Old 05-08-2015, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Photo charter with 611 at Spencer May 28th

So who is going to attend this event? Seems pretty reasonable at $250. I am working and all my vacation is spoken for. Bummer

Details here

http://www.nctrans.org/Events/J611-D...otos-5-28.aspx
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:40 AM   #2
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Kind of along these lines, but does anybody have any opinions as which of the four announced routes the 611 will be running is the most photogenic? Think along the lines of if you could only do one of the four, which would it be? For me, photogenic equals to a 50/50 of old N&W stuff (including signals) and scenery (big bridges, tunnels etc.) Here are my four grades;

Manassas - Font Royal: F
Of course this is the closest to me. I've scouted the B-line a few times and I think it may be the least photogenic line outside of some place like Kansas. Only thing of any interest is the station in Manassas.

Lynchburg-Petersburg: D
Never been, but google earth tells me there is one medium interesting trestle outside of Lynchburg and thats it. No N&W signals and hard to access.

Roanoke - Lynchburg: C(?)
Never been and haven't done too much research. Looks to be a decent number of N&W signals but can't confirm if they are still there.

Roanoke - Radford: B
Have been and like it enough. Of course 1) the train turns around right when things get really interesting and 2) its Fourth of July weekend. Good blend of signals as well as the Montgomery double tunnel and coal tower at Vickers.

I'm leaning towards Roanoke - Lynchburg, even though its the line I know the least. Anybody have any better suggestion?
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:23 PM   #3
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I've heard from sources around Roanoke that signal replacement is happening now, though I don't know how far outside the city it goes. I'm just assuming that by this summer, very few if any N&W signals will be left - hope I'm wrong though.

I'm shooting the trips out of Roanoke. Both lines they are running on have a good bit of scenic potential and there are many iconic locations from the N&W steam days (Montgomery Tunnel, Vicker coal tower, Blue Ridge Grade, etc.). There are many good locations around places like Elliston and Shaswville (I'd recommend getting to your spot early and staking it out though), and enough curvature along both lines to shoot the train in good sun angles regardless of which direction it's heading (though high sun will take up a good chunk of the day). Roanoke has a pretty stellar 4th of July fireworks display as well.

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Old 05-09-2015, 01:43 AM   #4
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You mean I gotta pay to take photos of choos now? Jesus.
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:55 AM   #5
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You mean I gotta pay to take photos of choos now? Jesus.

Unlike shooting diesels, if we don't throw a few bucks into the pot, we won't have anything to photo. I don't mind supporting these kinds of things.


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Old 05-09-2015, 05:11 AM   #6
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You mean I gotta pay to take photos of choos now? Jesus.
You could always wait until the event is over and if admission to the Museum on a non-event day is still too high, just shoot over the fence.

You are not paying to take a photo, you would be paying to cover the costs of putting on a show offering unique photographic opportunities while adding a little cash to the coffer so such events, including the excursions others pay for, will be possible for you and others to chase for free. That is, assuming enough railroad fans and photographers pay enough to make such an endeavor viable.

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Old 05-09-2015, 04:59 PM   #7
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Go East from Roanoke for Signals. Go Roanoke West for scenery. The signals are falling fast / have fallen between Walton and Roanoke.

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Old 05-14-2015, 03:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jdirelan87 View Post
Kind of along these lines, but does anybody have any opinions as which of the four announced routes the 611 will be running is the most photogenic? Think along the lines of if you could only do one of the four, which would it be? For me, photogenic equals to a 50/50 of old N&W stuff (including signals) and scenery (big bridges, tunnels etc.) Here are my four grades;

Manassas - Font Royal: F
Of course this is the closest to me. I've scouted the B-line a few times and I think it may be the least photogenic line outside of some place like Kansas. Only thing of any interest is the station in Manassas.

Lynchburg-Petersburg: D
Never been, but google earth tells me there is one medium interesting trestle outside of Lynchburg and thats it. No N&W signals and hard to access.

Roanoke - Lynchburg: C(?)
Never been and haven't done too much research. Looks to be a decent number of N&W signals but can't confirm if they are still there.

Roanoke - Radford: B
Have been and like it enough. Of course 1) the train turns around right when things get really interesting and 2) its Fourth of July weekend. Good blend of signals as well as the Montgomery double tunnel and coal tower at Vickers.

I'm leaning towards Roanoke - Lynchburg, even though its the line I know the least. Anybody have any better suggestion?
You haven't scouted it very well if you feel that way. The B-line is arguably one of the more scenic routes in Virginia. Lots of sharp, superelevated curves, bridges, and plenty of crossings to work with.

The station in Manassas is not part of the B-line. Although I suspect the excursions will board there in any case.

