CP SD60's At Port Henry

This is one of those rare (for me) later that same night photos. Returning to Hinesburg from north of the border in Foster, Quebec basking in being content with my two images of the Oxford Express, the car scanner comes to life as a detector on CP over across Lake Champlain from my position on the Interstate signaled the passing of a freight, and in the garbled crew acknowledgment of the detectors broadcast message I was sure I heard............6.....4.....2. That 642 was advertised earlier to be running into Montreal from out west with a trio of SD 40-2s! I check the clock on the dash..........01:00ish, and continue heading for home. There I found messages from several friends attesting to the fact that 642 had a rebuilt ex-SOO LINE SD 60 leading tonight! Knowing 642 to be roughly across the lake from my position at the time, I brewed some tea to refill the thermos and headed out for a favorite spot on Rogers Island in Fort Edward. And never heard another thing on the North End for over an hour until I was getting near Whitehall, where unbeknownst to me a great gift was waiting. The scanner had picked up a crew talking about restarting a trailing engine, and I assumed this to be 642s crew dealing with an elderly SD 40-2. I am driving past Whitehall Yard when a crewmember on 253 rings up the dispatcher, identifying his leader as 6225! He relates to the dispatcher how they have set off the two ACs, have one of the trailing units on line and are ready to head north. Now I remember, this trio of SD 60s came down on 252 yesterday in daylight. Two trailing units had shut down and they needed to add the pair of ACs to get over Richmondville Hill. Last I had read on the railfan grapevine showed the ACs leading back north leading 253 out of Binghamton..........but here they were, setting them off in Whitehall! An inquiry of the night dispatcher by 253s crew about what is coming toward them further north reveals a 930 and 252, no mention was made of that 642! Time to turn the Civic around! lol! I leave from opposite Whitehall Yard just as 253 is getting underway, and I can picture how great those three repainted SD 60s will look from atop the display engine at Port Henry, some forty or more miles away. If, I can get there far enough ahead of these guys to set up. I had done this in the past in this situation, years ago, but the track speed has been improved a great deal in the ensuing years, so this would be interesting. First of all, no night photo is worth risking a speeding ticket over. So I keep to five mph over the limit driving north, and obviously, I was successful! I know where everything as far as the lighting goes here at Port Henry by now, and I test the lights before I climb up top of the RS-18 cab on display here. Being encouraged to “get it right” by the approaching SD 60s, which could be clearly heard coming up Lake Champlain to my south. Normally on quiet nights like tonight, I can hear northbounds south of town blowing for a couple grade crossings, allowing me to make a judgment on how far away they are, I am not granted that luxury tonight however, and I have finished manually focusing the 28mm lens and leveling the 5D when I am alarmed to hear the low roar engines produce crossing a short deck bridge maybe a half mile away......in town. I have time for a couple more test shots then 253 is blowing for the crossing just out of sight, and up around the curve the station is situated in the middle of comes quite a sight! Three newly repainted and rebuilt SD 60s! Out of storage where the entire class of engines had been until recently. Responding to the open camera shutter, the flash units do their thing, leaving me to give the crew a wave as they pass by below. Success! What a night! Watching my step, it’s a long way down from up here, I preserve the image from being accidentally erased and slowly collapse the tripod before climbing down via the short hood with its handrails. It’s not every night trackside I shoot three “keepers”! lol! Shot on October 26, 2013 at 04:04 in Port Henry, NY. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2013;
Gary Knapp

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