Rob And Gary At Work!

We return to Tunnel Road in Port Henry, New York tonight. Having been presented with news of CP train 643 coming north out of Albanys Kenwood Yard during the night behind SD 40-2 5972, it was too much of a coincidence to ignore. These christmas lights in the backyard of the Finnessey residence would only be here for a short time. To shoot an SD 40-2 passing by would be a nice christmas present eh? LOL! Well.......I thought so to, and made up a thermos of green tea before driving over to the free ferry crossing of Lake Champlain at Crown Point. Arriving on Tunnel Road, I was again in admiration of this scene. Even Mother Nature came through this year with snow for christmas. Due to their nature, christmas lights are difficult to discover as a prop for photos before they are taken down, never mind finding them trackside! Here in Port Henry was a wonderful opportunity. First train by was 930, which became a practice shot with its black and white NS leader. Forty five minutes or so later 930s crew was overheard on the scanner talking with a passing train at Fort Ticonderoga to my south, and when the crew acknowledged the talking equipment detector, it was 643! About a half hour away, the scene was set! After making the necessary adjustments to the lighting for a northbound train here, I stopped before I fiddled around too much, and retired to the civic to enjoy some green tea. Ha,ha,ha! Life is great at moments such as this. Being able to include trackside christmas lights is another appeal of shooting trains in motion at night. Five thirty passes as I maintain my vigil hovering around the tripod mounted camera, thinking any minute now.......... Then the moment manifests like a sequence in a dream. While I'm listerning for an air horn, the crossing signals go off at the nearby grade crossing. I'm looking southward, and see nothing! Then movement way off to the right, headlights moving in the dark, three of 'em. Over there? I think, taken aback at the railroads location having never shot northbounds here before. Then the headlights are turning towards me, an air horn blows for the crossing, and we're on. With engineer Rob Dennis at the throttle, 5972 emerges from behind the shed, gliding into position where a silent flash captures the moment. What a christmas card scene! With an SD 40-2 no less! Thanks for the great runby Rob! Shot in Port Henry, NY on Decemebr 24, 2010 at 05:33. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

Merry Christmas!



D&H Toys For Tots Train

On December 5th I took part in the annual Toys For Tots Train on the northend of the D&H. It was awesome and I got a lot of great pics and memories!

Rob D

SVRR Toys For Tots Train

Unlike CP Rail, the SVRR can't afford to run a special train for Toys for Tots, but they get the job done by tacking the Frazier, with the big guy himself aboard, onto the rear of the Milk Run.Here we see Conductor J.J. Keys of the Milk Run giving Santa some updates on the Naughty or Nice List as he loads with milk at Hollister's. Engineer Al Fish on the Milk will soon back onto the Frazier and tomorrow morning will visit American Legion Post 83 where the Wednesday Night Train Group will chip in the help with the toy distribution. It's getting crowded on the Frazier but Santa and Flagman Lafayette say the Twins are more then welcome on the platform.

American Legion Post 0083 on Main Street in Skenesborough.

Merry Christmas, Jim Lafayette

SMS Christmas Train

Here are some pics from last night and a pic of NE-1 @ Bozyhollow Road crossing from last Monday. What a stark contrast to last week. It’s been snowing on and off up here in Duanesburg and very windy all day with more than an inch on the ground. When I took that shot of NE-1 on the other side of the Valley it was in the 41 Degrees and sunny and I had just a hoodie on. Winter has arrived in the Burg!

Dean J. Splittgerber


Return of the Milk

Having been absent for 2 weeks, the locals were pretty happy to see the Milk Run today.Here we see engineer Rolly Pauquette stopping to exchange greetings with Herm Hollister and pick up a small can of milk to top off the head end crew's lunch.

The pleasantries out of the way, Rolly pulls her down for loading.

