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Better Late Than Never


THE ONLY THING MORE TRUE than “April showers bring May flowers” in the northeast is “October will bring bright leaves and gloomy weather.” This year even the bright leaves seemed to be uncooperative. First, a little background. This had al-

ready been one of the most bizarre weather years ever in the northeast. August was the wettest August in history before Hurricane Irene dumped another four inches of rain in- to the region before the month was over. Then early September brought another four inches of rain, causing more widespread flooding. Toss in an earthquake in August and a foot-deep snow storm in October and it was really strange. As we got into October, it had all the ap- pearances of a non-photogenic foliage sea- son as leaves were struggling to turn any color but brown. The weekends were not conducive to getting out. By the time Octo- ber came to an end, I had done almost noth- ing photographically — it appeared to be a lost autumn. On Halloween weekend I was in Wilming-

ton, Del., for an NRHS board of directors conference. I had put together a package of

trips for the conference, and our Saturday trip was on the Wilmington & Western, in practically a monsoon. The plan had been to stop at several photo locations along the way, but the weather was wet. Riding in the back of the railroad’s ex-Pennsylvania doo- dlebug with Wilmington Chapter president (and R&R contributor) Mike Burkhart, we decided to scrub the photo stops. Until we saw the cut at Wooddale. The color was spec- tacular. We were doing a round trip on the rail-

road, so we arranged for the doodlebug to stop at Wooddale on the return trip. We told the 60-plus passengers on board that we were doing a photo stop and, if they chose, they could detrain. Despite the heavy rain, about two-thirds of the passengers got off and got a pretty decent shot. While we were getting rain in Wilming-

ton, just a few miles north snow was falling, with ten inches laying on the ground at R&R world headquarters in Newton. The next weekend I figured that between the lateness of the year and the snow there wouldn’t be many leaves left to shoot. But a sunny Sat- urday on November 5 found me on Norfolk

A classic book now back in print! Relive mountain rail- roading at its finest during the last glory days of steam and the early diesel years on the B&O’s Cumberland and Pittsburgh Divisions. Superb vintage photographs from noted rail photographers capture the spirit of Sand Patch, Magnolia Cut-Off, Seventeen Mile Grade and other legendary B&O places. 80pp. C00097 $14.95+s&h

OR ORDER ONLINE: TO ORDER CALL: 1-888-526-5365 (M-F; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. e.s.t.)

54 FEBRUARY 2012 • RAILFAN.COM Carstens Publications, Inc.

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