My Top 12 of ’13

 Valley Railroad veteran Mikado No 40 heads north through Chester, Connecticut with a trainload of passengers visiting with Santa and his elves on the wildly popular North Pole Express.First off, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.  Hopefully everyone had a safe and joyous Christmas and holiday season.  And to kick off the new year, I figured I’d pull together a recap of my 2013 photographic ramblings along the rails of the northeast – well, one favorite from each month, that is.  Last year wasn’t exactly a stellar year for shooting, quantitatively speaking – only managing to get out a few times a month over the entire year, but I did get some decent stuff in those limited times trackside – including shots of CSX, Norfolk Southern, Providence & Worcester, PanAm Railways and the Valley Railroad.  I went through and picked out my favorite shot from each month of the year, and I figured I’d talk a bit about each one here.  So grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy what you’re reading and seeing!

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Daddy-Daughter night – North Pole Express style

10946100666_7e4ba82802_mNovember 15, 2013 marked the start of the North Pole Express season at the Valley Railroad/Essex Steam Train in Essex, Connecticut.  And with the after-dark departures, spots in the towns of Essex, Deep River and Chester have been on my list of sites to photograph the steam train passing through the night.  This year, I decided to kick off the NPE season a little differently – this time with my daughter shooting along side of me.

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Two Weeks in NJ – Week 2

Eastbound at FleetwoodMy second week in NJ had me trying some new lighting techniques, as well as meeting up with friends again – For a recap, here’s the post from the first week.  And being near Norfolk Southern terratory, there is always the possibility of catching another of their Heritage Units.  Would I get that chance to bag another one of the classic paint schemes?

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Two Weeks in NJ – Week 1

NYSW at Port Jervis, NYThe last couple weeks of September brought me back to northern New Jersey for work again, and of course I managed to get out and shoot a bit.  I visited some of my usual haunts – both in daylight and under cover of darkness, as well as added a couple of others spots – including a late-night stop on the New York, Susquehanna & Western.  This was also a trip where I aimed to experiment a bit more with my nighttime flash setups – I did mix that experimentation in with some of the more run-of-the-mill stuff.  Read on to check it all out…well, at least the first week in this post…

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NAN and the Super Moon

Acela at SunsetFor today’s post, we’ll go back to the end of June when we as earthlings bore witness to the closest “super moon” of 2013 – or in more scientific terms the moon was at the perigee (closest to Earth) of its orbit while in the full phase.  Honestly, it’s nothing truly rare, despite the Internet hype that usually precedes its arrival – it happens once about every 14 full moons.  Even with the frequency of them happening, I wanted to photograph this event, but not just in the astronomical sense – I also wanted to include the railroad in the photograph.  And one spot sprung to mind where it would be possible – the new Niantic River Drawbridge on the Niantic/Waterford town line.

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Dinner on the Rails

Dinner Train at Deep River, Connecticut 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.

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Getting back into the swing of things…

Hey everyone!  Yep, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here on the old blog.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out shooting – just the opposite!  Granted, I’m not out every day like I have been in the past – life gets in the way much too easily these days – but I have been getting out to shoot the railroading scene here in southeastern Connecticut from time to time.  While I continue to collect my thoughts, and decide what to post up here next, I figured I’d put up a post with a smattering of photos from the first half of 2013.  Scroll on down, and check out 17 shots from earlier this year.

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2012 Photo Recap – Valley Railroad Nights

Happy New Year everyone!  To kick off 2013 I’m posting the final installment of my 2012 Photo Recap.  This edition solely contains my night work on the Valley Railroad as they were running their hugely popular North Pole Express trains in the months of November and December.  And to celebrate the new year, I’ve selected 13 photos from the various runs to feature in my final recap post.

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NJ and PA – March 20-22, 2012

I had to make another trip down to NJ last week for work – of course the cameras came along.  Granted, it was a shorter trip – only three days as opposed to the usual full week, so time to get out and shoot was limited, but I did manage to shoot a little.  And I did get some new material – namely the East Penn Railroad, along with some of the usual suspects – CSX, New Jersey Transit and Norfolk Southern.  At least it wasn’t snowing…  Read on for the full story and photos.

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Nights on the Valley

Now time to start making up some ground on the post landscape.  Starting on November 25, 2011 the Valley Railroad began running their popular – and often sold out – North Pole Express trains.  Because of their popularity, they had planned on running two steam-powered trains at the same time each night – one with veteran 2-8-2 No. 40, and the other with the newly completed 2-8-2 No. 3025.  Through November and December I got out to photograph a number of these runs, getting shots of both 40 and 3025 at various points along the Valley Line, between Essex and Chester, CT.  And I’ve pulled together a recap of those shots here, in one post.  This is going to be one of my short on words, long on photos post.  So grab a beverage, and check out the shots.

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