Sunday, May 21, 2006

Quite the Quartet

Mainline trains on my layout are often found in care of multiple-unit assignments varying from double headers to three and four locomotive consists depending on power needs due to train length and weight. One such train is PM4, an inbound hauler from Portland, Maine to Mechanicville, New York. This train does not make it to Boston. Rather it diverts west at Lowell Junction headed westbound for New York state.

This first scene depicts the four units required to haul train PM4. The locomotive set is spotted crossing the New England River Bridge after exiting Haney Cut at milepost 42.

The four units drawing the train are GP7's #1568 & 1566, RS2 #1503 and RS3 #1519. The beautiful maroon and gold paint scheme of the Boston and Maine sure looks handsome along the flanks of all these powerful units!

The photograph above is from a vantage point operators would not normally see. The elevated landform with a stand of trees noticeable to the left of the tracks helps to create Haney Cut and effectively disguises the portal to staging.

This scene clearly depicts the verdant landscape so prevalent in New England. At this point the train is still in the state of Maine. In a few miles, it will cross the Salmon River where it will then enter New Hampshire on my version of the B&M.

Little did I know that while I was snapping these views of train PM4, my good railfan buddy, Marty Phillips, had travelled to North Dover from his home on Vancouver Island to railfan New England on the very same weekend! What were the odds of that?!

While I was on the high ridge above track level, Marty apparently had decided to tackle the same shot from water level below the New England River Bridge.

Later on, it was fun to compare shots of the same train from different angles! Marty sure has captured that artistic 45 degree shot looking up from below!

Meanwhile, I managed to head over to the Salmon River where I captured this image of the lead unit above the beautiful stone arches of Stanley Bridge. Picnickers near the gazebo must have had their afternoon peace and quiet momentarily disturbed when this quartet arrives on the scene! Some of the best salmon fishing in the northeast is found right here at, you guessed it, the Salmon River!

I met Marty later on at a restaurant along Boundary Road and he showed me this ground level image he just managed to grab way back at milepost 39...the inbound approach to Marshall Cut.

Mitchell Creek sure looks murky with all that spring runoff. We both couldn't recall the creek level being that high near the culvert entrance from past railfan trips. New England must've seen a lot of rain recently! While we enjoyed a lunch of smoked meat sandwiches Marty asked me about our American buddy, Mike Sherpak. I knew that he was back in Iraq...and that he was thinking about coming up to Canada in the fall. Marty wondered if he would make it all the way out to the west coast. "Hey, why don't you come back to Ottawa during his visit?" I asked the Marty Man.

Marty also shared another shot he managed to snap out by the interlocking tower where the diamond with the Maine Central is located. There seemed to be a work gang doing some track repair along the MEC right of way so the B&M had the highball through the interchange.

"Boy, there sure is a lot of traffic along the Howard Street overpass," mentioned Marty.

I showed Marty the remainder of the shots I managed to get as the train entered yard limits and prepared to stop in North Dover to exchange a cut of cars.

This image of the lead unit entering yard limits as it passes Haney Fuels was taken from the steps of another industry in town. What I particularly enjoy about this photograph is the B&M's creative use of an old boxcar as a storage shed for heavy equipment. This is but another example of the Boston andMaine Railroad trying to be cost effective during a downturn in the economy!

I managed to snap this last image from my railfan trip looking back down on the station platform from above the ridge in town. Then it was back in the car to head north to Canada.

While Canada may be my home, North Dover is a close second!

Everytime I railfan here, I meet warm and caring people...many of whom are train nuts themselves. One thing's for sure...that quartet of diesels sure made for a great day of railfanning for both Marty and I!


Laurent Siliprandi said...

Bonjour Mike,
Cela fait des années que j'admire votre réseau (depuis le MRP 2001 et GMR 2004) et je tenais à vous féliciter.
Je crois avoir vu à peu près toutes les photos disponibles sur le net (votre blog, le blog du "Friday Night Group", les sites de l'"Ottawa Valley A. R." et de Grant Knowles, en existe-il d'autres ??)et il y a une zone qui n'a jamais été photographiée; c'est la liaison du fond de décor au premier plan entre l'"Howard Street Overpass" et le "Mitchell Creek". Je serais vraiment intéressé de voir ce secteur. Si à l'occasion vous pouvez publier une ou 2 photos sur votre blog ce serait super sympa. Merci d'avance et bonnes salutations de Suisse !

Mike Sherbak said...

Hiya Mike
I guess I hadn't happenned by in a week or more and here I find those maroon and gold geeps plying the B&M - Wanted to tell you I am glad to see the 1566 alive and well. The 1566 is near and dear to my heart as I actually road from Dover to Exeter in the cab as a young man (12 I think) My best friend's late father was the brakeman on D5/D6 which was the local freight bewtween Lowell and Dover NH. I recall waiting at the depot in Exeter on Saturday afternoons with Tim hoping that D6 would have to stop and shift cars and offer us a chance to beg/plread with his Dad to ride on from Exeter to Dover in the buggy. Some days our hearts sank as the train would rumble on through town. Others our heats pumped with excitement as we climbed aboard the buggy for the ride to Dover and then we would not want to wash our hands for days cuz we had 'train dirt' on them. Fond memories brought back thanks to you. Mike Sherbak in Baghdad...for 80 more days.

Mike Hamer said...

Hello Laurent and Mike,

Thanks for the kind words! Laurent, I'm glad to hear that you have been following the history of my layout through the many articles and websites. I know your layout will be a good one too!

Mike, thanks for the fabulous story of the 1566. Wow! What a thrill that must have been as a kid plying the rails! Always great hearing from you!

Cheers, Mike

Ken King said...

Hey Mike...Great shots of your beautiful layout (as usual ;-))

Time to clean out the clutter in my basement and install the electrical and drywall, so I can try to emulate this masterpiece of yours!



Anonymous said...

great layout .its nice to see great work .i look at my layout that i have 5 years and wonder how old this layout is .see my layout at thank you greg

Ron Palmquist said...

Mike - I really enjoyed your site and the photos. I have only been a Maine Central and B&M fan since 1966, so I misssed all of the passenger trains and the steam power. We live in the Portland area and must be satisfied with the operations of the GRS (PanAm). Good luck - hope you get some milk trains running. Don't forget the coach or combine on the tail end. I'm finishing an article on the stainless steel cars obtained by the two railroads in 1947. Hope to have it published late this year or next. Ron Palmquist, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hamer,

You are indeed a creative artist!
Your job is incredibly realistic, eye-caching, and stroking the viewer's spirit! I cannot worship you for your great work, but surely, and gladly can admire, and appreciate your unique ability and talent in creating these very fine art-crafts. It appears to me that you have created every single part of your work with love!
I am a poor man who has nothing to offer for your rich mind and work. All I can do is thanking you, and wishing you success and ease in your life.

Best regards