Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Visit to Bellows Falls

Bellows Falls Tunnel South portal January 2016.
Over the past week I have been communicating back and forth with Ian Stronach. Ian models the CPR in urban Montreal and has sent me some of his railfan photos from the past. His two pictures seen here are taken in Bellows Falls. The one above is from January 2016 on his annual pilgrimage to Springfield. Ian mentions that he cannot drive by Bellows Falls without a stop to check things out. It is only a little detour off I-91 and he hopes that a shot is to be had at the tunnel.  Last year did not disappoint him.
The picture below was taken on his first trip to Bellows Falls during October 1966, when Steamtown was still alive. Ian was 12 years old then and had no idea of the tunnel being under the city centre. On that trip he arrived after dark. That night he stayed in the Windham Hotel right above the tunnel for $3.00 a night.  It is now the new block in town as the old block burned down in a huge fire in the 1970’s which killed a firefighter.  The Windham was not exactly a Hilton hotel, but was the only room available that night.  At 3:00am the hotel started to shake while the 14-L whistle from the southbound B&M freight woke him up.  Out his window he saw the headlight just before it disappears under the hotel.  Needless to say as the sun rose he made sure to check out the town, tunnel and a walk across the bridge to North Walpole where he took this shot using his Yashica twin lens reflex camera, his first using 127 slide film. 

We will have some more goodies from Ian shortly...George Dutka
North Walpole Oct. 1966.

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