Every year, at the end of January, I do the Amhurst Railway Society show in West Springfield, Massachusetts. I used to drive when we first moved to Arizona, but it's 2700 miles and 3 days each way, so now I fly. Southwest goes from Tucson to Chicago Midway and then to Manchester, New Hampshire. I spend a few days with friends from Epping, and then do the show, then back to Epping for a couple of days then home.
My friend Bill and I always drive up the seacoast, have a chowder and a beer (or two) and have a look at the Nubble light. These are a few images from last year, with a very co-operative herring gull.
This year I went up in the fall, to have a look at Guilford Transportation, it's 18 years since I last had a look at them, and a lot has changed. Of course Bill and I went and had a look at the Nubble, astonishingly we forgot our chowder! Unbelievable! So we had dinner in Portsmouth instead.
I haven't seen a New England fall since we moved to Arizona in 1997, so it was interesting. There was little color when i got there, but a cold front went through and you could almost watch the foliage turn. Then it poured, and a lot of leaves were stripped. Bill has the Lamprey River behind the house, so I wandered around and took some photo's.
Eventually I had to go do some shooting, and set off for Ayer, Massachusetts, about an hour away. Ayer has the MBTA as well as the ST. The NS pig train is usually on duty about noon, and the train sets off for East Deerfield to meet it's eastbound counterpart to change crews. I caught the train at Shirley and chased it west. Lots has changed along Route 2, and I didn't see much I recognized. I ended up catching the pig train and a coal train at East Deerfield, from the railfan bridge, which I did remember. Last time I shot from the bridge I'd taken a day off work, and gone out with my VHS camcorder in my MGBGT, so it had to be early 1988! My hotel was in nearby Greenfield, and there was (is?) a 99 restaurant next door. Normally I hate eating along and usually end up with a MacCr*p burger in the hotel. But I was able to sit at the bar, have a meal and a beer and watch a ball game on TV. Much better than sitting in a hotel room. It was a good trip, despite Guilford's lack of traffic. For a couple of days everything I touched turned to gold, and a number of people helped out, both by showing me around, and texting train locations. Matt Baj, Arthur Martin, Bill Markowski and Tim Stockwell, take a bow. Your help is much appreciated! After running around Massachusetts, Vermont and New York, I had another couple of days with Bill and Kathy in Epping, and then came home with Southwest. Jay Lenno makes lots of jokes about Southwest, but I have to say that there is more legroom than on many international flights I've been on.
A few video frames from the program.
Sadly, or should I say, expensively, I backed the rental car (Kia Sportage) into a concrete block hiding in the grass. My insurance company asked if there was any damage to the block!