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!