RailPictures.Net Photo: NW 611 Norfolk & Western Steam 4-8-4 at East Strasburg, Pennsylvania by Kevin Madore
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Since added on January 24, 2023

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» Norfolk & Western (more..)
» Steam 4-8-4 (more..)
» Verdant View Farm 
» East Strasburg, Pennsylvania, USA (more..)
» November 09, 2022
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» NW 611 (more..)
» Photo Charter (more..)
» Kevin Madore (more..)
» Contact Photographer · Photographer Profile 
Remarks & Notes 
Executing a "hard start". On most railroad photo shoots, run-bys are initiated out of sight of the photo line from around a curve or behind a stand of trees. This serves two purposes. It gives the locomotive crew time to gently accelerate their train to the proper speed and it allows videographers to shoot the entire pass from the time the train becomes visible until it is past the viewer. In some situations however, there is not enough time to go through this process.

This image, from the November, 2022 photo shoot with Norfolk & Western #611 at the Strasburg Rail Road clearly illustrates such a situation. We are just moments after sunrise in the Fairview section of the line and the rays of the rising sun are casting golden light on the subject and its exhaust plume. This color light will last only a couple of minutes. Backing the 611 and her train out of sight beyond Esbenshade Crossing will consume more time than we have. Therefore, the Photo Line Coordinator has called for a "hard start", meaning he's asked the locomotive crew to stop where they are and bring the train forward as expeditiously as possible. Just a second or two after the throttle is opened, the locomotive belches a tall, vertical plume, while steam from her cylinder cocks totally obscures the running gear as the big Northern makes a max effort to get underway. One minute later, this train will be running past the photo line and the desired shot will be achieved.

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