First Chill of Autumn, Magnolia Cut-Off
Oct. 17-18, 2008
(click on each image to see a larger version -- approx 1024X768)

I've photographed trains on the bridge at Magnolia dozens of times over the years, but never from below, and never at night.  This shot was 120 seconds, f/3.8 at 20mm.  When reviewing it I was surprised to find that the light on the water I had assumed was a house was actually a boat -- I wasn't alone!


Magnolia night time-exposure
Magnolia night time-exposure

Two Westbounds light up the trees across the river.  The first at 11:06pm, the second with me positioned a bit lower and closer to the water at 11:30pm.

These vary from the shot above by exposure (45 seconds longer), and the Moon has risen to now give fill light on the bridge piers.

Magnolia night time-exposure

A chilly breakfast shot of an Eastbound through the morning mist.


Morning Mist
Westbound & WM Bridge westbound & WM Bridge
9:11am -- From the opposite side of the bridge this water-lever shot of a Westbound shows the Western Maryland bridge visible down river.
Eastboun d 10:17am

An hour later an Eastbound posed under the waning Moon.


Westbound Amtrak at Carothers At the Carothers signal we caught Amtrak heading West as an Eastbound empty hopper train comes by trees already displaying full Autumn colors.

meet with Eastbound hopper train Hopper train & Autumn colors
Magnolia signal from Tunnel Hill We hiked up Tunnel Hill hoping to catch the colors.  Needless to say we were disappointed because we picked a day just a couple weeks too early.  The shot of this Westbound empty hopper train coming by the Magnolia signals is a reasonable consolation though.


Another good view from Tunnel Hill is of the Kessler Bridge on the Paw Paw side.  The Sun is really too high for the shot and it will be much better when the leaves are fully turning.  I guess we just have to return in two weeks!


Kessler bridge from Tunnel Hill
Westbounds at Hansrote Westbounds at Hansrote
4:06pm -- We arrived at the Hansrote signal as a westbound manifest train stopped.  He had a hot-box indication from the Doe Gully detector but no axle was specified so his conductor had to walk the train, checking each wheel bering the whole way.  A trio of Eastbounds came out of the harsh afternoon Sun behind us and then this Westbound auto rack train ran around on track two.
Back-lit Eastbound Another Eastbound came roaring out of the tunnel behind us and despite the back-lit conditions, I tried for a shot.  Yea, a well lit front end is what we all desire, but that really wouldn't have shown his exhaust like this.

checking the berrings The conductor finally made his way back up the opposite side, reporting no problems found and they could be on their way.

Actually, I found the culprit!  This car just wanted a little more attention!!! BB hopper

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Proud to be an American!
Mack Muir