I thought of Winston Link when 431 made its debut run over to Whitehall and back the previous night, LOL! I was just starting the drive down to Center from home, when I learned the crew was already headed back eastward just after midnight, light power! I was too late. So tonight I headed out earlier, leaving around 22:45, arriving at the church at 00:15. And this night the crew aboard 431 came by after 04:00. Winston, in a video done of his work at night, had lamented during an interview about how the unpredictability of freight train schedules became an accepted risk/part of the hobby, LOL!. Some photos he took required several consecutive nights before he got a chance at taking the shot.
Tonight, I am all set up by a little after 01:00. The weather is outstanding for a night photo, windy with temps in the forties in January! It deteriorates as the hours pass into a steady light rain with temps falling into the low thirties. Still excellent for a night photo and that is what matters! Ratty weather for humans produces great night photos of trains! After 03:15ish I hear the CLP 263 job departing from Whitehall on the car scanner. I do the usual tweaking of the lighting to keep moving around, not that it needed it. Being careful not to do something I’ll regret, lol! Around 04:00 I hear an air horn, but from the wrong direction! It belongs to the VTR GP 38-2 201 leading the job going to Burlington coming out of Rutland to meet the Whitehall train at Center. Several minutes later I hear 431 coming in from the west, blowing for crossings in West Rutland. I’m thinking how this could be spectacular! Visualizing the 431 wearing VTR red & white at this location.
Atop the stepladder, I hear 431s engineer blowing for the Rte 4 crossing, then a secondary road followed by silence as the train climbs Boardman Hill toward me. Finally I see brush trackside below the church start to lighten up, I fire off the lighting, and watch. Headlights appear behind the evergreen in front of me and I look away at my mark, then as the 431 starts to follow the curved track to my left I look back and watch as the pilot plow slowly drifts up and past my mark. I wait a second then fire. Red and white reflects back! Wow! I give conductor Dominic Cioffi a wave as his side of the cab passes by, the dark shape of 431 towering above me. Then I check the photo on the GRs monitor.............Holy Cow! Dosen’t 431 look great here? Glistening in the rain?
This historic trackage, incorporated as the Rutland & Whitehall Railroad in Nov. of 1848 before being acquired by the Delaware & Hudson, who would eventually sell it to VRS subsidiary Clarendon & Pittsford, saw all the exotic D&H diesels passing by the church here, RS-3s, PAs and the Baldwin Sharks to name a few models. The 431 certainly fits right in tonight with the addition of the evergreen, which I’m sure is a recent improvement to the location! SHot in Center Rutland, Vermont on January 13, 2017 at 04:11. Special thanks to Michael Ricketts! Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
All The Best In 2017;