The Milk is pretty heavy today with lots of empties to spot here and there.
Jim Lafayette


2010 CP Rail Holiday Train

Arriving at favorite location Port Henry, I gave myself plenty of time to fix/tweak things that might go awry, after all, this is the southbound 2010 CP Rail Holiday Train making its annual deadhead move. This is the one shot of the year I do not want to be late for, ha,ha,ha! True to form, by arriving early, my plan allowed the D&H to entertain by running THREE northbounds by me, heading for their meets further north with the Holiday Train. The last northbound, empty ethanol 643, was heard over the radio up at nearby "Howards" passing siding speaking with the Holiday Trains crew........."You got the whole hillside lit up here!" Hearing this conversation just added fuel to the fire of drama, don't you know! And twenty minutes later the Holiday Train announced its presence in town by blowing for the crossing a mile above me! WIth meets for the night completed, the dispatcher told the crew they had a straight shot to Saratoga now, where the next crew would board. The sky behind the hill above the station brightens from the lights of the consist as well as the headlights, and round the curve emerges the spotless 9824 with the Holiday Train in tow! Complete with trademark christmas tree adorning the engine roof. The most beautiful train I will ever see! Fully involved, soaking in the annual moment atop the stepladder, a voice comes from the hand held scanner hanging from my parka........."Good morning Gary!" and I attempt a wave in return, then concentrate as 9824s pilot plow closes in on my familiar spot here. As the consist slowly passes by, I marvel at my good fortune.......what a sight to see at night! Shot in Port Henry, NY on November 27, 2010 at 03:19. It is difficult to believe in less than two hours, I had picked up the lighting, drove down to Rogers Island, (without an unscheduled interview with a NY State Trooper) and set up a handful of lights in time to capture the previous shot I sent you! A wonderful night indeed!

Shot on November 27, 2010 at 05:14 in Fort Edward, NY on Rogers Island.

I wanted to try and find a location tonight, that showed  the glamour the Holiday Train displays as it travels along the shoreline of Lake Champlain during its nocturnal schedule. Thinking the photo should give you the feeling of following along in the car, oooing and ahhhing as the train comes in close and swerves away again to go around a bluff with its reflection. Most people who make the effort to get out and see this beautiful train prefer to see it at its station stops where the shows are held, never experiencing seeing the train moving through the scenic D&H North End landscape at night along the lake as you follow along. Realizing pacing around the compound would not bring results, I just put that thought in the back of my head.........how (where?) could I shoot an example of this "experience", and let it go.  A couple nights back as I left Port Henry I passed this spot and it clicked! So we begin here tonight, south of Port Henry along Bulwagga Bay, waiting. I'm in a little pulloff along two lane Rte. 9N, which is seemingly filled with traffic speeding along. The neighbor across the way "somehow" notices my presence and leaves chopping wood to ask if I need any help. They all do that eh? Any excuse to get away from the woodpile? Ha,ha,ha! He introduces himself, and I get to meet Elwyn Lang. He admits to liking trains, ( I know, I know......I was shocked to, seeing where he lives, the view and all.......) and I go back to the civic to get paper and pencil to jot down his email for this list. So there we were, on either side of busy Rte. 9N, cars wizzing by at sixty per, I spot an upcoming opening.........and go for it, running across.............only to turn my head back forward and stop short as Elwyn did the same thing, LOL! We pause standing in the double lines, cancelling each other out, then we both cross back to the civic, and I record Elwyns email. After he returns to the woodpile, its maybe fifteen or more minutes before 9824s air horn can be heard further south in Crown Point, and several minutes pass before the glow in the sky to the south transforms into the bright colors of the Holiday Train! This is a great spot to watch trains, being on the outside of a long sweeping curve, you get to see both sides of the Holiday Train as it passes. For the chasers following along, the 9824 closes to within perhaps thirty feet or less from Rte 9N before curving away again towards Bulwagga Bay, offerring the view attached. Providing a taste of the treat for the senses the experience of safely following the Holiday Train at night on the D&H North End offers, twice each year! Shot In Port Henry, NY on November 29, 2010 at 18:01. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2010;

Gary Knapp


From The Weekend...

