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Topics - Kevin Madore

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On Saturday and Sunday, July 31st and August 1st, 2021, the WW&F Railway Museum, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company, and Maine Locomotive & Machine collaborated to re-create scenes from Maine's 2-foot gauge Bridgton & Saco River Railroad during a couple of photo events. The first event on Saturday, was organized by the collaborative and featured B&SR Locomotive #7, which is the largest of the surviving, operable 2-footers. This event also featured demonstration trains from the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad and the Monson Railroad. On Sunday, and additional trip was run for a videography group called Dynamo Productions, which featured just the Bridgton Locomotive.

The Bridgton & Saco River Railroad.....later called the Bridgton & Harrison Railroad, was a 33-mile long, 24" gauge common carrier, which existed from 1883 until 1941, running from Bridgton Junction, and its connection with the Maine Central Railroad, all the way north to Harrison, Maine. The line had a total of 8 locomotives during its existence, all of which were Forney types. Two of the engines survived by virtue of their purchase for use at the Edaville Railroad in South Carver, Massachusetts, where they ran for half a century. Both of the survivors, #s 7 & 8 are large, Baldwin Forneys of 33 and 38 tons. They are now owned and cared for by the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company of Portland, Maine. The #7 is operable and has an FRA boiler ticket, and there are long-term plans to restore the 8 as well. Over the past couple of years, these big 2-footers have been visiting at the WW&F, allowing us to present re-creations of the B&SR, as was done on this weekend. For the most part, the consists used were all B&SR original equipment.

I've prepared an album of images from the weekend's two events for those who would like to see what it looked like. My apologies that it took a couple of weeks to get this out. For the moment, I am still working a day-job and preparing for a couple of upcoming trips. I also like to add captions to all of my photos, which takes more time than editing them, but I think some viewers prefer to have a bit of context. Take a look, if the spirit moves you!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157719730751345

Thanks!

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Lerro Photography Charter on the WW&F >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: February 02, 2021, 10:19:34 PM »
On the weekend of January 16-17, 2021, Lerro Photography of Glenolden, PA held a limited attendance photo charter at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, Maine. Although there have been some photo charters around the US in the last 9 months, they have been few and far between due to major concerns about COVID 19 and some significant travel restrictions as a result. Never the less, with some careful planning, abundant precautions, mandatory testing, a smaller than normal group of photographers....and some significant weather challenges, the WW&F Museum and the Lerro Team were able to pull off a really nice 2-day event in the woods of Maine. The charter featured authentic freight and mixed trains, pulled by WW&F Locomotive #9, and running on most of the museum's in-service track. Day 1 featured some very difficult weather conditions, that included a cold, wind-driven rain pretty much all day. Despite the weather, we managed to get most of the scenes that we planned. Day 2 featured a lot of clouds, but some sun, and much more comfortable conditions for photography. As an added attraction, Monson Locomotive #3 joined in on the show and we had 2 steam trains to work with, both led by historic Maine 2-Footers.

Special thanks are due to Ed Lecuyer and Brendan Barry for their efforts to help coordinate this event, and of course, to the train crews who volunteered to come out and make it all happen, despite the tough conditions on Saturday. 

For those who would like to see how it all turned out, I've created a Flickr Photo Album featuring some of my favorite scenes. Check it out when you have a few minutes!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157718127341006

Thanks for looking!

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Dynamo Productions Charter >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: November 04, 2020, 11:03:34 AM »
Folks,

Apologies that it took a couple of weeks for me to review and process the images from the October 18th charter that was organized by Dynamo Productions.   It was a beautiful day and the operations that were conducted produced some very nice photos.  These were some of the best fall images that I've shot in Maine since John Craft's charter, way back in 2008.   My, how things have improved in so many ways since then.   I think I shot about 850 frames that day and it is always tough to narrow that down to a set of pictures that's large enough to tell the story, but short enough to keep people's attention.   Here's the album that I've put together for this event.  It includes a few pix from the put-way, which is always worth sticking around for.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157716745941787

Thanks to Daniel Day and Ben Bourrie of Dynamo Productions for organizing the trip and creating a very nice plan for the day.    Thanks also to the museum crew for executing a pretty ambitious shooting schedule and putting on a great show in the process.

/Kevin Madore

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Folks,

I don't know about you, but with all of the virus-related stuff on the TV and everywhere else, there are times when I want to just shut it all off......and try not to think too much.    In those times, I find it relaxing to just immerse myself in some of the thousands of photos that I've taken over the years, or in those of my photographer friends.

