Sister Pan Am Heritage

The night following the captured image of Pan Am Heritage engine ST 77 in Bernardston, MA., found sister Pan Am Heritage engine GP 9 MEC 52 heading northbound out of Claremont,NH as trailing unit on BF-1 bound for White River Jct., VT. I traveled down from Hinesburg, VT armed with prior knowledge of this move from overhearing the conversation between crews the previous night. Arriving around nine pm I monitored the car scanner as BF-1 did some switching moves in Claremont. I was an hour or more early! Very unusual, lol! I poked around looking at various spots before setting my sights on Milepost Five of the NECR Roxbury Sub at Hartland, VT. while BF-1 waited for permission from the NECR dispatcher to come north. With the outside temp in the single digits below zero, I thought it wise to wait in the cah at the little used grade crossing until BF-1 got past me before I jumped out to set up the lighting. It seems like it was just after midnight when BF-1 came by doing track speed, maybe thirty to forty mph, the Civics high beams illuminating MEC 52 as it swept past! I was delighted! This would be a first for Gary, shooting the 52 leading! I pushed the trunk release and jumped out into the cold.............now for the lighting.
This view from Hartland is, to me, a classic New England scene with its towering white barn and connecting white farmhouse for a background. The MEC 52 with its dark green paint would not stand out everywhere at night, but here, with white on three sides it should. Slogging around in the knee deep snow positioning lights kept me warm, and maybe one hour later I was all set taking test shots. Some great memories flash by here from my earlier visits many years back when I was beginning to shoot trains at night with flash units. NECR local 601 was a favorite target back then. Perhaps twenty to thirty minutes pass by before BF-1 tones in the NECR dispatcher for permission to head south.................behind MEC 52! BF-1 received permission down to the signal protecting the main at the south end of White River Yard only around five miles away. Up on the stepladder after fifteen minutes of silence I concluded they were still waiting for a signal. No worries though, BF-1 had permission south, it was only a matter of time before they got out onto the main and past Gary at Milepost five.
Then I hear it! That most welcome sound at night................an air horn blowing for a grade crossing! Then the distinctive sound of a 567 prime mover working, and I’m standing atop the stepladder..............smiling! This is gonna happen! Like I had any doubts?...........lol! BF-1s headlights appear far away up the long tangent track leading away from me to the north. I do the usual test shot of the lighting for the crew so there are no surprises and relax, trying to judge the speed of 52 as BF-1 closes in. The engineer throttles back a bit with a light train in tow and sails down past me. The lighting reflects back as GP 9 MEC 52 delivers the classic dark green and yellow of the Maine Central paint scheme to the scene................SUCCESS! Another “gem” in the world of railfanning in New England, captured! Shot in Hartland, Vermoot on February 26, 2015 at 02:10. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
All The Best In 2015;
Gary Knapp

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