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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2012 Photo Recap – July to September

And here we are, continuing on with the third of five installments recapping my favorite photos from 2012.  My picks for the third quarter of the year include only one from my home state of Connecticut.  The rest were taken in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – and two involved heritage units.  I guess I gave away one of those shots with this post’s thumbnail to the left.  Read on to find out what the other heritage unit is that I photographed – and, no, it’s not a Norfolk Southern unit either.

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Digging back into May – NECR 608, ethanol and bruises

Well, here’s another batch of photos I never posted.  Actually, it was for good reason – it involves a bit of personal injury (both to my body and ego), flying cameras, as well as the temporary loss of my glasses.  But the important thing is this – despite risking life & limb (and cameras), I got the shots!  For those of you who attended my presentation for the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts’ Summer Picnic in Palmer back in July, you already know the story behind these photos.  For the rest of you who weren’t able to join us, read on – you’ll get the skinny… Continue Reading →

Way back in July – P&W NR-2 and Amtrak

Between family commitments, a bout with a flu-like bug (putting me in bed for 4 days), and Hurricane Irene’s power outage (6 days for us), I’ve once again fallen a bit behind on the old Blog here.  But never fear, it’s time to catch up on the posts.  Granted, I haven’t had a chance to shoot all that much lately, but here’s the first installment of the backlog – from back on July 20th.

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Two trains of empty cans

PW NR2Way back on June 8th I was able to get out and shoot a bit in the morning.  I intented to duck out and shoot Providence & Worcester train NR-2 along the Thames River.  But as things worked out, I ended up catching two P&W jobs in the Groton/New London area – both carrying empty ethanol tanks back to the New England Central Railroad.  A nice change of pace.

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Flowers, Stars & Trains

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.

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Another angle bites the dust

On the 17th of May I was able to get out for a few minutes to catch Providence & Worcester train NR-2 over lunch.  It was a quick trip out, and I was only able to catch them at a couple spots.  But while out, I noticed one of my favorite angles will soon be no longer available due to some Amtrak fence construction.  Just like Groton tower, where a chain link fence was erected along the south side of the tracks, the area to the north of the Shaw’s Cove swing bridge is following suit.

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Friday the 13th – PW in the morning, NECR in the afternoon

On Friday the 13th I actually got a bit lucky.  Not only did I catch Providence & Worcester train NR-2 in Ledyard and Groton, but I also caught New England Central train 608 heading south with loaded ethanol, and was able to work a couple birds into the shots – got a swan and a couple Canada Geese.  I also got 608 at a new location for me in Waterford.  Oh, yeah, and I even got called “Tom Ho” over the radio…it was Hawaiian Shirt Friday at work, after all…

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Cinco de Mayo – NR2 and a tamper

Getting closer to being caught up – this post has shots from Cinco de Mayo, where I managed to get out for a brief amount of time and shoot Providence & Worcester train NR-2 in New London.  Nothing spectacular, but I did get a shot of an Amtrak tamper sitting on the sidelines.

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Start of December Stuff

Next up is a chunk of photos from the first half of December, which include Amtrak, Providence & Worcester, ethanol, a Sperry Rail Car, a couple C-130s and a pair of fast attack submarines – a Virginia and Los Angeles class.  Nice variety for the first half of the month.  And like the previous post, this isn’t everything I shot during that time frame.  The stuff that’s missing from both the end of November and all of December (here’s a couple hints – steam and night) will all be lumped into one post, since it’s kind of a progression of shots, showing the evolution of my technique.  Enough of that – here’s the goods for the start of December.

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