A couple of weeks back, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad's 50th anniversary Rotary Run on the 4% grade from Chama to Cumbres Pass.   The operation featured Rotary OY, one of the two extant D&RGW snow plows that normally resides in the Chama Yard.   In anticipation of this event, OY was given a pretty thorough restoration by both the C&TS Mechanical Department and the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec.   Because she was used only sporadically back in the day, OY was actually in pretty good shape mechanically, but much of the external siding was replaced.  The plow looked very nice.

As you might imagine, a lot of planning had to go into this event.  Since the railroad really couldn't afford to do this on their own,  both the restoration and the operation had to be financed by ticket sales.   Needless to say, for an operation as expensive as this one, that involved a difficult balance of keeping the ticket price semi-affordable, and keeping the number of attendees semi-manageable.   "Semi" was the operative word.   Additionally, there was the constraint that the railroad's insurance company wanted no part of a free-for-all.   They had seen some of the things that went on during UP's Big Boy tours and were very concerned that little Chama did not have the police, fire and EMS resources to deal with a mob-scene.   As RR CMO Stathi Pappas put it: " A rotary plow is the nuclear weapon of railfandom.  If we did not exercise control, we would have bedlam."   So the railroad engaged the police and highway departments of both New Mexico and Colorado, and they elected to implement a rolling work-zone around the event.   Photographers would ride in motor coaches and shoot from the highway.   Police and highway department people would close the road and escort transient traffic through the zone in a safe manner.  Transients would not be allowed to stop or park.

Needless to say, the costs for all of this were pretty astronomical.   The train operation alone would cost $30,000 per day just to break even.  The cost to rehab the rotary was estimated at $68,000.   Each uniformed State Trooper would cost $3,000 per day.   Oh, and the railroad needed to feed everybody breakfast, lunch and dinner, because little Chama is basically sleeping in February.  Not much of the tourist infrastructure is open.   Ticket cost?   Well, that was $1,200 per person, and attendance was limited to 150 people.   Yeah, it was crowded, and it was very challenging for most of us, who were used to perhaps 30-40 people, not 150.   You couldn't necessarily be where you wanted to be. 

All of that said, it was pretty thrilling to watch and listen to, especially when the rotary outfit was up on the rock shelf near Windy Point.  This was my second rotary run......I was at White Pass in 2011, so I felt very fortunate.   These days, rotary runs are rarer than solar eclipses.   And because of all of the logistical hassles and costs, C&TS President John Bush admonished us to please "Enjoy the show!"   He said they do not anticipate running OY on the west side again.   

So with that background, I present an album of representative photos that I shot during the event.   I hope you find at least one or two that you will like!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157713526092742

Thanks for looking, and STAY WELL!

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Maine 2-Foot Grand Reunion >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: January 29, 2020, 10:54:22 AM »
Folks,

On the weekend of January 17-19, I attended the first of the two, Maine 2-Foot Grand Reunion events held at the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, Maine. This event featured the first-ever gathering of all 5 surviving 24" gauge steam locomotives, from Maine's historic, 2-Foot common carrier lines. It also featured the rolling stock collections of both museums, allowing re-creations of trains from four historic narrow gauge lines, including the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes, the Bridgton & Saco River, the Monson Railroad and of course, the WW&F.

If you could order a menu of perfect weather for a winter steam event, the conditions that we experienced this weekend were pretty close to perfection. About the only thing missing was a period of snow during daylight. A recent, 6" snowfall on Thursday left a fresh blanket over the railroad for Friday morning. The sky was completely clear, the temperature was about 9F, and the trees were all caked with snow. Saturday featured a blend of sun and clouds, with another 6" snowstorm after dark to cover all of our footprints. Sunday was once again mostly sunny and cold. The photo shoots featured a mix of yard servicing and switching scenes as well as operations out on the line. A formal night session had been planned for Saturday evening, but the incoming snowstorm prevented the crew that was to put on the event from reaching the museum. Fortunately, two of the paid attendees, Pete Lerro and John Craft had a bit of experience with night photography. Pete, who was returning from one of his Lighthouse Tours, happened to have a few lights with him, so an impromptu session was organized, to photograph some of the yard switching and put-away operations. That session concluded just in time for everyone to beat feet for their hotels before the roads got too bad.

