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Old 05-03-2016, 01:56 PM   #1
troy12n
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Default So who's chasing N&W 611 this weekend? - just realized something

I'm heading up to Roanoke to chase the 611. I'm real familiar with the area, however I realized when I looked at the schedule, the outbound trips for both the morning and afternoon runs are going to be opposite of good light...

And as a photographer that is UBER frustrating. All the good spots are going to be backlit the entire outbound trip. Both days.

I know they don't arrange these things for photographers, but damn, if they reversed the departures, it would be perfect... so frustrating

Inbound back to Roanoke, I know those spots will be in better light, but I can think of a few places, namingly Montgomery, Shawsville, Christiansburg are pretty much better shots "Westbound", especially the tunnel at Montgomery. While it's POSSIBLE to get to the East portal of Montgomery tunnel, logistically it will be difficult for this trip. The only road up to it is technically someone's driveway and they are not going to be tolerant of THIS many railfans.


By the way, who's going to be there this weekend?
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:48 PM   #2
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I'm heading up to Roanoke to chase the 611. I'm real familiar with the area, however I realized when I looked at the schedule, the outbound trips for both the morning and afternoon runs are going to be opposite of good light...

And as a photographer that is UBER frustrating. All the good spots are going to be backlit the entire outbound trip. Both days.

I know they don't arrange these things for photographers, but damn, if they reversed the departures, it would be perfect... so frustrating

Inbound back to Roanoke, I know those spots will be in better light, but I can think of a few places, namingly Montgomery, Shawsville, Christiansburg are pretty much better shots "Westbound", especially the tunnel at Montgomery. While it's POSSIBLE to get to the East portal of Montgomery tunnel, logistically it will be difficult for this trip. The only road up to it is technically someone's driveway and they are not going to be tolerant of THIS many railfans.


By the way, who's going to be there this weekend?
I'm not sure why you have your panties in a bunch over this schedule. Both trips are on an east/west line with plenty of curves to get an orientation with the good light if you pick the right locations. It's the same schedule as last July 4th weekend, and there are plenty of good photos posted here to give you an idea of possibilities.

If you go to the west portal of Montgomery tunnel, be careful where you park and stand. I was there a few weeks ago, and parked to the south of the spur track, which is apparently the property/driveway for the house closest to the tunnel - the one with confederate flags and orange "no trespassing" signs stapled to the porch columns. I was set up for a shot of an approaching train, and my wife was standing by the car. The owners came home in their pickup, pulled up to my wife, and greeted her with "Get the hell off my property before I call the cops." All high class stuff! I'm sure she will be wound even tighter when the foamer throng descends on the tunnel this weekend.

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Old 05-03-2016, 05:39 PM   #3
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One shot EB one shot WB. I'll be alone (i.e secret locations). I'm much happier that way.

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Old 05-03-2016, 05:40 PM   #4
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Not me, unfortunately, as I have responsibilities here both days. Best of luck to those who'll be there.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:42 PM   #5
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One shot EB one shot WB. I'll be alone (i.e secret locations). I'm much happier that way.

Loyd L.
I agree with you Loyd. Your age and wisdom are showing.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:17 PM   #6
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One shot EB one shot WB. I'll be alone (i.e secret locations). I'm much happier that way.

Loyd L.
I completely get that. But I am driving 10+ hours each way and want to maximize my (good) shots and it would have been awesome if they factored in the lighting situation.

But I am just glad i can make it this year to one of them. Last year, EVERY steam trip I was tied up the weekends they were happening.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:26 PM   #7
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I completely get that. But I am driving 10+ hours each way and want to maximize my (good) shots and it would have been awesome if they factored in the lighting situation.
Argh.....10 hrs+ each way no less. I start thinking "fly" when it gets over 5.

I would love to see this engine chartered on a stretch of track where one could do run-bys. Then, the schedule and the consist could be optimized for photography. There are those who tell me that this pipe dream might not be so far-fetched. We'll see.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:40 PM   #8
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I completely get that. But I am driving 10+ hours each way and want to maximize my (good) shots and it would have been awesome if they factored in the lighting situation.
There is no "lighting situation", eastbound over Blue Ridge grade in the morning, westbound up Christiansburg grade in the afternoon, with opportunities on the returns as well. I don't understand what you're complaining about.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:57 PM   #9
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:30 PM   #10
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There is no "lighting situation", eastbound over Blue Ridge grade in the morning, westbound up Christiansburg grade in the afternoon, with opportunities on the returns as well. I don't understand what you're complaining about.
What I am getting at is most of the shots are better in the afternoon heading West, and better in the morning going East. This is fact. As I understand it, they are heading West in the morning towards Radford, returning by Noon, then heading East at 2p, returning Roanoke by 6... right? If they flipped those, I think lighting would be better for certain shots. I've 'fanned/shot these lines extensively.

