Last Friday was a pretty good day, photographically speaking.  I ended up taking the day off from work for a couple reasons – first, later in the evening I was putting on a presentation about the railroads along the Thames River for the Northeast Prototype Modeler’s Meet out in Collinsville, CT (BTW, if you’re a modeler, specifically interested in the prototype aspects of the hobby, this meet is one you don’t want to miss – some great workshops & examples!).  But earlier in the day, I wanted to get a couple specific photos to add to the show – one on the New England Central Railroad, and the other on the Providence & Worcester.  Well, because the NECR job got set back due to the tornado up in Monson, MA, so my only shot was with the P&W.  I did manage to get that shot and add it to the show (the first one below).  I also ran into a couple other fans, and chased NR2 as far west as Black Point in Niantic.  All in all, a fun morning running around with the cameras.

The day started out by trying to figure out if the New England Central was running the 608 job, or if it was set back.  A quick ride by Montville showed no power (it was sent north to State Line Thursday night for fueling – they couldn’t go further north due to the trees down on the tracks in Monson), and the fact that the radio had been silent all morning told me that 608 was in fact not yet running.  After that, I got a quick bite to eat, and headed towards Providence & Worcester territory.

When I got into Norwich, I caught part of a transmission that sounded like NR-2 was southbound out of Plainfield, and it sounded like they said “multiple light engines.”  Even with the possibility of only having locomotives to shoot, I decided to scout out a couple spots north of Norwich that I haven’t been to in a while.  After looking around, I decided against them since the foliage was still growing in, and they were really uninspiring, especially with the possibility of only power to shoot.  So I headed back south – and just as I did that, NR-2 hit the Jewett City detector a handful of miles to the north.  Now to decide where I’d take my first shot of the morning.

Not liking what I saw in Norwich, I continued south on Route 12, and figured my best bet would be Stoddard Cove in Ledyard.  I got there, and I immediately saw my shot – a wild rose bush on the shore of the cove was in bloom, and I figured it would make a nice foreground to the passing train.

Just then a familiar car drove up – it was Mark Shenking and “Cousin” Vinny pulling in for NR-2’s arrival.  After a bit of conversation, the familiar ‘chug-chug’ of a GE locomotive permeated the air, then NR-2 – as a trio of light engines – appeared from behdind Stoddard Hill where I got my first shot, with the wild roses as an anchor to the frame (which is the shot I added to the slideshow).

Providence & Worcester train NR-2 passing by Stoddard Cove in Ledyard, with some wild roses in the foreground
Providence & Worcester train NR-2 passing by Stoddard Cove in Ledyard, with some wild roses in the foreground
REF#:01-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9641.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:04:22
Aperturef/10.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)29.00 (29/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Then a vertical of the entire consist, the flowers, and by chance a dragonfly whizzing past

Providence & Worcester train NR-2 passing by Stoddard Cove in Ledyard, with some wild roses in the foreground
Providence & Worcester train NR-2 passing by Stoddard Cove in Ledyard, with some wild roses in the foreground
REF#:02-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9655.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:04:31
Aperturef/10.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

There, I got my shot, but I wasn’t done for the day – doesn’t matter to me that it was light engines.  I was out and there was something running on the rails.  Next stop was Mill Cove in Gales Ferry.

When we got there, a couple swans were hanging out down by the inlet to the cove – I figured that would make a nice prop for the passing power.  But of course, just as NR-2 was blowing for the crossing at Red Top, one of them took off.  But fortuitously, he landed where I could work him into the shot of the train at the north end of the cove.

PW NR2 rolling along Mill Cove in Gales Ferry, as a swan paddles by
PW NR2 rolling along Mill Cove in Gales Ferry, as a swan paddles by
REF#:03-20110603-420204365-_MG_3165.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:13:00
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)157.00 (157/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Next up was a wider shot of the train rolling along the cove

PW NR2 along Mill Cove in Gales Ferry
PW NR2 along Mill Cove in Gales Ferry
REF#:04-20110603-420204365-_MG_3175.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:13:10
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)70.00 (70/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Then a final shot of the lead engine crossing the inlet to the cove, as the swan sits quietly by

PW NR2 crossing over the inlet to Mill Cove as a swan watches
PW NR2 crossing over the inlet to Mill Cove as a swan watches
REF#:05-20110603-420204365-_MG_3178.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:13:28
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)148.00 (148/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

With that in the bag, it was off to the next location – the USS Nautilus overlook park.

