As I have mentioned before, we railfans who live near Canadian Pacific's (CP) ex-D&H Canadian Main are blessed to witness all EMD locomotive consists once in a while on the 252 & 253 trains in this age of General Electric dominance of the CP locomotive roster. Another “treat” for D&H nocturnal train watchers, (at least this one) arrived early in the morning hours of October 29th in the appearance of Norfolk Southern's (NS) Pennsylvania Railroad Heritage engine, NS 8102! Leading CP train 931! 8102 wears one of the classier heritage paint schemes I think. When the news arrived via the railfan network the night before, it was a “no brainer” where I wanted to shoot “The Pennsy” engine, from the roof of the ex-CP RS-18 in Port Henry.I headed out from home in Hinesburg at midnight, with 931 scheduled to depart Saratoga around the same time, confident I would give myself plenty of time to setup and do any tweaking of the lighting that was needed. All in all, involving at most forty five minutes. I figured two and a half hrs. at best from Saratoga to Port Henry in 931s case tonight! Well.............how about two hrs. and eight min.?! I was all set up and drinking tea................ on the ground, not up on the RS-18 cab roof of course, when I heard an air horn to the south of me, down Lake Champlain! My first thought hearing the air horn blowing for a crossing was........”I wonder what train this is? This cannot be my train?” Then the realization arrives that there is NO other train running northward tonight on The Canadian Main at this time! Oh man, the return of the Pennsy Heritage engine, which had visited the Canadian Main years ago, was about to happen!
I was quite impressed with the quick run 931 was making tonight. I had learned the job departed Saratoga at 00:10, and here I was hearing them south of Port Henry before 02:00! It was not that long ago it took northbounds one and a half hrs. Whitehall to Port Henry. It turned out 931 had a short train, (twenty or so cars) which helped them make good time. Enjoying the moment, listening to 931s engineer blowing for crossings, the stars overhead with warm temps and tea to enjoy, it suddenly dawned on me it had been a while since 931 had blown for a crossing, and I knew they were in that stretch of track approaching town. Time to ditch the tea and get up on top of the RS-18 cab roof! It takes me less than a minute, I know the route by now, (big smile) and once up top I pause listening, hear nothing and take a test shot. Everything looks good!
Now I hear the low rumble of GEs exhaust, followed by the occasional squealing of flanges as 931 negotiates the sharply curving trackage south of town along Lake Champlain. A louder low rumble, signaling the power passing over a small bridge less than a mile away. Out of the darkness, the bells in the crossing signals activate down around the curve below the station, the engineer blows for the crossing then headlights appear, yes! Here we go! Coming up past the station, the station lights help transform the headlights into the Pennsy Heritage engine! Then the 8102 returns into the darkness, comes past my mark and the lighting reflects back Tuscan Red! Checking the image before I move while 931s consist passes by below me, it looks like success! And, 8102 is CLEAN! See what you think? Shot in Port Henry, NY October 29, 2017 at 02:18. 1/800 @f 3.2. Special thanks to Tyler Fortuin for his help! Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
All The Best In 2017;