I'm not sure I am prepared for the influx of hudreds (?) of railfans on locations I am used to seeing NOBODY at, but that's a different story.

I will deal with it. Just venting a little.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:12 PM   #11
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Radford trips are in the afternoon, Lynchburg in the morning.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:43 PM   #12
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Radford trips are in the afternoon, Lynchburg in the morning.
SHIT, nevermind. I had thought they were going to Radford in the morning and Lynchburg in the afternoon.

Nevermind...
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:46 PM   #13
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Radford trips are in the afternoon, Lynchburg in the morning.
Correct. Lighting should be good on all trips. There is no such thing as "bad light."
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:07 PM   #14
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Correct. Lighting should be good on all trips. There is no such thing as "bad light."
I had this all backward. Thought both trips were going to have backlight on the outbounds. Glad I was wrong.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:29 PM   #15
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I'm not sure I am prepared for the influx of hudreds (?) of railfans on locations I am used to seeing NOBODY at, but that's a different story.

I will deal with it. Just venting a little.
Count me as one of them. I've never fanned those lines and have never seen 611 but if i get just one shot of it in a good location without anyone else in frame I will be happy.

I trust my guides to get me to a few of those locations.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:52 PM   #16
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Darn it, I live out in the Pacific Northwest. At least UP 4014 is going to be up and running in a few years.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:36 PM   #17
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Correct. Lighting should be good on all trips. There is no such thing as "bad light."
If there no such thing as "bad light," then that means there is no such thing as "good light."
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:06 AM   #18
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I'm heading up to Roanoke to chase the 611. I'm real familiar with the area, however I realized when I looked at the schedule, the outbound trips for both the morning and afternoon runs are going to be opposite of good light...
Shoot "flat on" from the side, i.e. 90 degrees "T" perpendicular. Or, hope for an overcast day.



Kent in SD
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:12 AM   #19
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If there no such thing as "bad light," then that means there is no such thing as "good light."
What is this "light" you speak of?
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:17 AM   #20
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I must admit, I no longer fret about light, crowds, diesels, rain, snow, heat, cold etc, etc as far as chasing anything is concerned.
I go because I am excited to see and participate in something unusual and special.
And I am always happy with several shots when I get home. They are precious moments that if I had not gone, they would not be in my collection.
To make a trip a success for me, it only takes one good shot.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:55 AM   #21
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The owners came home in their pickup, pulled up to my wife, and greeted her with "Get the hell off my property before I call the cops." All high class stuff!
Well, at least they didn't run you off at gunpoint. I did encounter some "Survivors Will Be Prosecuted" signs in Montana.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:47 AM   #22
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I agree with you Loyd. Your age and wisdom are showing.
Mostly age, lol!

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Correct. Lighting should be good on all trips. There is no such thing as "bad light."
Does this qualify? Or is this considered "no light?"



Ah, well - next time I'm in Butte, MT!

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PS - Count me in, I'll be there!

Look for "the Godfather" (aka: John Dziobko) too!
And Doug Lilly - should be a hoot! But, alas, no 1218, lol!
(And it should go without saying, Bob Lyndall)
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:07 PM   #23
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Mostly age, lol!



Does this qualify? Or is this considered "no light?"

The light is the light. The shot did not make good use of it.


Kent in SD
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:12 PM   #24
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I must admit, I no longer fret about light, crowds, diesels, rain, snow, heat, cold etc, etc as far as chasing anything is concerned.
For me, the crowd is the bigger part of the story.

Last summer i was driving along in Yellowstone when I came across a "bear jam." There were dozens of cars stopped and a good sized crowd of people all trying to take photos of a plain o' black bear walking along. I saw a lot of long expensive lenses. I put on my widest lens and took a shot of the crowd with the tiny bear in the distance. They got very boring shots of an obviously distracted bear. I got a shot that shows what Yellowstone is today.


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Old 05-04-2016, 02:26 PM   #25
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The light is the light. The shot did not make good use of it.


Kent in SD
So in other words, for that particular shot, it's not "good light." Aka "bad light."
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