Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Train Photographer's Nightmare

It's a late winter March afternoon in Fayetteville, NC in the unlucky year of 2013.  The sun angle is perfect to catch the late-running southbound Amtrak Palmetto headed for Savannah making its station stop.  I have mentally marked three places to stand to catch the train approaching the station, at the station, and departing.  I'm ready.

Suddenly I hear horns from the north and the south!  I can't see the Palmetto.  I turn around.  A headlight is coming at me from the south.  It's a freight!  It's on the track closest to me.  The Palmetto will be on the other track and the freight will probably block my view of the Amtrak.  )-:

I could cross over the tracks but the lighting would be bad and I already have a couple mediocre shots of the Palmetto from that side.  I stay put.  I'm not much for praying, but sometimes it is necessary.

The freight arrives first and soon I don't even know if the Plametto is at the station.  Then I spot it stropped over some gondola cars.

I'm not much for swearing, but sometimes it's necessary.  I guess that neutralizes the prayer.  I look back.  I can't see the end of the freight.

Will the Palmetto's station stop be long enough for the freight to clear?  Minutes go by.  Certainly everybody has gotten off and on and the baggage exchanged by now, but the freight is still rolling by.  Ok, I can see the end of the freight.  Is the Palmetto still in the station?  I can't see.

The last freight car goes by.  Yes! It's still there.  Click! Click! Toot toot! Click! Click!  (-: