Friday, December 06, 2013

Garden State Pot Pourri

Black River & Western; Ringoes, N.J.; October 27, 2013
Norfolk Southern; Stanton Station, N.J.
During the late fall I got a chance to clean up on some odds and ends around my home state of New Jersey. One thing I hadn't had a chance to do was shoot Black River & Western 2-8-0 No. 60 since it returned to service (after a decade-long absence) last year. The forecast was good and No. 60 was finishing up its Halloween runs on October 27, so I headed to Hunterdon County in search of steam.

The foliage in central New Jersey has a tendency to change late in the autumn, and with time to kill before No. 60's first run I headed over to the Lehigh Line (the former Lehigh Valley Railway now operated by Norfolk Southern) to look for freights. I paused near Stanton Station where I found some colorful leaves and was rewarded with an eastbound (inset) followed by a westbound (below).
Norfolk Southern; Stanton Station, N.J.; October 27, 2013
Black River & Western; Ringoes, N.J.
From there it was over to the Black River & Western. I think the most intriguing place on the line (at least photographically) is the abandoned cement plant just outside Ringoes. One shot I really wanted was the train passing the plant from the private driveway nearby. The train and sun cooperated and I had my shot in the bag early (top photo on this page).

On the opposite end of the train was a former Lehigh Valley SW1 locomotive, used for the backup move from the pumpkin patch near Ringoes to Flemington (where the trips originated). One shot I hadn't counted on getting was of the diesel heavily backlit as it led the train back past the cement plant; the steam locomotive on the opposite end put out a white plume of smoke that allowed a real nice silhouette of the diesel and its crew (below). All the photos taken this day can be found here.
Black River & Western; Ringoes, N.J.; October 27, 2013
On November 7 I headed down to southern New Jersey after work and stopped in at the former Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines station at Sewell. This line runs between Camden and Millville and is owned by Conrail Shared Assets (itself jointly owned by Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation). I had tried night shots at the wood frame station before with very mixed results. One night the train didn't show up. Another night the train was right on time and one of my flashes didn't fire. This night was pretty good, though; the train showed up about an hour later than expected, but when it got into position everything worked (below).
CSX (on Conrail Shared Assets); Sewell, N.J.; November 7, 2013
Norfolk Southern; manville, N.J.
The last segment of this post covers another elusive target for me -- the Norfolk Southern business train. Powered by a set of streamlined F-units from the 1950s, the train has been all over the eastern U.S. for several years now, but I never encountered it. But with a timely tip that it would be running on the Lehigh Line from Manville to New Jersey's Chemical Coast, I headed to central Jersey on November 21 to nab it.

The train loaded its business dignitaries on board at Manville, but one group was late allowing an eastbound freight to pass (inset). In the meantime, full sun had given way to high clouds, but as the dealys wore on the day cleared off again. Finally, about an hour and a half late, the train made its way through Manville (below) on its way to show NS customers some new facility that NS would be serving. All the photos taken this day can be found here.
Norfolk Southern; Manville, N.J.; November 21, 2013

1 comment:

Barbara Fane said...

Steve
I always love looking at your photography.
Barbara Boyd Fane

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