It seemed to be an obvious move in the middle of a heat wave in Vermont during July fourth week, retire to camp in Bloomfield. Its ten degrees cooler than further south in Hinesburg, situated on the Upper Connecticutt River complete with swimming hole, (swimmers over the years have never become confused enough to call the water temps comfortable.....) and the only trains on the nearest railroad, (in this case the SLR) operate dependably at night! And then of course there was the fourth of July decorations trackside at Lakeside Camping in nearby Island Pond, which would not be there forever. So I took up the same schedule as the week before at camp, going out around 7:30 PM to shoot SLR 394 at Lakeside Camping, returning around 11 PM to cook a meal and drink tea, then going back out around 2 or 3 AM to catch 393 returning west. Now.....in order to access the state parks campsites, you leave the car up at the road in a pull off area, and walk in maybe an eighth of a mile. A stones throw away from the pull off is a home, and there is no getting in and out quietly up there! After two weeks the family must have wondered who in the world they had for a neighbor in the state park! LOL! Arriving back at Lakeside Camping in Island Pond, I was welcomed like an old friend by owner Maurice Barnes, and I shot 394 there Wed., Thurs. and Fri. nights. While the first two nights, Maurice recruited kids from his campers to pose for me, it was Friday night, working alone, that provided the most rewarding image! I had agreed to shoot two scenes of campers at night for Maurice to use in his brochure for the campground, returning the favor he did for me by rounding up kids earlier, a task made easier when he was not around to say good or bad while I was shooting the scenes the following night for him! He operates the whole campground and was away doing something else. I had resigned myself to not being able to shoot 394 unless, it ran late. Finishing up with the campers, I invited the folks to join me to watch the train go by and offerred to come back and let them know when I was all set up, to which they agreed. I drive off into downtown Island Pond and eventually discover the train sitting waiting for the outbound crew, so far so good! It dose'nt take long to set up the lights tonight, having practiced this part of the act six or seven nights now, and the traveling flag remained in its position by the engine for these three days, then I drive back down into the campground to invite the campers and kids to join me. Its late, after ten but they agree and start walking up! Overjoyed with this blossoming opportunity, I return to the tracks to find more people standing around the stepladder! The thought........"you gotta be kidding me...." comes to mind. LOL! We have a nice conversation where I explained the lights to them, and I invite them to be a part of the photo, pointing out how rare this opportunity is, (for everyone actually) and after some hemming and hawing they agree to wait for a while. Like it was planned, the scanner comes alive with the outgoing crew aboard 394, and the second group of campers walks up to complete the cast! Now the waiting begins, the kids, tired from the long day of summer camp activities, lounge on the grass while I demonstate/test the lighting. The adults mention to me how they have been coming up here to camp with their families for many years and the night train on the SLR has always been a part of the camping experience for them. With talk on the scanner implying 394s departure, I reassemble "the lineup", everyone remembering where they were before. Looking out at the scene before me from atop the stepladder in gratitude, sounds of 394 starting to pull reach my ears. Everyone is relieved down at the fence at the news, looking forward to finally seeing the train. In a couple minutes, engineer Paul Palmer brings 394s head end into view and down past us at a nice steady pace and in a flash, the scene is captured! At summer camp in Island Pond! Shot on July 9, 2010 at 23:01 with the 5D and Zeiss ZF 35/2 (Nikon) lens set at f2. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
Got a tip on Monday June 21st that there was a Clean Warbonnet and some CP power going west out of Selkirk. At the time I was home finishing up mowing my lawn (4 Acres W/Push Mower). Around 4 I pulled the pin and took off in the truck for Fonda. After Waiting from 4:30-7:00 PM and watching countless eastbounds Parade by me the only Westbound I caught was a late running #283. The other two trains that I was after never came west till later in the evening incurring delays due to trackwork over near RJ. Somedays depending where your located your doing good if you get Amtrak. I also did see that night before I left an eastbound FRA movement with a six axle GE , a baggage coach and one of the FRA’s Darth Vader Looking test cars. BTW nice to see that FRA personnel or exempt from vests.