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Melancholy Monday

Today was a dreary, foggy, drizzly Monday, and one that I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to head out.  Well, some things this morning happened sooner than I th0ught, and some other things happened later, making the cosmic convergence possible.  OK, not cosmic, but, well, you get my drift – things fell into place.  Well, almost…

This morning I had some things to do, including a teleconference that was supposed to happen around 9.  Well it happened earlier than that, and just as I was wrapping things up I heard over the scanner (yes it was on low in the background) that NR-2 was somewhere around Norwich.  OK, things may just work out.  And who really cares that it’s cloudy, foggy & rainy?  Never stopped me before…

So with things wrapped up, I started out the door – just then NR-2 called south of MP5.  OK, that put my only shot at getting them in Fairview Yard in Groton.  And with their later than usual timing – close to 10am – that could mean they were a longer train today.  I’d find out in the next few minutes.

I got to the south end of Fairview just as NR-2 was starting to enter the yard limits to the north, and as I got out of the car, they were coming into view.  I got a quick shot of them coming south with a pretty long train.

A long Providence & Worcester train NR-2 pulls into Fairview Yard in Groton, CT on a foggy rainy morning
A long Providence & Worcester train NR-2 pulls into Fairview Yard in Groton, CT on a foggy rainy morning
REF#:03-20100322-420204365-_MG_6544.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 10:14:13
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)168.00 (168/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

And a bit of a wider shot as they approached

NR-2 continues south through Fairview yard
NR-2 continues south through Fairview yard
REF#:06-20100322-1320706060-_MG_9760.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:22 10:14:33
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

Followed by a going away shot

NR-2 continues south through Fairview yard
NR-2 continues south through Fairview yard
REF#:07-20100322-1320706060-_MG_9770.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:22 10:14:56
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)28.00 (28/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

After that I got back in the car and contemplated my next move.  While thinking, the radio woke up and it sounded like NR2 would be doing a bit of switching here in Groton.  With that tidbit, I figured I’d head west to Niantic to shoot them stretched out along the bay once they got under way.  So onto I95 I went and headed to Niantic.

As I was going over the Gold Star Bridge, I took a look at NR-2 – and I was right, it was a pretty good sized train!  With the crew still switching at the south end, it seemed that the tail end was close to the yard board!  Most of the cars appeared to be gons loaded with steel.

With them still shuffling cars around, I made my way west to Baptist Rd. where I parked and made my way onto the boardwalk.  As I was walking out, a light drizzle was falling from the sky.  Just then, I heard “hot rail westbound” on the radio.  Something was coming over the Niantic River Drawbridge.  A quick walk under the tracks and onto the path along the bay revealed a westbound Acela heading for me.

An Amtrak Acela heads west along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
An Amtrak Acela heads west along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
REF#:09-20100322-420204365-_MG_6580.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 10:41:48
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)157.00 (157/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

OK, off to a pretty good start.  With the Acela past me, I decided to head east towards the boardwalk to see what was up down there.

After walking the half mile to the boardwalk, it was pretty clear that work had started on pulling it down – there was a fence blocking the walkway at the entrance to the boardwalk.  With no real angles there, I started to walk back west a bit, and just then I heard on the scanner again “hot rail westbound” – something was heading this way.  But also, looking towards NAN I noticed that the signal on track 1 was lit green over red.  So that meant there were two trains in the picture.

At about the same time I heard horns in both directions.  Moments later, a very late 171 appeared at NAN

A very late Amtrak train 171 appears at Niantic River Drawbridge
A very late Amtrak train 171 appears at Niantic River Drawbridge
REF#:10-20100322-420204365-_MG_6586.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:00:41
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)179.00 (179/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

As they slowly approached my position, I got a shot with the notice sign about the boardwalk closure

171 slowly continues west along the closed section of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
171 slowly continues west along the closed section of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
REF#:12-20100322-420204365-_MG_6593.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:01:33
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)100.00 (100/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

Then I spun around and got a shot of 190 heading for me

Amtrak train 190 heads east along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
Amtrak train 190 heads east along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
REF#:13-20100322-1320706060-_MG_9775.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:01:42
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

Followed by a couple shots of the meet at the end of the boardwalk

190 continues east about to meet 171 at the closed section of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
190 continues east about to meet 171 at the closed section of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
REF#:14-20100322-420204365-_MG_6599.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:01:54
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)93.00 (93/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

171 and 190 meet at the closed portion of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
171 and 190 meet at the closed portion of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
REF#:15-20100322-420204365-_MG_6604.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:02:06
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)70.00 (70/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

And finally a couple shots of 171 going away

171 continues west along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
171 continues west along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
REF#:17-20100322-420204365-_MG_6614.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:02:37
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)107.00 (107/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

171 continues west along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
171 continues west along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
REF#:19-20100322-420204365-_MG_6623.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:02:51
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/320)
Focal Length (mm)157.00 (157/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

But one thing I noticed was not a word from NR2 on the scanner.  Curious if they were still in Groton or not.  So I waited around a bit longer.  But the darkening clouds changed my mind.  Since I didn’t bring an umbrella with me, I headed back to the car.  And over that entire 1/2 mile hike, I heard nothing from NR2.  Well, I did get a couple shots of ducks in the bay

Ducks getting in a row in Niantic Bay
Ducks getting in a row in Niantic Bay
REF#:21-20100322-420204365-_MG_6630.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:15:34
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

Ducks not in a row
Ducks not in a row
REF#:22-20100322-420204365-_MG_6631.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2010:03:22 11:15:54
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)157.00 (157/1)
ISO800
View in the gallery

After drying off myself and the cameras, I headed back to Groton.  Instead of taking my usual path to work, I decided to check out the Groton wye to see if NR2 was still there.  Well, driving by I got my confirmation – NR2 was sitting at the signal at the north end of the wye.  I guess the dispatcher was keeping them until the midday lull.  But with no time left, I headed back to the office for the rest of the day without the shot at Niantic I had wanted of NR2.

Thanks for looking!
Tom

4 comments to Melancholy Monday

  • Joe McDonough

    Tom:

    I like the shots of the “meet” by the closed boardwalk. What exit would get off I 95 to get to that spot?

    Thanks
    Joe McDonough

    • Joe-

      That would be Exit 74 (Route 161). Just follow that straight down to the end (intersection with Route 156) – Niantic Bay will be right in front of you. Take a right on 156 and about a half mile or so up will be Baptist Ln. on the left, which is also marked with a Niantic Bay Boardwalk sign on the road. Parking area is at the end of Baptist Ln, and you walk in from there.

      -Tom

  • On my bike ride this morning I had the thought, “this would be an interesting photography day”. Before the rain started and stayed it was a mild overcast/fog with strange lighting. It had rained earlier and the roads had dried up except where water was falling off the trees. It kind of made it look like the trees were casting shadows like it was a sunny day; it was a rare and strange lighting effect. I’d imagine you experienced some strange lighting too.

  • Allan – Nothing like that down here – it was a pretty solid overcast, but I’ve seen what you’re describing before. Very different indeed.

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