For the benefit of those who could not be there.....or those who were working the event and had no time to take photos, have a look!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157712881210241/with/49456732431/

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Victorian Christmas >>>The Photo Album<<<
« on: December 17, 2019, 11:43:27 PM »
Folks,

Apologies for the delay in getting this posted.   I shot over 500 frames at the VC Event last weekend, so deciding what to edit and what to post was as much of a challenge as the weather was.   Amazingly, I did get some pretty nice stuff.   I also got pretty darn wet, despite wearing full-body rain gear.   This was my 12th VC, and probably THE rainiest I can remember.   Still, I was amazed at how many people turned out.   It was definitely a great success and at least through my lens, appeared to go off like clockwork.

For the benefit of those who were working hard that day, I've put together a small album of representative shots from the various venues.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157712253080272/with/49236034586/

Thanks for looking and have a great Christmas!   We will see you all in January for the 2-Foot Reunion.

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Building the WW&F Mountain Extension >>>Photo Essay<<<
« on: December 16, 2019, 10:13:44 PM »
Last week, I posted a series of photos on RailPictures.net, depicting track-laying operations on the Mountain Extension, during the 2019 Fall Work Weekend.   Although the photos are documentary in nature and not particularly artistic, I thought the viewership on that site would find the series interesting.   I was pretty blown away by the response.   Each of the 10 images averaged about 4,000 views last week, which is amazing, especially since none of them were linked to Facebook or any social media sites.   Last week, I had more views on RP.net than any other photographer.   Railfans and history buffs just eat this stuff up.

This week, I posted a Flickr Album with those 10 images, and a few more.  I've linked it to the Narrow Gauge Forum and the RYPN.  I think both audiences will enjoy the show. 

For those who would like to take a look at the Flickr Album, here is the link:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157712058692221

For those who would like to see the RailPictures set, you can go to this link:

https://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=25775

The images are the same, but you'll also get a sense for the view-counts on some of the photos.

People are fascinated by the stuff that goes on up here!

/Kevin Madore

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Folks,

Apologies for being late to the party with the photos from Annual Picnic.  I shot a lot of frames that day and it takes a while to go through them all.   I was amazed at how many "keepers" were in this shoot.   The variable weather and some of the unique train operations definitely produced a lot of great photo ops. 

Here's a Flickr Album with a selection of some of the day's most interesting scenes:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157710433459657

As always, if you find anything in the captions that's not accurate, feel free to PM me and I'll fix it.  Also, there are a few folks who appear in these images whose names are not yet known to me.   If you can help ID some of these people, I would love to put some names on the faces.

Looking forward to FWW!! :)

/Kevin Madore

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Other Narrow Gauge / Michigan's Huckleberry Railroad >>>Photos<<<
« on: February 12, 2019, 12:13:39 AM »
Folks,

On January 14, 2019, Lerro Productions ran a photo charter on Michigan's Huckleberry Railroad, featuring Locomotive's US 152 and DRGW 464, along with a number of historic wooden coaches. The Huckleberry Railroad is a roughly 4-mile, 36" gauge tourist railroad, operating on former Pere Marquette right-of-way, just outside Flint, Michigan, in the township of Genesee. The line's passenger depot is located in the Crossroads Village attraction, which I believe is run by the Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission. Like most tourist railroads, it doesn't typically operate in January, but an exception was made for this private charter. Although we had all been hoping for some snow, we were fortunate to have a nice, sunny, cold Michigan day, which provided dense, steamy exhaust plumes and great light for photography. Pete Lerro did a great job organizing the event, and the crews at the Huckleberry did the rest, putting on a great show with their beautifully maintained and very photogenic trains. I think that a number of more well-known narrow gauge lines would be most envious of the great string of historic wooden coaches these folks have. Narrow gauge equipment like that might have been very available on the market when this line was built in the 1970s, but certainly not today. The line is unique among tourist railroads in that it has balloon loops on both ends for turning. Laid out a bit like a great, big model railroad, the power is always facing forward, which makes the place even more fun to photograph.

I've put together a small Flickr album of images taken during this trip, as well as a few shots that I took during my last visit in 2009. It had definitely been too long between visits, but well worth the wait to see both of their steamers in action in great light. If you've never been there, take a look and see what you have been missing.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157706738134454

If you're considering places to vacation this summer, consider the Detroit area. There are a number of steam railroads in the region besides the Huckleberry that you can also visit. Among them, the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Greenfield Village in Dearborn, and the Little River Railroad in Coldwater.

