Amtraks 40th Anniversary

Amtraks 40th Anniversary exhibit train visited Vermont over the three day weekend. Coming and going over the New England Central. Arriving a day earlier than scheduled on Thursday night behind a Genesis engine, I was, of course........gone. Up camping along the SLR, confident on returning Friday night to shoot the train! Railroads, by their nature, make liars out of all of us railfans from time to time, in a helpless sort of way! Ha,ha,ha! SO when I read of the trains scheduled departure on Sunday night, involved backing up the eight or more miles from Burlington to the NECR main in Essex Jct. I monitored the NECR channel from the compound to see if they would actually do that! A quick check on the weather further south showed serious storm warnings, hail, high winds, etc. What a surprise? I was happy sitting this move with a Genesis engine out. Lo and behold, the crew calls the dispatcher for clearance to Essex Jct. with the F40 406 leading! They ran the power around the train somewhere. So I'm thinking, Holy Cow!, surely the crew will take the time to use the wye in Essex Jct. to turn the train and lead with the Genesis engine? Apparently, the dispatcher thought the same thing, as he had the signal on the north leg of the wye lined for them to use. Arriving in Essex Jct., the crew explained to the dispatcher they would like to go right out the south leg of the wye and onto the main, heading south with the 406 leading! Now it's confirmed! They are leading with the 406, oh my gawd! I'm on my way out to the Civic with the backpacks full of flashes. To me, this is the way they should operate this train, with the locomotive that saved Amtrak, EMDs F40 leading. But, no matter, at least they are doing it tonight. So I drive down to Randolph and no sooner position the lights before a heavy rain shower comes along, thankfully ending a few minutes later. My position to shoot from is up in the tree branches atop the stepladder, a place where the slightest movement generates a shower of water! LOL! My golf-size umbrella from La Grange proves to be a problem on its own here as I can't quite get it over the camera without snaring branches thus defeating itself, ha,ha,ha! The rain stops and I try a test exposure, the lcd monitor stays black! I try three more black exposures before I conceed although its not the lens or camera, maybe I have a problem with the lights. After a few minutes of replacing connecting cables and pocket wizards I'm getting an image of the coal shed on the lcd monitor, and with a few more adjustments the lighting falls into place. It must have been the humid air, because I never heard Amtrak blowing for any crossings north of town, suddenly, they are at the crossing maybe half a mile above me. I had been standing atop the stepladder for several minutes and was ready. Once the lighting was working, I was not going to touch a thing! Especially after all that rain. As the headlight glow got stonger, I was thinking this may be the last F40 I cross paths with. And........it's freshly painted, spotless! Rolling slowly past caught in a flash of light, the 406 completes this favorite Vermont scene. The trains you see at night! SHot on August 21, 2011 at 22:26 with a wet 5D and Nikkor 14-24/2.8 lens set at f2.8. A lens that has developed a "cult" following among Canon full frame camera users for its high quality! Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
All The Best In 2011;

Gary Knapp

Lee's D&H Update

A few pics as to progress or lack of on my pike. Things got delayed due to building a new workbench and putting down some laminate floor under the new work area. Removal of the old Hadley section ( where the bench is now) and re doing the end of the line took a longer amount of time than anticipated. So for what it's worth here are the pictures.

Enjoy, Lee Schamberger