It's most unusual.........a night where the D&H North End is silent. Normally a nocturnal operation for the most part, when nothing moves all night, I check the mornings weather forecast after midnight, if sunny skies are promised, it's time to drive up to Rouses Point and keep an ear open for late running southbounds. Upon hearing clearance given on CP Rails Lacolle Sub, (and confirming the leader NOT to be one of the unattractive 9500s.....) the doorway of opportunity creaks open for the possibility of capturing an image of the train further south above Lake Champlains Willsboro Bay in morning light! Tonight, 250 came out of "Oh Canada" around 04:00, and I even set up the lights optimistically in Plattsburgh, before hearing M.O.W. foremen speaking with the dispatcher about 250 coming south........later! Ha,ha! Are'nt scanners wonderful?! Back on the road south, the lighting given the night off, more interesting news arrived via the scanner, talk of a 251 w/CEFX 1049 coming north! He would be at Willsboro in an hour and a half! Shortly afterwards, Gary arrives at Cove Lane in Willsboro, location of the three car capacity dirt "parking lot" offerring access via a rough trail, to the tracks above. Thus an idyllic situation presented itself! May you all be so fortunate in your endeavors. A word to the wise here; this was an idyllic situation because I knew where everthing was. This is a dangerous place to walk in to. You don't want any surprises. Signs are mounted along the tracks in spots: Danger: High Risk Area a reminder for M.O.W. folks. Arriving a mile and a half up the tracks at this spectacular location, I learned along the walk-in via the hand held scanner that 251 would be first through here, meeting 250 further north. The weather......not a cloud in the sky! A very rare combination of events which I was most fortunate to be in position to record! Getting two trains out here under the same sunny morning skies I have never done! SO........ here is the first, of two from.....The View! Right on schedule, 251 with CEFX 1049 comes drifting downgrade around the point in dynamic braking, at perhaps twenty mph, completing the scene. There are only a handfull of the colorful blue CEFX leasors remaining on the CP Rail roster, making this quite a satisfying capture. The friendly crew offer waves as they pass below me. This view is shot from a rock outcropping akin to the one two poles away to the south. Mother Nature "encourages" you to pay attention walking around up here! The view south shows the end of the bay, and on the horizon out over the broad lake itself morning fog banks still burning off. Before I carefully climb down to track level, prior to walking down to the further rock outcropping to prepare for 250, I stare and marvel at the massive rock cuts from the 1850s, the days of black powder and drills! When finally built, this section of the Delaware & Hudson was considered among the great engineering achievements:
"The building of the track along Willsboro Bay, where the Sage Mountains meet the shore, was where the heaviest difficulties were encountered. In places, drillers had to be let down by ropes from the tops of the ledges, to commence blasting. Along this section the scenery compares favorably with similar locations in the mountainous western portion of the United States.
The Chateaugay Republican said of the track along Willsboro Bay:
"On this six-miles the rock cuttings are almost continuous. The track runs about 90 feet above the surface of the lake while on the left the perpendicular wall grows, as we move northward, until finally it culminates in the Great Red Rock Cut, a smooth perpendicular precipice one hundred and five feet above the track at the highest point, while below it also extends ninety feet down to the water's edge. One hundred feet out from the shore, the bay is 210 feet deep. A halt was made here to give all a chance to view this wonderful piece of work, and then the train crept along on this shelf and through the tunnel. The tunnel is one of the handsomest ever constructed, the shape of a perfect arch through a rock which sparkles in the sunshine as if it were made of crystals."
The above from: A Historical Sketch of the New England Berkshire & Western Railroad Company courtesy of Rensselaer Railroad Heritage Website.
SHot on Sept. 21, 2009 at 08:22 with the 5D (ISO 160 & 1/500) and Zeiss ZF 28/2 (Nikon) lens set at f6.4. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed!
All The Best In 2009;