Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Onward to the Forth of July (to be continued)

One trip leads to the next. My trip to Roanoke and Atlanta involved planning, travel, and finishing up. I sorted pictures and edited video. I am an old school picture taker. The theory is that 10 percent are just trash and should be disposed of. 80 percent are just average, could be keepers or could be trash. These are often duplicates of the same. With my camera, I press the button and it keeps shooting until I depress the button so I have a lot of duplicates to dispose of. Also, I generally shoot more video than I need. I will, generally begin shooting from 5 sec. to several minutes before the train arrives. I cut out all that "dead air" and cut the end where I was reaching for the stop and the camcorder was shaky.

I have my own standards of what makes an acceptable, Where to begin the final video and were to end it, being a part of if. My camcorder store to a memory card. When I begin editing, I copy it to my computer, but leave a copy on the camcorder. I can make the copy in two ways. The first is to remove the card and plug it into the computer and via my file manage, copy directly. I have a set aside directory for it. Editing changes the format and cuts out the trash. Than I output this new file to another directory file. At this point, I have copies so if I make a mistake or want do something different, there it is, fresh and new. I also copy the file to a directory of uncut and raw video for years from now when I want something entirely different. The only real deletion is those where I accidentally started recording something and got really nothing at all.

Now comes the task of uploading to YouTube, placing in appropriate directories. Some are in more than one directory when the subject can fit more than one. For instance: my video of 611 fits in Daytrips and Motive Power, Steam. I might even use Consist, 611.

Even while finishing one trip, I begin thinking about the next. First is to look at a tentative date. Next is to decide what kind. Usually these two items are taken together. From Roanoke we move to 4th of July. The fourth of July will be a vacation trip, lasting more than a day in a out of town. I have a number of out and back trips, like the Atlanta trip or other. I took a couple out of the vault to rework for a trip from Richmond.

I first took my New York trip, which I label Metro North, because it takes in tourist sites in Manhattan plus a trip the Stamford, CT to watch trains. The original trip had me spend the night, or two in Stamford, as it was cheaper than Manhattan. One place I want to see it the High Line Park, built above the streets on an abandoned railroad viaduct. The second version, was to Philadelphia, PA. This would include a lot of watching of streetcars and local transit. Of course, going by the typical tourist attractions like Independence Hall, would be needed. (to be continued)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Excursion and Train Watchers and Chasers

I took the Sunday afternoon trip to Walton.This was not a typical excursion, unless excursions have changed over the years. It has been a while since I have taken an excursion so thing might have changed. It was a short trip and an nice train ride.

The first thing, none of the coaches were open air. Second, there was not a public sound car. Third, there was not a photo runby. Finally, the turnaround point was not a place were you could get off the train. I have not taken an excursion in many years, due to work restraints, so things could have changed gradually over those years.

The only similarities I saw was the vast numbers of train watchers and chasers. For me, this was not really a true train chase. Only once, did I run to catch up with the train. However, once I did catch up with the train, not trying to. As the excursion came to a good runby site there were many lined up to take their video and pictures.

Some places were situated more opportune that others and therefore more railfans. These might be coming out of a tunnel, passing coaling towers, or over a trestle. Other site may be on long curves with good visibility.

There are certain manners that watchers need to be aware of. First, respect the photo line. Never move in front of those in line. You can move to the end of the line or between two people, as long as you do not disturb their work. Second, the first person on site, determines the placement of the line. However, the nature of the line just happens. You take your life in your own hands if you violate the photo line. Some people, in line are taking video or recording sound. When the train gets within rang, be quiet.

As the time for the chased train gets closer, the number of people pick up. I chasing, care must be taken, watching out for those suddenly turning off or pacers, those trying to pace the train. Pacing happens when the tracks are close to the road.

Chasers are a special group. Those that have been around awhile, talk about chases and share stories. One special story happened this weekend. The Sunday morning excursion was the one I took. It excursion over took a freight in the same direction. It took almost an hour before the excursion passed the freight. Those chasers who had taken their position on the south of the tracks, had their vision obstructed by the freight.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Chase is On (part 3)

I was not hoping to get back into Roanoke ahead of the train. I took my time folding my tripod and heading out. As it was, there was a traffic jam at the intersection, resulting from the train chasers. My plan for the next day was not to chase this train but to watch trains in town, maybe go by the museum. I decided at this point, to go into town and see what time the museum would be opened. Remember that my plan was to take 611 that afternoon. I came in the same way I went out which meant going by the train station.

In arrived at the train station and 611 had not returned. Like a good railfan, I stopped and waited for the train to return. My last video of the day was the least expected, 611 return to Roanoke. After to dust had settled, I did go by the museum.

Day three arrived. I had decided to stay in Roanoke and wander around the yards, to see what I could see. First, I set myself at a good runby site for the morning run to Lynchburg. Like the day before, I stopped off for a sausage biscuit and bottle water. I was the first on site and set up in, what I saw, the most opportune place possible. Again, as time approached, others gathered, about a dozen within a city block.

I wandered around Roanoke until just before noon. I went back to the motel and walked to the station for the excursion. The next morning was one last runby before I headed home.