On the last day of June, I took the day off to fix my car (emissions system was throwing a code, and the inspection was due). Once I fixed it, and had it tested for emissions (it passed), I decided to see if I could find any trains in the area to shoot. It was a nice sunny day, so why not?
I figured I’d head south to see what I could see – maybe PW train NR2 would be coming back home early, or I’d find NECR train NERWNE somewhere between Willimantic and Montville. Well, as I was heading through Franklin, I caught part of a conversation on the PW channel – the dispatcher acknowledged NR something was northbound. Maybe it was NR2? I figured as much, and decided to head for Chelsea Landing in Norwich.
I got to the Norwich waterfront, parked my car and grabbed my gear. Just as I was closing the car door, I heard horns. No way that could be NR2 already! A quick sprint, and I saw that it wasn’t NR2, but rather NR3! So I managed to get one quick shot of the rear power.
I guess the chase is on! So northward I headed up Route 12, only to be greeted by Norwich traffic…
I finally get ahead of the train on the north end of town, but of course I gets screwed by a stop light that is interlocked with the nearby grade crossing. So I sat in a line of cars until the train cleared the crossing – there goes any hope of a shot south of Taft’s Tunnel. Now where to go north of the tunnel?
While heading north on Route 12, and checking out the possible pull-off spots, along with potential photo angles, one caught my eye at 50 MPH. It was the site of where NR3 derailed a little while back. There was a nice spot to park the car safely off the road, and a decent shot on the outside of a curve. So I turned around, and parked the car there.
As soon as I got out, and made my way to the edge of the right of way, I could hear NR3 coming my way. Moments later, they ran past me at track speed.
With the tracks apparently back up to timetable speed (or close to it), I decided to make a straight shot for Plainfield. There would be no chance of me catching them, especially with the lights around Lisbon Landing just to the north.
By the time I got to Plainfield, they were already switching down in the south end of the yard. A look at the clock told me I had a little time to stick around – maybe they’d wrap up in time and head north before I had to head out. So while they were kicking cars around, I scouted around.
I found a few interesting angles north of Plainfield, and settled on one as my first shot – it was north of Waureagn Feeds, using the silos as a backdrop for the passing train. I figured from there, I should be able to make it up to the Tilcon Wauregan quarry and get a shot there.
After a not so long wait, I heard horns to the south, and NR-3 appeared
And boy did they appear! Having never really shot in this area, I wasn’t familiar with the track speed, and after seeing them run past me, I figured another shot was completely out of the question!
I figured their next stop was Frito Lay in Dayville, so I headed that way. I figured I’d have time to hopefully bag them there, then hit the road back home.
When I got to the plant entrance, the trailing power and a few cars were sitting on the main, and I could still hear them on the radio switching. So I picked a spot and waited. In that time another fan came up, and we talked a bit to pass the time. A few moments later, NR3 came into view, and I got a bunch of shots as they left the plant, headed onto the main, and proceeded north, presumably to switch out the International Paper plant a bit to the north.
At that point, my time was running out, so I packed it in and made my way back home. Not a bad afternoon chase…
Thanks for looking!