On second thought, I hope more people arrive at this conclusion. Will mean less people have to share the photo locations with.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:19 PM   #9
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Wish I could make it up there for the Roanoke - Walton run of 611, but it's not happening. Might be able to make it up for the 4501's run from Bristol to Radford, should be plenty of CPL's still on the Pulaski district
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:21 PM   #10
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Oh, also anyone chasing Manassas to Front Royal, if memory serves me corrently that ENTIRE run is a 2 lane highway, curvy at places, that will be one long frustrating chase if you decided to chase it. I think the best bet would be to pick a spot and hope for a shot.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:41 PM   #11
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Oh, also anyone chasing Manassas to Front Royal, if memory serves me corrently that ENTIRE run is a 2 lane highway, curvy at places, that will be one long frustrating chase if you decided to chase it. I think the best bet would be to pick a spot and hope for a shot.
The B-line is one of the easiest chases in eastern railroading. Admittedly, it'll be tougher with the larger turnout of out of towners chasing the same train, but that train will easily take 90 minutes to cover the entire 50 miles in each direction.

I have my spots already picked out, and save for one or two, will be surprised if anyone knows where they are.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:38 AM   #12
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Between Gainesville and Front Royal (the part worth railfanning), it's all 2 laned and curvy in places. People chasing on that section are going to be in for a treat... but you are smart for picking your spots
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:45 AM   #13
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Between Gainesville and Front Royal (the part worth railfanning), it's all 2 laned and curvy in places. People chasing on that section are going to be in for a treat... but you are smart for picking your spots
As I've said previously, I hope more people think of the B-line this way. Makes my weekend a great deal easier than it would have been otherwise.

VA 55 is not that bad, and it's considerably straighter than the railroad. You might not be able to get ahead of the train at every single crossing like you could on a regular day of railfanning the line, but chasing is still feasible.

On top of that, you have pretty easy access to I-66 in order to get a jump on the train.
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:17 PM   #14
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So looks like everyone had fun... how was it?
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:41 PM   #15
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. The B-line is arguably one of the more scenic routes in Virginia.
The weekend is over and I'm still waiting to see proof of this statement.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87 View Post
The weekend is over and I'm still waiting to see proof of this statement.
Here are a few.

Image © Davis Strench
PhotoID: 534022
Photograph © Davis Strench


Image © Kevin Yutz
PhotoID: 534078
Photograph © Kevin Yutz


Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


Image © Carl Massart
PhotoID: 534017
Photograph © Carl Massart
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Here are a few.
The original poster said "the B-line is arguably one of the more scenic routes in Virginia. Lots of sharp, superelevated curves, bridges, and plenty of crossings to work with."

Are you suggesting that the photos you posted are more scenic than this;

Image © Chris Starnes
PhotoID: 478720
Photograph © Chris Starnes


Or this;

Image © Appalachian Railfan
PhotoID: 393659
Photograph © Appalachian Railfan


Or this;

Image © Appalachian Railfan
PhotoID: 412644
Photograph © Appalachian Railfan


Or this;

Image © George W. Hamlin
PhotoID: 131883
Photograph © George W. Hamlin


Or this;

Image © Samuel Phillips
PhotoID: 433964
Photograph © Samuel Phillips


Or this;

Image © Chase Gunnoe
PhotoID: 425944
Photograph © Chase Gunnoe


You posted three wedgies (albeit technically sound) and one creative shot. I do like the first one, but of all the shots I've seen from this weekend, that is by far the most scenic. Like by a factor of 5x. This lack of scenic photos is not a knock against the ability of the photographers who chased the 611, but rather a shortcoming of the line it was running on. Hence why I said in my original post;

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87 View Post
Manassas - Font Royal: F
Of course this is the closest to me. I've scouted the B-line a few times and I think it may be the least photogenic line outside of some place like Kansas. Only thing of any interest is the station in Manassas.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:03 PM   #18
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The weekend is over and I'm still waiting to see proof of this statement.
Clearly, you haven't been watching social media.

Last time I checked, RP.net isn't the ONLY place quality rail photography is hosted.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:07 PM   #19
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Clearly, you haven't been watching social media.

Last time I checked, RP.net isn't the ONLY place quality rail photography is hosted.
Of course I've been looking at flickr and Facebook as well. You are obviously aware of that, as I follow you on flickr and just recently friend requested you on Facebook. As this is the railpictures.net forums, I didn't think it would be appropriate to link or discuss photos from other sites. After looking at photos on both of those sites over the last four days (including yours I might add, one of which is my second favorite shot of the weekend), my question remains unanswered. Please demonstrate to me how the B Line is one of the most scenic lines in Virginia.

What I have seen on this site and others are people getting acceptable shots of an unattractive line, or taking extraordinary measures (such as asking a landowner for permission under the condition of remaining anonymous) to get rarely seen angels, none of which even approach the freely accessible scenery along the other lines I offered up as examples.

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