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Victorian Christmas Photos
« on: December 19, 2018, 04:33:01 PM »
Folks,

I had a great time at my 11th Victorian Christmas last Saturday, December 15th.   We didn't have snow this year, but what we did have was just a delightful day to be outdoors in Maine.   With temps in the 40s, folks visiting Alna Center were able to take their time and enjoy the activities up there.   We really dodged a bullet, because a week prior, the forecast for December 15th was for an all-day rain.   I say dodged a bullet because forecasts for bad weather are typically much more accurate than forecasts for good....that's a true statement.   It's not often that a busted forecast is a good thing!

For the benefit of folks who could not be there, or the folks who spent the entire day working hard, here's a small Flickr Album of photos from last Saturday's events.   Click on the individual photos to make them larger.   There is also an icon on the upper right in each photo to go full screen.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/sets/72157704802296285/with/32512650038/

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and a very healthy, happy 2019!

/Kevin Madore 

11
General Discussion / The "Great War" comes to the WW&F
« on: August 12, 2018, 11:46:19 PM »
Folks,

Here's an album of images from Saturday Night's photo shoot with the re-enactors of the 103rd Regiment up at Alna Center.   The photos are arranged in a order that follows a sort of story line that I put together, which takes our troops through some training exercises on home turf, a pre-departure meal, and their departure on a southbound extra which will begin their journey to the Port of New York.   

This was my first go at directing one of these events and I'm pretty happy with the results.  Fortunately, the weather cooperated with us during the shoot, with no rain at all during the entire two hours.   The re-enactors did a great job for us, putting on a very nice show.  Hopefully, all who attended enjoyed the experience and left with some nice photos.

Here's the link:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157698517383871

If anyone has the e-mail addresses of any of the re-enactors, please forward them the link.

Thanks!

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / World War I Encampment Photo Essay
« on: October 12, 2017, 10:26:27 AM »
Folks,

I've been remiss in posting the photos that I shot during the museum's Annual Picnic back in August.  These photos were taken during the special photo excursion that was run on Saturday evening, August 12th.   The scenario for the event was that a small unit of Maine-based soldiers....perhaps a National Guard Unit...was breaking camp and preparing to embark on a railway journey that would take them to a major port, where they would ship out to join the American Expeditionary Force in Europe.  This was a very enjoyable event to photograph and somewhat different from a typical photo charter in which all of the photographers simply line up and shoot "fish in a barrel."   In this case, the event was more like a skit, and the photographer had the challenge of trying to anticipate where the shot would be....and stay out of the sight lines of other photographers at the same time.

Anyway, here are hundreds of frames....condensed down to 15 images that I hope have captured the story line of this event:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157686973791614/with/37255289351/

Thanks to the museum and the re-enactors for putting this event on.  I'm hoping this isn't the last appearance we'll see of the "doughboys" up at the WW&F!

/Kevin Madore

13
Work and Events / Maine Two-Foot Winter Weekend -->Photo Album
« on: January 30, 2017, 09:18:10 PM »
Folks,

I've made my first pass through the some 1,700 frames that I shot at last weekend's two-foot winter photo event at the WW&F.    From my perspective, the event ran very smoothly and certainly offered a lot of interesting opportunities for photos.    I especially enjoyed the variety of equipment and some of the new angles that were available.    Although I think we all would have preferred more sunshine, sometimes the clouds allow perspectives that just don't work when the sun is out.  That's especially true of railroads here in the northeast.  After a lot of editing and tweaking, I've settled on about 50 images that I think tell the story of the event pretty nicely.   Take a look if you have a moment.   I hope you like them.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157676151135193

Thanks!

/Kevin Madore     

14
Work and Events / 2016 Victorian Christmas Photos
« on: December 19, 2016, 09:56:10 AM »
Folks,

On Saturday, December 17th, I attended the 2016 Victorian Christmas Event at the museum.   This was my 9th straight year and it was a memorable one.   For the first time in several years, we not only had snow on the ground, but in the air as well.   The area received about 6" of new snow, which seemed to be timed perfectly (depending on your viewpoint  ;D), basically starting just before operations did and finishing up just about the time the equipment was put away.   And unlike most snowstorms here in New England, it was accompanied by very cold temperatures, which started off in the low single numbers, but did rise somewhat during the day.

