:21:54
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Then since they were coming back down here, I figured I’d stick around and get a few shots from the pile of ballast that had been sitting there forever.

First up was a shot as they pulled past the switch after the conductor lined it back for the main.

Heading past the switch in Niantic - the New London Dispatcher had them tuck back into the spur to wait for traffic to clear up.
Heading past the switch in Niantic - the New London Dispatcher had them tuck back into the spur to wait for traffic to clear up.
REF#:23-20100304-420204365-_MG_4920.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:24:39
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/640)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Then with the switch lined back into the siding, NR-2 heading this way

NR-2 makes their way back down the spur to clear track 1
NR-2 makes their way back down the spur to clear track 1
REF#:25-20100304-420204365-_MG_4932.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:25:38
Aperturef/6.3
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)179.00 (179/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

NR-2 makes their way back down the spur to clear track 1
NR-2 makes their way back down the spur to clear track 1
REF#:27-20100304-1320706060-_MG_9421.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:24:10
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)23.00 (23/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

And one final shot of the train sitting just inside the derail waiting for an opening to head west.

NR-2 waits clear of the derail in Niantic
NR-2 waits clear of the derail in Niantic
REF#:28-20100304-420204365-_MG_4942.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:26:53
Aperturef/6.3
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)168.00 (168/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Not too bad at all.  But I wasn’t done.  I headed back over to where I parked and talked with the guys a bit more.  While there, two detail shots struck my eye, both involving the lead locomotive and that track in the weeds.

Some old rail with NR-2s power in the background
Some old rail with NR-2s power in the background
REF#:30-20100304-420204365-_MG_4958.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:33:18
Aperturef/5.0
Exposure Time 0.001 s (1/800)
Focal Length (mm)157.00 (157/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

Rail, plow & coupler
Rail, plow & coupler
REF#:31-20100304-420204365-_MG_4967.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:04 09:34:27
Aperturef/4.0
Exposure Time 0.001 s (1/1250)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO400
View in the gallery

With that in the bag, and about 30 minutes before the next possible window for NR2 to head west, I figured I’d call it a morning.  I bid Vinny & Brian farewell, and headed back to the office.  A so-so morning turned into something different.

Thanks for looking!
Tom

7 comments to NR-2 along the River and the Bay

  • While at work this morning I could hear the train go by across the river so of course I had to jump up and look; when I saw just the two engines and the box car in the middle I thought “That’s not much of a train but I’d rather be out there trying to shoot it then be in here dispatching ambulances!” Nice to see that someone got to enjoy the day and take some nice pictures at the same time.

    And yes, you ARE a celebrity – at least here in our neck of the woods!

    • C’mon, I’m just a guy with a couple cameras who likes to share my experiences and pictures, not a celebrity. :-)

      I’ll take a one car train (or even light engines) over no train any day…

  • I’m getting to the point where I’d pass on light engines on the P&W….

  • I hear ya, but I’m not quite there yet, Nick. Too much scenery I could work with along the Shore Line, even with light engines… Just got back from NAN – another short one today…

  • Mondays/Tuesdays seem to be the best days…More freight from the weekend. Wednesdays can go either way. If coal wasn’t running down this end, WOPR/PR-3 would even be more meager than they already are…

  • yeah all they would have is all my junk…

  • Brian Laz.

    hey Tom, it was cool meeting you the other day. you ARE a celebrity! as Vinny said, we were railfanning with a legend lol

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