Labor Day Weekend Railfanning

(click on each image to see a larger version -- approx 1024X768)

The trip began the 31st of August but the first really nice shot I took was in the wee hours of the morning of Sept. 2nd.

This 5-minute exposure is a Northbound CSX train headed toward Selkirk Yard in Albany. The vantage point is Storm King Mountain overlooking the Hudson just North of West Point.

Storm King Mtn, NY
September 2, 2007

A few hours later we returned to the Storm King overlook hoping for another Northbound in daylight.

Unfortunately, most Northbounds run at night so we had to content ourselves with what shots we could get of Southbounds like this one with two UP units passing a lone kayaker.

September 2, 2007

Although we were hoping for trains along the CSX main directly below us, we had plenty of opportunities with the busy Metro-North line across the river. I swung my camera North and caught Bannerman Island, the Newburgh Bridge, and a Southbound Metro-North train.

Quite a few Amtrak trains use this line as well.

Patience eventually pays off (sometimes) as it did when we FINALLY heard of a Southbound approaching. By now the Sun was high and shadows were starting to encroach on the track but the shot was still good. Now time to head elsewhere.

Next we headed to Bear Mountain Park hoping for a few shots there. We heard of yet another Northbound and scouted locations but he was sooner than expected and caught me literally by surprise.


We found a shady spot with a view of the Fort Montgomery Tunnel and a small bridge over Popolopen Brook just to its South. We knew several Southbounds were coming so we waited (luckily, not long).


Obviously, trains weren't the only interesting subjects...
The last train of the day was a bit long in coming and we debated giving up as the shadows lengthened. A position a bit farther left still provided good light and a good angle.

11:29am, September 3, 2007
Harrisburg, PA
On the way home we decided to stop in Harrisburg at a spot overlooking CP-Mary and the Rockville Bridge. Unfortunately the Sun was bad and there was significant haze in the air so we decided to move on.

Move on, but not give up. At river-level on the Southwest side of the bridge the light was better and the haze much less noticeable.


I walked a bit farther and decided to venture out on some rocks into the river. The results were well worth the effort.

Plenty of traffic afforded the opportunity to try different framing and angles. Clouds (actually their shadows) gave a bit of a challenge as did the depth of field but nothing substantial; I'll say again that I was pleased with the shots.
An Eastbound provided a "going-away" shot on which to call it quits and head on. Usually, I'll pass on these kind of shots, preferring the typical 3/4 or head shot, but here the scenery upstaged the train making its direction of movement immaterial.

The last thing we caught was this Eastbound coal train passing through CP-50. The shot was "on the fly", the light wasn't the best, and I was still set for aperture priority giving me an F16 and too-slow shutter, but anyway...

Chambersburg, PA
September 3, 2007

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Proud to be an American!
Mack Muir