It is relatively rare to be able to photograph steam operations in falling snow.   Very few steam operations are still running during the winter months, and unless you happen to live very near one, the odds of getting snow at one of those few railroads during an occasional visit are pretty darn small.   The snow does bring with it some challenges.   Keeping one's camera lens free of snow and ice becomes problematic.   Just getting around to catch the action also becomes difficult.   During VC, I normally hike the ROW from Sheepscot to AC, shooting the trains as I go.   On Saturday, the cold and the rapid snow accumulation, combined with pre-existing snow underneath convinced me that the 1.8 mile hike was probably not a great idea.   Falling snow presents other issues that aren't immediately apparent until you get the images on a computer.   You have to shoot in burst mode, firing multiple shots to try and get one good one.  That's because some big flakes get too close to your lens, and can wind up covering critical elements....such as a subject's face.   The cold presents problems as well.   I dared not wander into a warm building for more than a minute or two for fear that my cold camera lens might not only fog up....but I might also get condensation on the INSIDE, where all of the sensitive and expensive electronics are.   At the end of the day, I actually had thumbwheel controls on the outside of the camera that were iced up and frozen.

And then, there was the 125 mile drive home...... :o

Still, all of the challenges were worth it.  Almost any frame you could shoot looked like a scene from a Currier and Ives print.   I've put together a short Flickr album of some of the things I saw.   I'm not much of an artist, but I hope I was able to capture a little taste of what the event looked like.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157674098719934

Thanks to everyone at the museum for another great time in the woods of Maine!

/Kevin Madore

15
Folks,

During the week of October 1-8, I traveled to Colorado and OD'd on steam engines and fall color BIG TIME! This was a really manic trip involving visits to 4 railroads, and including a pair of 2-day charters. I basically ran myself ragged and went home with my first head cold in about 2 years. Having made my first pass through the photo take however, I'd have to say that all of the air miles, road miles, heavy exercise and lack of sleep was probably worth it. The combination of steam and fall color made for a great take of photos. I've created a few Flickr albums for those who would like to see what it all looked like. Feel free to browse as you'd like.

Saturday, October 1st: After landing in Denver, I spent a few hours at the Colorado Railroad Museum. While I had seen Goose 7 a few weeks earlier at the NG Rendezvous, I had never seen any other pieces of this collection before. I was very fortunate this day as the K-37 #491 just happened to be running around the loop. The time of day and the position of stored equipment around the grounds made photography just a bit challenging, but I did manage one back-lit shot of the 491 on the back side of the loop. That was my first live K-37. I've now seen at least one example of all of the running D&RGW classes.

DRGW Locomotive 491 at the Colorado Railroad Museum: https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/30362403836/in/dateposted-public/

Sunday, October 2nd - Wednesday, October 5th: After a very long drive in the dark I arrived at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for 4 days of action. During the first 2 days, D&RGW 315 made a couple of runs associated with a private charter for a small group of people. I was fortunate to be able to photograph some of that. Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was a full participant in the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Fall Charter. During the 2 days, we saw 3 Cumbres Turns with K-27 and K-36 Locomotives, followed by the assembly of a 30-car freight and a round trip to Osier. The weather was generally sunny and the foliage on the run to Cumbres was nothing short of stunning. Here's what it all looked like:

Cumbres & Toltec Fall Charters: https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157675309450055

Thursday, October 6th - Friday, October 7th: Completing the Friends Charter, I hopped in my rental car and made a bee-line for Durango on Wednesday night. On Thursday, I participated in the Willow Creek Productions Charter on the Durango & Silverton, hosted by Dave Gross. Dave's last charter in 2011 was a home run, so I wasn't going to miss this one. We had K-28 Locomotive #473 and a Silverton Mixed Train with some freight loads and Grande Gold coaches. On the first day, we ran one-way to Silverton, then stayed overnight at the Grand Imperial Hotel, before running back to Durango the following day. Once again, the weather was awesome and our crew put on a most excellent show:

Willow Creek Productions Charter on the Durango & Silverton: https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157675231800736

Saturday, October 8th: When Dave Gross' charter finished up, I again hopped in my trusty rental and headed back north, stopping overnight in Salida. The next morning, I headed for another railroad I had never seen: The Georgetown Loop. Newly restored Baldwin IRCA #111 was running this day and once again, the weather was great. Although this is a tough railroad to chase, there are some great photo spots. I would love to see a charter there some day. Sign me up!

Georgetown Loop Railroad: https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157671832476294

All in all, I had a great time in Narrow Gauge Land this month. I have enough photos on my hard drive to keep me playing with Lightroom for a very long time to come.

/Kevin Madore

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