Hey guys its been awhile. Here are two from the weekend. On Friday afternoon after just finishing lunch with the wife I was checking the computer in my office. I noticed a posting on the D&H Yahoogroup from Bill Kozel ( Thanks Bill!!) about a 2nd 252/6031 taking yarding for MOH. Hmmm “6031”, sound familiar. Then it dawned on me, hey that’s a SOO. I looked at the clock as saw that there was still some light left as we all know too well the days are getting shorter and colder. Figuring that the #252 crew would make quick work I B-Lined it out to Delanson. Upon arrival the signals at #499 were dark. Of in the distance down by Main Street in the Village there was a headlight which was #938 with three racks for Steve and Woody from the Park (SMS) to pick up in the Morning. So I waited and watched #938 make there move and then went back to check the signal at #499 again once #938 made there drop and returned back to there train. This time they were lit and the switch was lined for the Controlled Siding. At this point the light was getting low and I was running out of light so I decided to stay put in Delanson and would relocated myself over behind the Fire Department. After a good twenty minute wait the classic sound of EMD’s could be heard reverberating off the hills surrounding Delanson and Duanesburg and before I knew it the gates at Cole Road dropped and #252 emerged with not only a SOO leader but two ICE SD’s which has to be a first on the South End. Sadly for us guys on CP up here this same power set headed west on the Southern Tier on Saturdays 39T (Much to the chagrin of Ben Martin and his Wife D’Ann) and was not relayed back north on #253. Speaking of D’Ann she is an amazing photographer and is fastly putting all of us to shame but that is what happens when you have a good teacher such as Ben. Ben you need to have Railfan or somebody do an article on her as I am impressed with each email that I get. Speaking of Ben a tip of the hat to you and Ian for the H/U’s on Sunday’s Q620. Word has it the CSX has suspended plans to cease the CN interchange traffic on the St.Lawrence Sub. Let’s hope these trains continue to be seen for a little longer on both the Mohawk and Selkirk Branch. Here’s a shot of Sunday’s Q620 at CP-VO in Voorheesville. Take Care, Deano

Dean J. Splittgerber

Riverhead, Long Island

Last week in Riverhead, Long Island. A few pictures from work...enjoy!

John Camerota

De-ja Vu

A few weeks ago I came across an offering on ebay for a number of Walthers (TM) twin hoppers decorated for the DL&W. From the enlargement they looked spot on and were advertized as a special run by Accurate Finishing, Inc of Elburn, IL. I must have missed these when I was in my house designing and building period. Were any of you aware of them? In any case, I ordered 2. When they arrived I put them on the "To Do" shelf and figured I'd correctly detail them as a rainy day project. This past week provided a number of such days and I needed them all. I pulled out the two I had previously done for the article, the article itself and, referring to them for accuracy in detailing, I got to work.

The article appeared in the June-July issue of Prototype Modeler when Jim Six and Mike Schafer were editing. In rereading it I think it still holds up well. The DL&W cars were built in two 500 car series by ACF. The fellow from Accurate Finishing may have read my piece since one of the cars I received was numbered 87247. This matched in every way the Warren Garrick prototype photo Paul Gnash and Bob Fischer provided to me.

The basic model from Walthers (TM) is a PS-3 but comes close to the ACF cars. It's certainly the best starting point on the market that I'm aware of. There was a bit of subtracting, adding and detailing to be done but, that accurate lettering was easy to preserve. The only part I cheaped out on, that I did on the models built in the 80's, was to skip drilling out and adding all the drop steps. My OCD is as much a factor in my modeling as ever but, how many get to even this point now days? From the pictures you can see most of the changes made to the model and what it will look like finished.

Hopefully there's something here for all of you. There are now legions of modelers going to this extent with detail thanks to that "Band of Brothers" that got the Prototype Modeling approach going in the late 70's and early 80's Maybe you'll recognize a few names on the contacts list?

Best to all,


Merrily Painting Into The Corner....