At the Nautilus, the only remarkable thing visible was a ceremony on the deck near the sub.  So in addition to a trio of “usual” shots, I also got one tighter shot with the ceremony in the background.

PW NR2 southbound through the Sub Force Museum in Groton
PW NR2 southbound through the Sub Force Museum in Groton
REF#:06-20110603-420204365-_MG_3198.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:21:07
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)114.00 (114/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
PW NR2 southbound through the Sub Force Museum in Groton
PW NR2 southbound through the Sub Force Museum in Groton
REF#:07-20110603-420204365-_MG_3208.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:21:12
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)77.00 (77/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
PW NR2 southbound through the Sub Force Museum, and past the USS Nautilus in Groton
PW NR2 southbound through the Sub Force Museum, and past the USS Nautilus in Groton
REF#:08-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9676.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:21:14
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)28.00 (28/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
The tail end of NR2 passing by a ceremony at the USS Nautilus in Groton
The tail end of NR2 passing by a ceremony at the USS Nautilus in Groton
REF#:09-20110603-420204365-_MG_3214.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:21:21
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)87.00 (87/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

With the power past us, it was time to head south again – this time for some more run-of-the-mill stuff at the south end of Fairview yard.  Nothing special here, so I worked Mark & Vinny into one shot.

PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton
PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton
REF#:10-20110603-420204365-_MG_3218.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:24:45
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton
PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton
REF#:11-20110603-420204365-_MG_3241.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:25:10
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)87.00 (87/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton, with Mark & Vinny
PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton, with Mark & Vinny
REF#:12-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9685.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:25:15
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)46.00 (46/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton
PW NR2 through Fairview Yard in Groton
REF#:13-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9689.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 09:25:17
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Once NR-2 was down at the south end of the yard, they were preparing to pick up a car for Cheseborough-Ponds in Clinton, but also they were going to be heading to East Lyme to pick up an empty boxcar at Ring’s End Lumber.  So that was my next target.  Mark and Vinny had the same thing in mind, but they had to make a stop in New London first to pick up “Derrick Chazz” (aka Marc) who was arriving on an Amtrak Northeast Regional.

We all got to Main Street in Niantic just ahead of NR-2, so the scouting of the angles began.  I settled on a shot of NR-2 crossing the street, using my 15mm fisheye to get a nice wide shot.  Not long after that, NR-2 began making their way across the crossing (after Rod flagged it, of course).

PW NR2 crosses Main Street in Niantic, CT headed to Ring's End Lumber
PW NR2 crosses Main Street in Niantic, CT headed to Ring's End Lumber
REF#:14-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9700.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 10:11:48
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)15.00 (15/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
PW NR2 crosses Main Street in Niantic, CT headed to Ring's End Lumber
PW NR2 crosses Main Street in Niantic, CT headed to Ring's End Lumber
REF#:15-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9707.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 10:11:51
Aperturef/9.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)15.00 (15/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

While the crew was tying onto the boxcar, I got a long shot of them inside Ring’s End to the north.

PW NR2 picking up an empty boxcar at Ring's End Lumber in Niantic
PW NR2 picking up an empty boxcar at Ring's End Lumber in Niantic
REF#:16-20110603-420204365-_MG_3259.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 10:15:44
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)200.00 (200/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Then while waiting, a shot struck my eye.  There was a planter with some colorful flowers in it right at the edge of the road.  So I figured that would make a nice foreground element – following the first shot I took up at Stoddard Cove.  Not long after that, NR-2 came into view, and I got my shot.

PW NR2 pulling out of Ring's End in Niantic
PW NR2 pulling out of Ring's End in Niantic
REF#:17-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9727.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 10:16:18
Aperturef/10.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

After they cleared the crossing, the Amtrak Point Dispatcher held them at the switch for a westbound Regional to pass by.  That gave us enough time to get over to Black Point, and get a shot of them along the Pattagansett River, and the new bridge that Amtrak just replaced.

