2011 Holiday Train

Shot on Rogers Island in Fort Edward, NY on November 26, 2011 at 04:17 with the 5D and Zeiss ZF 28/2 lens set at f2.

Down the tangent track comes the Holiday Train, then..........9624 clears the marsh, and the perfect reflection pops out! Holy Cow! Elwyn and I watch, transfixed at the sight as the lit up train consist continues to be revealed while 9624 progresses toward me. Only now do I get behind the camera, find my mark, and watch 9624 in............the flashes, on full power, silently fire, the resulting light on the scene reflects back, enabling the image to be captured! Wow! This image gives you the viewer a good feel for what it is like following along in the car with the Holiday Train as it cruises along Lake Champlain. Shot on November 26, 2011 at 02:10 with the 5D and Zeiss 35/2 lens set at f2.

We visit Port Henry, NY tonight on Canadian Pacifics Canadian Main Line, originally the Delaware and Hudson. This pair of night photos depicts the scene six years apart as the Holiday Train makes its annual visit. In the earlier photo from 2005 TWO decorated trains are featured! The RS-18 (ex-CP 1801) was donated by CP for the display train commemorating home town iron ore railroad Lake Champlain & Moria, which interchanged here with the D&H. Judge Brian Venne, who painted and decorated the locomotiveand train w/christmas lights, told me of the time he was directly involved with CP in obtaining a donated engine for the display train: they had talked with the proper people and in time word came back that their request had been approved! Brians group was asked by CP what engine did they have in mind, in so many words. They asked for (as most of us would have.....) the...........8921! In a few days the request came back...........approved! The 8921, for out of towners, was Canada’s only MLW RSD-17 model, and very popular with railroaders and fans! The 8921 made it as far as Rouses Point, NY before someone at CP noticed the 8921 had disappeared. This is how it came to be when the 8921 spent the day in Rouses Point of all places! Brian tells me the historic engine was quickly retrieved back across the border and CP inquired if there might be another locomotive the group would like! LOL! The night photo from 2005 shows a big turnout, probably eight hundred people or more. You can see my spot I would shoot from six years later in front of the engineers window of the RS-18. Switching to last nights view from 2011, what a change!Proving that “owls” come out during the day, in a rare daytime move for me, I drove over here, appearing at 4 pm for the 5:30 Holiday Train! After unloading the lights from the Civic parked beside the display train, Judge Venne, who did’nt recognize me, pointed at me and said........”You.......the cars gotta go!” I complied, keeping a straight face, then asked for permission to shoot from the RS-18 of Judge Venne, he then recognized me and gave me the okay. With the lights set up and tested, I watched as the scene was nearly empty of people at 4:45, then hundreds walked in! Wow! What a scene was before me! A steady stream of parents brought their little kids over to climb up on “the engine” as I looked on, trying to appear unconcerned. What can go wrong!? The organizers of this event provide a couple campfires each year to help people keep warm, that is the smoke seen wafting above the crowd. It is usually a fine idea, but this year it is 54 degrees at train time! Unheard of for late November. You can see the people are dressed lightly in the 2011 scene versus the 2005 scene. Suddenly I noticed lots of cars stopped up on the road beyond the station to the right, in a couple minutes an air horn is heard as the 9824 whistles for the crossing just to the south, and the Holiday Train comes creeping up around the curve past adoring onlookers at the station. For my part, I was singing to myself “Row,row,row your boat. Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily. Life, is but, a dream!” Ha,ha,ha! There’s little kids at my feet, kids behind me on the long hood! LOL! I was concentrating on the 9824 as it neared my spot, not noticing the young couple walking into the bottom center of the 28mm view with their kids. Just before the 9824 reaches my spot, the little boy waves! You could’nt make this up! For my part, I never noticed the kid waving until I was back at the computer inside the compound! LOL! The Holiday Train had captured my admiration. What an improvement over the six years in the decorations! This years train just glows! Also, ALL the lights are still working this far north, unlike years past! The lights that appear to be off in the photo are really blinking. You can spot the engineer inside the cab looking straight ahead, responding to placement commands from (hopefully only one) person to spot the “stage car” before the crowd. With the train stopped, a rock group performed christmas songs for the crowd, CP personnel appeared with a check from the area for the Holiday Train, more christmas songs as Santa himself joined the festivities on stage, Mrs. Claus rode the deadhead move south but we did’nt see her tonight, then the band said goodbye with the drummer up front singing Silent Night solo. All the while I was shooting with a 35mm from this spot. What a superb scene as Port Henry station hosts the town and the Holiday Train! Yes indeed, capturing this scene was worth getting up on three hours sleep, (of course...........I was out late shooting last night on the NECR......) skipping breakfast, but making two thermoses of dark tea, and driving with the many VIPs out on the highway. LOL! Shot in Port Henry, NY on December 2, 2005 at 6:57 pm(9714) and November 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm (9824) both with the 5D, the 9824 photo was taken with the Zeiss ZF 28/2 lens set at f2. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2011;
Gary Knapp


Beltrami Enterprises

I haven't done one of these since August 1st! It's really only in the last couple weeks that I've gotten back to do a little modeling. Thanks to Irene and Lee I've been "enjoying" outdoor mode since Aug 28th.
Some of you are wondering what this is all about? If you're new, it's because you're new to my contacts list. If you received other chapters only sporadically, it's because you responded to earlier emails sporadically. I misplaced my original list of who I've been sending these to so Chap. 9 is a restart...
The idea of sending the "Chapters" began when I was getting progress reports from Mike Confalone, Randy Laframboise, Jim Dufour and Mike Rose as they were making progress several linear feet at a time on their layouts. My progress is in inches, hence.....

This little scene was inspired by the "office" at the stone quarry in Gunnison, CO. It's named Quinn's Quarry for my oldest grand-daughter. I started picking at the models that are in the scene back in July when I did the trailer using one by CMW as a beginning point. The VW camper bus was next. This required major rebuilding to the VW Samba bus by High Speed. The prototype is the one my daughter and son-in-law still use. Notice the National Parks stickers on the rear. The third piece was the Portable. That model came back from the NMRA National in CA, thanks to Blair Davies sharp eye. Finally I built up the little bits of detritus for the front of the storage/office trailer yesterday AM. I'm using the model in an era change to my Wanamie Mine scene of the 50's. I (temporarilty) removed the loading conveyor from my 50's scenario. That's the structure that transfers coal from the narrow gauge 4 and 6 ton mine jimmies to standard gauge 50T twins. The new model scene represents the area after the narrow gauge operation shut down in 1968 and the property was taken over by Beltrami Enterprises (a strip mining operation). As with the entire layout everything is interchangable as to railroad depicted and era represented.

Regards to you all,

Wayne Sittner


Fall on the Battenkill!

Once upon a time there was foliage on the trees


Dirty Dirt and the Dome

 On October 13, 2011, D&H train 629 with 57 empty dirt gons with CSX 116 and 7320 waiting on the siding at CPC33 for Amtrak train 69 with the 145 and dome car in tow passing 629 at track speed headed to Saratoga.
Amtrak 145 and CSX 116 side by side at Saratoga.

My conductor Robert Gould pops his head out for a look at all the commotion.

Enjoy, Brad!