The New England Central, Providence & Worcester and Canadian National Railroads ran a joint office car special, wearing the symbol OCS-1, from St. Albans,VT to Worcester, MA on February 7, 2012. The train consisted of equipment from all three railroads, and made only one stop in Palmer, MA to pick up a relief crew, and lunch for the passengers. I took the day off from work to document the move, and was able to shoot it between Three Rivers, MA and Thompson, CT, covering the NECR Palmer Sub and the P&W’s Willimantic and Norwich Branches.
The actual purpose of the trip, beyond having representation from all three railroads involved on board, has yet to be released (I have it on good authority that details should be released today by RailAmerica – 2/9/12). But the train was proceeding at passenger speed the entire route, with the northern portion between St. Albans and Palmer, MA being the fastest. South of Palmer was at 25 MPH most of the way on the NECR, and on the P&W’s Willimantic Branch, the newly rebuilt portion between Willimantic and Versailles was run at 25, with the remainder of the branch to Plainfield at 10. The final leg of the journey, on the P&W’s Norwich Branch, was near 40MPH at times. With the slower speeds down south, it was an easier chase, enabling quite a few photo stops – in my case it ended up being 12 spots. And along for the ride with me was good friend and fellow photographer Bob LaMay – this time it was my turn to drive, so Bob enjoyed the passing scenery riding shotgun.
We met up with many friends along the way, and were graced with a variety of conditions – from a thick overcast to clear and sunny skies. But as we usually do, we make the best of what we’re given.
On to the pictures!
Thanks for looking!