As with the arrival of Thanksgiving, the arrival of Canadian Pacific's Holiday Train ushers in the holiday season here in the Champlain Valley. As the date drew near for the middle of the night deadhead move south from the U.S./Canada border to Albany, NY, Greg Klingler was inquiring of me where I wanted to shoot it this year as Greg was interested in posing in the photo for me! I initially replied (of course!) the overlook in Port Henry! Greg suggested the ex-D&H station in Fort Edward as I had not shot the Holiday Train there yet. Fort Edward won! The ex-Delaware & Hudson station at Fort Edward has been restored and from this angle its D&H heritage still shows.Arriving in Fort Edward between 00:45 and 01:00, I got right to setting up the lighting. Greg had agreed to meet up with me around 03:30ish. He shows up at 03:00. With the lighting done, all Greg needs to do is step into the scene and pose waving, while I do the rest, positioning him and checking the lighting on him. It has been “awhile” since Greg and I had met up and we shoot the breeze for a time, then walk over to the waiting scene and try some test shots. North of us, the 2017 Holiday Train behind GP20C-ECO 2247 is making its nocturnal deadhead move southbound to Albany, NY. This is Greg and my reason for meeting up! Through Plattsburgh, NY just after 01:00, I feel we have lots of time before we should expect to see the colorful train, maybe between four and five a.m. I’m thinking.
The test shots look super here! Greg has his wave down again tonight! While we wait we converse on various topics then our attention is drawn across the tracks to a neighbor who emerged from his home. I notice “the dog” first. A hulking German Shephard accompanies the man, barking constantly! From what I gather, in between the barks, the man dose not like the lighting going off, as it falls in his yard etc. He wants us to stop. Greg and I quickly agree...............this man is probably NOT a railfan, LOL! There is no conversation possible though, the dog continues to bark loudly. I realize ahhhh...........situations such as this is what those hamburger patties laced with tranquilizer are made for! The neighbor returns to his home, then reemerges without the dog shining a flashlight at us saying............”You want a light? Here’s a light for yah!” We are silent, he starts cursing us again, then goes back inside.
Greg and I converse for another twenty min. or more, then he mentions he will go get a coffee from his car parked over behind the station. Recognizing this as an open invitation for the Holiday Train to appear suddenly, I am on alert! Watching as Greg reaches his car, the signals north of the station light up red over red, LOL! A train is in the block north of the station! Greg sees the signals light up and leaves the coffee, walks over to the station platform to eyeball the red over red signal, then walks back to join me. Relieved, I do a couple test shots, maybe a minute later headlights appear north of us. greg asks if this is him, I reply yes! The train seems to be moving slowly but is a long distance away. The crossing signals activate below us, I hear what sounds like fireworks crackling, (it was the flags flapping) the engineer starts whistling. Now I realize he is moving fast! Max. speeds here are 40 freight, 60 psgr. H
The photo unfolds in a few seconds! Down past the station and over the crossing comes 2247, passing my mark the lighting reflects back red! then the 2247 is by me, the fourteen trailing cars roll past then Greg is asking me how it came out? I get down from the stepladder and walk over to show him, Greg is ecstatic, as am I. Can’t wait to see it processed. What a beautiful train! Shot in Fort Edward, NY on November 26, 2017 at 04:24, 1/800 @f3.2. Special thanks to Greg Klingler! Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
All The Best In 2017;Gary Knapp