State Line.....

Last week I returned to CSX's State Line Tunnels West Portal. Four years have passed by already since my first visit here! Wow! It's hard to believe. This is such a fine location for night photos, with no ambient light. Train traffic was way down from what I remembered four years ago, understandably. I spent Thurs. & Fri. nights here from 8 PM ish to 6 AM ish, and saw five or six eastbounds, and two or three westbounds. Of course, for all I know, the majority of trains could run during the day here, while I'm asleep! Each night, a couple eastbounds passed by the lighting first, and likely passed the word on to westbounds they met further east to sit up straight coming out of the tunnel. The crews were friendly and several gave me a couple of toots in passing, perhaps they remembered my photo from here featuring their railroad in the CSX 2008 calendar. One thing the crews didn't do is slow down for me, (not that I wanted them to) the westbounds are dropping down the west slope of the Berkshires here, and I'm guessing they were doing an easy forty mph out of the tunnel portal! The flash lighting freezes everything sharply at that speed fine. Dawn was barely beginning to lighten the sky above the tunnel at the end of my second night, I was contemplating gathering up the lighting, standing outside "the cah", to head for the tent and sleep, when I realized the faint sound I was hearing was in fact a westbound coming downgrade toward me! Back atop the stepladder, the crossings above me are whistled for, the lighting coverage tests out good, and I wait in the pre-dawn darkness. Within a couple minutes, CSX 5323 swings out of the tunnel and into position......for a moment, at forty mph, then she is by me, in a roar of sounds and wind! The resulting photo turns out to be the best of the two night visit! Shot right on the edge of dawn! Shot near Flatbrook, Mass. at 05:41 on Sept. 12, 2009, with the 5D and Zeiss ZF 100/2 (Nikon) lens set at f2. Two flash units/stands erased on the left of the scene. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2009;
Gary Knapp

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