Acting on a tip received earlier in the night from Frank Jolin, I visited the D&H in Port Henry, NY 'round midnight last night. 252 had the CEFX 1019 for a leader! It was forecast to be a superb night weatherwise for night photos, and while the promised heavy rains had not materialized yet, it was unusually warm for the middle of November. 252 was running behind 930 tonight, that much I knew, and while I had been away for a couple hours on the NECR after the pair of trains arrived in Rouses Point for their crew changes, I figured both trains had enough time to be out on the road by the time I arrived in Port Henry. Crossing Lake Champlain at nearby Crown Point via the free carferry it started to rain, and by the time I jumped out of the civic to setup in Port Henry it had turned into a steady downpour! Conditions don't get much better than this for night photos! Seeing the potential for another fine result here, with Mother Natures contribution tipping the scales my way, I setup the lights around the scene, keeping an ear open for 930 coming south. Little did I know at the time, I had merrily painted myself into corner tonight, assumming 252 would be following 930, a common practice. Please take note, as I did, the newly installed handicap access platform in the photo. They did good! Not obscurring the view of the building! I was impressed. Out of sight to the left of the scene is a shack holding a ramp perhaps? I'm not out of the woods yet though here, as I note the "yet to be installed" light posts. I'm hoping the round cement foundations with heavy copper wire emerging are not for tall posts with flourescent lights. I'll see what they are planned for soon enough, I can wait. Ha,ha,ha! The rain continues and as I finish with the lights, the car scanner picks up 930 hitting the talking detector twenty minutes away up at "Howards" passing siding. Disappointed, knowing 930 has an NS unit leading again tonight, I decide to make a "test shot" of 930 to check the lighting, then wait for the following 252 to shoot the "money shot". In hindsight, this decision saved the night in my case, with its gorgeous weather contributing to a night photo. Seriously, for me, the only weather better than this for shooting trains at night is when it rains in winter with snow on the ground. Each flash unit and its Pocket Wizard transceiver are inside a zip lock freezer bag, safe from the rain. The last item to emerge from the car is the most important, the camera bag, transported under the black umbrella to the stepladder. Some twenty three minutes after they passed the detector at "Howards", headlight glow backlights the hillside the rails go around above me here, and 930 slowly swings round the curve, cruising past the station and my flash. The rain showing up well in the headlights. Surprisingly, the black and white NS power looks pretty good in tonights photo! Not a thing needs to be changed in the lighting, I've had plenty of practice setting up here! And I wait and wait for 252, enjoying being out in the rain but dry, until it becomes obvious, with a meet between 930 and northbound 253 setup for Fort Ticonderoga just to my south, that 252 ain't coming by until 253 goes past me northbound. So I return to the civic to pour the last of the green tea, camera and its bag safe beside me, while 253 closes in from the south,and then....... "someone" near the West Chazy tower tones in the dispatcher! Trains moving around Rouses Point use this tower exclusively. I stare out the window at the near perfect conditions, the flash units waiting, grimacing, thinking to myself...........who could this be? Ha,ha,ha! I conclude, listening to the bits and pieces of the conversation I monitor, its indeed 252 with the CEFX leader, the crew is just now on board and ready to depart! With work enroute, they are at least three hours away, well into drab overcast daylight by the time they pass my location here later this morning. Now I dig the camera out from its bag again, inspect the nights photo.........yup, the NS power looks "pretty good" now, the station looks great, with help from Mother Nature! Shot on November 17, 2010 at 03:28 in Port Henry, NY with the 5D and Zeiss ZF 35/2 (Nikon) lens set at f2. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2010;



Brad Peterson- K&SA Tunnel Project

These are a progression of construction of the tunnel on my Kayaderosseras & Southern Adirondack Railway. The first photo shows the deck as the end of track.

 Second photo just after excavation and the first two 4X4's installed for the portal.

Five wall panels complete with many more to go.

Looking in from the backside....

The latest shot with track started and the retaining wall finished. Some backfilling has been done and stone fill between the track and tunnel walls.

Dean J. Splittgerber - Same Train

Fall Foliage this year was hit and miss. Usually it seems the Swampy areas are the first to turn with dramatic colors. They are also the first trees to lose there foliage too as is seen in these two images. When these two images were taken most of are area was just starting to turn. Now everything is just about gone except for the trees around my house which I wish would drop so I can do a final clean up. Anyways here are two pics. One was taken on a Saturday October 2nd With Steve and Mike and the other was on Sunday the 3rd With Bill and Mike.

