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Railfanning

Mike's Photo Gallery

"Along the B&A".We enjoy presenting clinics for model and prototype rail enthusiasts and have finally prepared a handout to accompany Jim's Boston & Albany show.  Please join us for a history and description of our favorite railroad.   Including new photos, heralds, and a system map.

You know you're a railfan when...
 1.     Your car has a bumper sticker that says "This vehicle stops at all railroad crossings.".
2.     You've considered contacting the police to obtain permission for using flashing red lights and siren during a train chase. 3.     Your scanner is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
4.     You don't realize how stupid or suspicious you look to passing motorists as you stand out in the middle of nowhere with a camera around your neck.
5.   Great moments in your personal history: Learning to ride a bike, graduating from high school, and your first photograph of foreign motive power.
6.     Your wife threatened to divorce you because you wanted to dye (the dog's)  fur Conrail blue.
7.      Its hot as hell out, the lead unit doesn't have AC, and you still don't understand why the crew has to leave the front door open.
8.      People want to know if you have supernatural powers, because the sun is always shining in your photographs.
9.     You go around imitating Conrail's defect detectors.
10     .You have faithfully written down the shutter speed and f-stop of every shot you've taken for the past zillion years, yet you've really never used that data afterwards.
11.     You've established a large enough network of connections to know every move of the "Office Car Special" and Ringling Brothers' Circus Train throughout the system.
12.      Your fiancee left you at the alter when she saw the scanner attached to your cummerbund.
From DS and Ian
 

We are delighted to have the opportunity to display some of Jimmy's prototype photographs on TTTrains. He's been out along the Boston & Albany from the time he could walk and we feel he's produced some fine images. The color photographs are reproduced with permission from the pages of Railpace Newsmagazine. We've printed and scanned the B&W photographs ourselves; black and white printing is an art and craft every photographer should experience.  Click here to view thumbnails of these photos.
 

Seems like we never get to the right photo location at the right time- the sun is always a little too far over or behind a hill. It's certainly possible with the newer 3-D modeling software now available to build a replica of a topographical map, and it's certainly possible to direct virtual sunlight on this model. If you could program the light to move like the sun does at different times of the day and year (Which we're sure can be done.) we could learn exactly when to appear to shoot a well-lit photograph. We certainly don't have the hardware, software, or knowledge to do this ourselves, but we're wondering if anyone else has ahd the same idea and done anything about it- or would know how one might do it on a low budget and low tech level.
 
 

*** TOP 10 REASONS RAILFANNING IS BETTER THAN DEER HUNTING: ***

From HW & MLG


When we are railfanning, we often change photo locations before a train arrives. It wasn't long before Jimmy decided a chart of travel times would be of help. The times in this table were derived mathematically (speed times distance) and they list employee's timetable running times (revised 1995) between various points on the Conrail's Boston Line. While a train keeping to the speed limits (they almost always do) cannot arrive earlier than the projected times, they often arrive much later. This way, when we learn of a train's location from our scanner, we know how long we have before that train can reach locations along the railroad. We have used these tables for quite a while and they appear to be quite accurate. If any reader would like to create new tables for other railroads, we would appreciate seeing them and including them on this page. The links below will bring you to the different pages we have calculated. These will each fit on a piece of paper. We feel these will be most useful if they are printed on paper and included in your camera bag.

CP175 (Selkirk Branch) to MP 178 (Boston Line)

CP176 to CP 109

MP 103 to MP 25

MP 25 to CP 4 .


We put a piece of foam water pipe insulation around the upper legs of our tripods. Several pieces of duct tape keep it from falling off. This effectively prevents freezing our hands to the metal tripod legs when railfanning in cold weather.



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