The Valley Railroad/Essex Steam Train in Essex, Connecticut is famous for their steam powered excursion trains along the Connecticut River (see some of my other posts on the Valley RR here). But they also offer other types of rail excursions – most as limited run specials like the Circus Train and Eagle Flyer. But there is another that they offer during most of their operating season – I’m referring to the Essex Clipper Dinner Train.
The Dinner Train (more info can be found on the VRR site here) has been a staple on the Valley Railroad for a number of years, and my wife and I have had the pleasure of celebrating our wedding anniversary on the train five times. The food is great, scenery wonderful and the waitstaff and train crew are superb – something I highly recommend to anyone looking for a nice evening meal along the rails.
But that’s not the reason for the post – I decided for a little change of pace that I’d head out and light up the Essex Clipper heading back to the station as it got dark. With the timing of the run – at a length of 2.5 hours – I figured the best bet for a shot would be on the return trip at Deep River Landing. So I headed to the old station with my assistants (my daughters Katina and Callie) to set up for the shot.
Once I decided on an angle, we set the lights up and waited for the train’s arrival. After a bit, a couple other friends – Vinny and Bob – showed up to share the passing view. As time passed, we could hear the distinctive Hancock whistle of the 0901 to the north, echoing down the Connecticut River valley over our conversation. Not long after that, the train came into view through Tate’s Cut just to the north of the platform at Deep River, and I got the one frame I had envisioned, showing the entire train stretched out along the platform at Deep River Landing.
With that in the bag, we waved to the passing train, then the girls and I broke down the equipment and headed home. Another successful night shooting with my daughters.
Thanks for looking!