|"New Haven 3025;" Essex, Conn.; May 21, 2012|
|Valley 3025; Deep River, Conn.|
The Valley runs with its locomotives facing north in regular service, and to take advantage of better sun angles for the photo charter the locomotive was turned to face south (into the sun for most of the day). Unfortunately, the charter ran under cloudy -- and often rainy -- skies for both days so turning the engine resulted in no real benefit from a lighting standpoint. However, at many locations the compositions favored a southbound train, plus the misty wet weather actually enhanced many of the photo opportunities. The wet skies did not result in completely dampening the results of the trip.
The trip began in late morning on May 21, pushing the short freight train north from Essex to the far north end of the line at Haddam. Heading back south, many photo opportunities were had at a variety of locations such as Deep River (above). At Chester a 1940 Ford owned by Herb Clarke was brought to the depot by Ralph Hermann. Both the car and Ralph were used as photo props for runbys (below). Another highlight was when Paul Horgan brought his 1958 Edsel Citation out for a rainy set of runbys at a grade crossing (lead photo).
|Ralph Hermann and a 1940 Ford at Chester, Conn.|
|New Haven 3025; Essex, Conn.|
|Eric Steinberg; Essex, Conn.|
The night session was supposed to wrap up at 12:00 midnight, but the rain cut it short at 11:15. For some, this was a blessing, as the Tuesday morning trip departed at 4:45 a.m. looking for a sunrise that wasn't going to happen. (Thanks to Tom Nanos for a place to crash for a few hours mere minutes from Essex). For the second day's photo opportunities the 3025 was hauling the Valley's very tastefully painted passenger consist. The on-and-off rain of Monday had deteriorated to a steady rain on Tuesday, but misty scenes were still able to be recorded. Finally, in early afternoon the train returned to Essex for some switching scenes before the photographers returned to their homes.
Many, many thanks to the employees of the Valley Railroad for making this long-talked-about charter a reality. And thanks to Pete Lerro and his crew for yet another successful day of living in the past.