The above photo was taken during a fall visit to Vermont while attending the CVRHS 1994 convention held in Brattleboro, Vermont. I always leave myself a couple of days for railfanning on my visits and decided to catch a couple of trains in the White River Jct. area an hours drive north of Brattleboro. This weeks Wordless Wednesday photo is the same location but taken during the fall of 2012. Boy it has been a long time since I had stopped by this location. There were no trains but it was nice to see it once again.
Back in 1994 I was in WRJ the morning before the convention taking photos of a Guilford unit on layover and the area in general. I was hoping to catch CV #323 at the Junction and follow it north. It was still too early in the morning for the northbound to arrive. CV #323 normally would leave Brattleboro between 0800-1000. Being impatient, I decided to follow the track south along the Conn River line till I would meet up with the train., then chase it north. I was not totally familiar with the roads and trackage at the time. The day before was the first time I had followed a train north from Bellows Falls to Windsor. A state atlas helped me stay close to the tracks.
I passed through North Hartland, checking out the covered bridge there, then Windsor. I crossed the covered bridge in Windsor, Vt. to NH following the tracks south to Claremont Jct. As I approached the Claremont high bridge #323 was half over the bridge. This day #323 was handled by a trio of units. Since my photo is small and low resolution it is hard to make out the unit numbers. They are CN 9573-CN5351-GT5801 followed by 70 plus cars. In haste I turned around and headed back to the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge (the longest in the US at 460 feet). I had always wanted to take a photo here. I can remember seeing a great photo by Benjamin B. Bachman in Trains. A trio of CPR Alcos working the B&M pool freight southbound on a morning misty day. It was a similar morning once again but with a little more sunshine.
The morning sun angle was exactly what one needed for the photo. The ideal time for this location is mid to late morning. The covered bridge was out of the shade and the mountains and trestle were in full sunlight. A real tranquil setting.
I wanted to get the entire front of the covered bridge in the photo. For this my 50mm lens was appropriate. To get the train and trestle in a good location in my photo I had to stand on top of the guard rail and support which curves around the roadway. I had enough time to get in position and get a few good photos as the train approached very slowly. I was lucky to have the sun light up the bridge just as the train passed over. As it turned out the train came to a stop at the north end of the bridge, the engines were cut off and headed into Windsor to do some switching.
I did return to this location again to take photos at various angle but this was during the NECR era. This photo is still one of my favourites of the covered bridge scene. I made a 20" by 30" print of it which has been hanging over my bookcase for years...George Dutka