Just as we got over there, that westbound Regional went whizzing by.

A westbound Amtrak Northeast Regional passes by the Pattagansett River in Niantic
A westbound Amtrak Northeast Regional passes by the Pattagansett River in Niantic
REF#:18-20110603-1320706060-_MG_9753.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 40D
Date Taken2011:06:03 10:23:51
Aperturef/10.0
Exposure Time 0.002 s (1/500)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Then while waiting for NR-2 to get moving, I looked around for other angles.  I really wasn’t happy with that straight broadside shot.

A house a bit further to the north caught my eye, so I took a walk up the road towards it.  And as I passed by a clump of reeds, and the shore opened up I saw my shot.  Using the house, and a nearby dock as a frame, I figured it would make a nice shot of the freight rolling by.  Moments later, we heard the workers up by the new bridge announce “hot rail westbound” as NR-2 approached.  When they crossed the bridge, I clicked off this shot

PW NR2 heads west past the Pattagansett River in Niantic
PW NR2 heads west past the Pattagansett River in Niantic
REF#:19-20110603-420204365-_MG_3271.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 10:30:49
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)18.00 (18/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Then one more shot – yep, that boring broadside of the entire train.

PW NR2 heads west past the Pattagansett River in Niantic
PW NR2 heads west past the Pattagansett River in Niantic
REF#:20-20110603-420204365-_MG_3287.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 10:30:56
Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Time 0.003 s (1/400)
Focal Length (mm)50.00 (50/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

Not bad.

With no NECR 608 running, and NR-2 well out of range, I opted to head home for the afternoon instead of searching out NR-3.  I did have to finalize my slideshow, and get the projector ready anyways, so I headed home.

Fast forward a chunk of time to about 11pm.  After a pretty successful show out in Collinsville, I figured that since I was nearby, a swing through Plainville was in order.  Usually there was PanAm power sitting there in preparation of the usual Saturday PLED run to East Deerfield, MA.

As I got into Plainville, lo and behold, a lone GP40 – MEC 350 – was sitting quietly under the starry skies.  I got a couple photos of her under cover of the darkness (I would have taken more, but both my Lumedyne batteries were dead after lighting up three frames).

PanAm Railways GP40 MEC 350 sits quietly under the stars in Plainville, CT
PanAm Railways GP40 MEC 350 sits quietly under the stars in Plainville, CT
REF#:21-20110603-420204365-_MG_3289.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 23:11:35
Aperturef/10.0
Exposure Time221.000 s (221/1)
Focal Length (mm)20.00 (20/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

 
PanAm Railways GP40 MEC 350 sits quietly under the stars in Plainville, CT, as the constellation Cassiopeia rises above the crane
PanAm Railways GP40 MEC 350 sits quietly under the stars in Plainville, CT, as the constellation Cassiopeia rises above the crane
REF#:22-20110603-420204365-_MG_3290.jpg
Taken withCanon EOS 50D
Date Taken2011:06:03 23:19:22
Aperturef/10.0
Exposure Time220.000 s (220/1)
Focal Length (mm)24.00 (24/1)
ISO200
View in the gallery

And that was it for the evening.

Thanks for looking!
Tom

3 thoughts on “Flowers, Stars & Trains

  1. I have really enjoyed browsing your blog. I was looking for fellow Connecticut photo bloggers and I am glad I stumbled across it during my search. You really have a good eye for train photography and I have enjoyed seeing different angles and view points that you have used. I have added your blog to my blogroll and will continue to visit your site to see new content and look to your work to help improve my images.

    Bruce

    • Thanks for the kind words Bruce! Glad you stumbled this way and enjoy what you’ve seen. Feel free to poke around – there’s lots of stuff here as I’ve been doing this blog since February 2007. I took a quick look at your blog as well – some nice stuff there! I really like the church detail shots, especially the one with the clocks…very nice!

  2. Good shooting as usual, Tom. Always good to get ideas of how to make the relatively mundane into an interesting photo.

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