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LEFT: Lerro Productions specializes in rail- roader portraits during night photo sessions, with the results reminiscent of similar styles of photographers O. Winston Link or Jack De- lano. Eric Steinberg strikes up the classic pose of a steam locomotive fireman on May 21.

3025 onto the freight train for some night shots was thwarted by an un- timely cloud burst. This resulted in a short rain delay, but when the precipi- tation let up the photographers re- turned to do a Lerro specialty — rail- roader portraits. Eric Steinberg and Wayne Hebert posed with the 3025 serving as a backdrop. Shortly after the night session finished the skies opened up in a torrential downpour. The night session was supposed to

“The misty wet weather actually enhanced many of the photo opportunities. The wet skies did not result in completely dampening the results of the trip.”

with few highlights to focus on. That’s when you begin to notice the soft glow of light that comes from the cut glass lenses of the markers, or the reflection of headlights off of wet pavement, or how billowing clouds of escaping steam from the locomotive seems to hang around just a little bit longer. Sunshine is nice, but the rain makes us concen- trate on so many other parts of the rail- roading experience that we might oth- erwise miss. The trip began in late morning on

May 21, pushing the short freight train north from Essex to the far north end of the line at Haddam. Heading back

south, many photo opportunities were had at a variety of locations. At Chester a 1940 Ford owned by Herb Clarke was brought to the depot by Ralph Her- mann. Both the car and Ralph were used as photo props for runbys. Anoth- er highlight was when Paul Horgan brought his 1958 Edsel Citation out for a rainy set of runbys at a grade crossing (seen in the lead photo). The highlight of any Lerro Produc-

tions charter is the night photo session, and Monday’s did not disappoint. Sev- eral scenes were set up, including crew members working on the 3025 at the Valley yard in Essex. An attempt to put

wrap up at 12:00 midnight, but the rain cut it short at 11:15. For some, this was a blessing, as the Tuesday morning trip departed at 4:45 a.m. looking for a sun- rise that wasn’t going to happen. (Thanks to Tom Nanos for providing a place to crash for a few hours mere minutes from Essex). For the second day’s photo opportunities the 3025 was hauling the Valley’s very tastefully painted passenger consist. The on-and- off rain of Monday had deteriorated to a steady rain on Tuesday, but misty scenes were still able to be recorded. A cut at Deep River was a great place to do a blowdown of the locomotive, with the steam staying low and filling the cut in the moist air. Finally, in early af- ternoon the train returned to Essex for some switching scenes before the pho- tographers returned to their homes. Many, many thanks to the employees

of the Valley Railroad for making this long-talked-about charter a reality. And thanks to Pete Lerro and his crew. For a brief weekend, it was possible to be surrounded by the rich sensations of steam railroading on a New England branch line.


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