|Norfolk Southern; Phillipsburg, N.J.; September 7, 2012|
First up we head along Norfolk Southern's ex-Lehigh Valley main line in Phillipsburg, N.J., on September 7. Fellow photographer Tom Nanos was visiting from Connecticut, as since he is also armed with strobes we decided to head out for some shooting. The shot we had envisioned was from the Main Street bridge looking west, with the former Central Railroad of New Jersey passenger station in the shot. The first train to show up, however, was a westbound train, which made us head to the other side of the bridge for a tighter shot passing restored PU tower (above). While I have four strobes, this was done with only two -- one with a telephoto reflector aimed down at the train, and one with a wider-angle reflector aimed at the tower. The flash power on the tower was cut back to about half to avoid over-exposing the tower.
|CSX Transportation; Belle Mead, N.J.; October 7, 2012|
A few days later a coal train came into southern New Jersey to serve the power plant in Deepwater. One of Norfolk Southern's "heritage units" (locomotives painted in the livery of a now-extinct railroad that makes up the modern NS system) was the trailing locomotive on the southbound trip, but since the locomotives are run around the train for the return trip, the heritage unit -- painted for the Reading Company -- would lead north. We knew the crew was called out of Abrams Yard near Norristown, Penn., in the early evening and taken by van to Deepwater. We (my brother Bruce and friend Mike Burkhart) watched as the crew arrived at around 10:00 p.m. and began putting the train together at around 11:00. Once it looked like the train was almost ready to head north, we went to downtown Penns Grove to set up. Bruce had shot a heritage unit here before, and the train showed up then at about 1:00 a.m. But this time 1:00 came and went with no sign of the train. Finally, we heard the dispatcher call the train on our railroad radio asking if they were ready to leave -- this was around 2:00 a.m. The crew responded in the affirmative, and about 20 minutes later they passed through downtown.
|Norfolk Southern; Penns Grove, N.J.; October 14, 2012|
Now that winter is approaching and darkness will be coming before 5:00, I'm looking forward to getting out more with the strobes.