All The best In 2012;Gary Knapp
Monongahela Heritage Unit
In the world of railroading, we all know it is wiser to never say never, when the subject of special moves and locomotives come up in conversation. Norfolk Southern's Heritage fleet being an obvious example. Who would have thought the unit coal train to the power station in Bow, NH would rate the NKP unit? Certainly not I. Even more difficult to believe is seeing the Monongahela Heritage Unit entering New England on Pan Am/NS MOAY as trailing unit! A quick check with Brian Jennison confirmed the departure time for AYMO the next day to be around 13:30, (thanks Brian!) leaving me with an excellent chance to shoot NS 8025 leading past Mechanicville’s XO Tower overnight. Postings on the web late the next afternoon confirmed the engine to be leading........... I charged up the flash units and headed on down the road. Two hours and forty five minutes later I arrived, skipping any stops for breakfast enroute, concluding that I, like the majority of Americans, can skip a meal now and then and comfortably function. Quickly setting up with no idea where AYMO was, a BNSF loaded Unit Oil Train bound for Saint John, NB, slowly pulled out of Mechanicville Yard and headed east. The Dispatcher comes on to tell the crew they are meeting two at Hoosick Falls. I conclude one of these to be AYMO. This won’t be too bad I think time wise. Then it takes the BNSF Oil Train one hour and twenty minutes to run over to Hoosick Falls. AYMO with the NS 8025 exits the passing siding behind EDMO, and I’m not getting good images in my head. LOL! EDMO passes by the camera at 01:56, and after the trains passing the signals stay red. Not good. After an hour of silence, the Pan Am Dispatcher rings up AYMO, giving the crew permission to head west from a location I heard as “Schol”. Oh My Gawd! They were parked out there somewhere? Ninety minutes later the train is around the curve and out of sight from me! I can hear the air compressors for cryin’ out loud! But stopped! The signal stays red as a Canadian Pacific loaded unit train of oil or ethanol roars through the location heading for Kenwood Yard. The minutes pass by and then...............the signal turns green for westbound Pan Am traffic! I am thinking, one shot makes the night! Ha,ha,ha! This one right here! The crossing signals are activated and I can hear the engineer loading up the GE’s before he blows for the crossing. I fire off an awareness flash and the engineer shuts off the ditch lights for me. Around the curve and into position comes the NS 8025, it’s “way too bright” number boards giving it away. Wouldn’t you think the folks at General Electric would have realized? Well, never mind. The second NS Heritage Unit to visit New England rolls into position, the lighting does its fantastic job, and the image is happily captured! I give a wave to the engineer as the cab passes by. This was one of the longer stake outs I have done waiting, six and a half hours after I arrive...........AYMO pulls by me. However.........success and the joy that comes with it at night is a rich and rewarding combination, and I was smiling all the way back north to the compound! Shot on September 11, 2012 at 03:44 with the 5D and Mamiya 645 format 80/1.9 lens set at f1.9 in Mechanicville, NY. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.