I had it all planned very nicely; internet reports of a special High & Wide movement from Allentown, Pa to Manville, NJ, on the Norfolk Southern Lehigh Line main brought me to the tracks on a chilly Fall day, and I chose a spot where a nice wide-angle shot could be had. And then…the Rail Gods stepped in. Earlier in the day, westbound NS train 19G stalled on the approach to Pattenburg Tunnel in western NJ, and was delayed getting up and running again, which brought the crew to the end of their allowable hours (“outlawing”) in Bethlehem, Pa. At this point, eastbound intermodal train 22V was approaching Bethlehem, so they parked their train and jumped on 19G to continue their trip west. The crew from the High & Wide train was pulled and put on 22V to continue east, and the dispatcher remarked about the ‘special’ running the next day. Well, that’s great, I thought, and decided to head home; as fate would have it, I decided to check the message boards one last time, and saw that Allentown had found a crew, and the High & Wide was on the move! No problem, I’ll turn around & race back to my spot, and all will be well.
To make a long story short, I just plain ran out of light; the special did indeed get underway, but travels at restricted speed, and with the sun setting earlier in the day in November, the final image of this particular afternoon was the very late-running 22v, behind GE C40-9W’s 9751 and 9890, shown at sunset in Manville, NJ. Some days you’re lucky, some days you’re good, and sometimes a perfect plan turns into a very long day.
Image recorded on November 19, 2011.
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