Dean J. Splittgerber

Willsboro In Autumn

Last night was something else! FIVE photos in one night! WHile it's not unusual on my travels along CSX, up here in the North Country I don't usually get that many chances during one night out, LOL! HEading out from the compound with the intent of capturing a shot of Ethanol train 642, which spent the better part of the day sitting up in Rouses Point, due to a late delivery from Montreal and a track block in Saratoga, I drove north up I89. During the hour and a half drive, 252 and 930 arrived in Rouses Point as well! I went through town with all three trains still waiting for U.S. crews to appear. With breakfast in the car with me in the form of a thermos filled with soup, alongside the usual thermos of tea, I made a quick stop at a 24 hr. grocery store for a bite to eat, then headed for Plattsburgh. I was well aware how the night was shaping up.......the soup might not get consumed until later. While I shot some new angles around the Plattsburgh station, the best shot of the night came after 642 passed by. Learning via the car scanner the trailing unit SOO 6060 was low on water, they picked up a unit off 253 which met 642 at Rockland. WHile they were performing the moves to pick up the third engine, I drove south from Plattsburgh around 642, arriving at Willsboro. Driving in down the dirt road leading to the old station and newer modular M.O.W. headquarters, I took one look, and knew I had made a good choice visiting Willsboro! The background trees foliage was glowing in the dark! This is the elusive "peak" foliage trackside! Quickly setting up the lights, I apparently drew the attention of a neighbor across the tracks, who came out with a flashlight, then figuring out what I was up to, went back inside to watch. A test of the lights revealed the grand colors! After some fine tuning of the setup, 642 was heard blowing for a nearby crossing north of me, coming off the scenic trackage above Lake Champlains Willsboro Bay we have visited before! Then it became time to enjoy the scene. The crew, after spotting my awareness flash as they approached, must have gotten a chuckle out of the situation, having been photographed by me earlier up at Plattsburgh, Ha,ha,ha! Amid the great sound effects of locomotives accelerating the heavy ethanol loads past me came the flash! The final photo of the night became the best! We will visit Plattsburgh later, (where I will give evidence in answer to the always pressing question: When are NS locomotives most attractive?) but I wanted to send out this shot first. I really like the contrast here between the unkempt old station, used as a storage area by M.O.W., and the peak foliage with white house across the tracks, with 9732 splitting the two extremes! Special thanks to veteran D&H engineer Marty Shapiro who brought 642 past the camera. SHot in Willsboro, NY on OCtober 20, 2010 at 04:58 with the 5D and Nikkor 14 - 24/2.8 lens set at 19mm and f2.8. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2010;

Lee Schamberger - Update

The repair work from the plumbing disaster is coming along nicely.The two part liftout section is now in the Final foliage phase.The mountain from the bottom of the tunnel portal up is one section and the other is the river area under the mountain just to the left edge of the portal.Track will soon connect Hadley to the junction with the Adirondack branch at the tower.

Hope you enjoy the pics - Lee

Rainy Day - Jim Lafayette

I love a rainy day, I had 2 soccer games (grand kids) scheduled for 4:15, both are cancelled. I have a perfect excuse to sneak into the play room and enjoy my hobby.No matter how hard it rains out, it always dry on the Skene Valley Railroad.
Colonie Shop used to be where big things happened, now it's Skenesborough. (the Frazier is in the middle bay, she always gets a good cleaning and resupply after visiting other roads, so like her name sake, she is always ready for a road trip.) The (ex Reading) 302 is in the south bay while a pair of PAs sit on the north side. The 4078, still in VTR colors, sits on the Turntable lead.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town....

SVX-2 has backed the 4071, still in P&W colors, back over East Street while the crew sneaks across the street to the Silver Diner after having spotted some logs at the K-Mill. They sent the headman to Puck Catone's News Rooms to pick up the latest copy of Model Railroader, to see a little bit of Kip Grant's layout on page 80.

Fueling at the shop. the 7402 is in Reading garb.

Life is good.

Robert Gould- Layout Update

One benefit of summer modeling and having your layout in your basement is the cool temperature there. In a quest to keep as much of my rolling stock as possible on-line I decided I needed more staging and dodge some heat. As some of you know, my layout is the tradional "dog-bone" design. Simply opening up the outer track would allow for access to new staging. Keeping the inside track of the dog-bone uncut allows for continuous running. (see photo 1).

Photo 2 show the completed new staging yard. The 4 tracks on the left are Jersey City and the three on the right are Chicago.

Finally the photo 3 shows the end of the dogbone and its original penetration into the laundry room.

Keep your sanity, have a hobby,