Last Monday I got up at 6:00 a.m. to take a picture of a train. It’s not unusual that I would go out to photograph a train, but the time is a little earlier than I generally go.

It was not an ordinary train. Canadian Pacific, one of the rail lines that runs near where I live, was running a special business train. Most railroads run these kinds of trains periodically. They use older locomotives and passenger cars to bring railroad executives to various lines they own. Since it’s a passenger train on a freight-only line, it’s of interest to railfans. The older equipment is also a draw, since we don’t get to see much of it these days.

So there I was at 7:00 in Mechanicville in the rain, with my camera and tripod set up and protected from the rain better than I was. I was standing next to XO Tower, the historic building that used to control action for the two railroads that meet here. I was alone until about 8:00 or so, when some other fans and photographers showed up. The closer it got to when the train was due, the more people came, until about 20 of us were there at 8:40, when the train rumbled through. Great looking locomotive, which you can see in the above photo. Lots of loud horn blasting as it came through the crossing.

Listen to it below.


About 2 minutes after the train passed, I looked up and I was alone again. All the other fans had gotten into their cars to chase the train up to Saratoga, where they hoped to photograph it again. It was only going about 35 mph, so they probably managed to beat it. Me, I headed home to see how my photos came out, and to write a short article about the train. I sent both off to Trains News Wire, and they published a photo and the article. Worth getting up at 6:00 any day.