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Sunset and a Belle at Sunset

July 28, 2012

The window of opportunity to photograph Amtrak #1 in the Sugar Land area in decent light is starting to close, what with the days becoming shorter and shorter. As such, I’m trying my luck as often as the weather permits.

This evening was looking pretty good, no heavy clouds in the west,  so I grabbed some gear and went to the east switch of Sugar Land.  By the time I arrived there at 7:25 PM, the quality of the light had deteriorated.  As the sun neared the horizon, it had entered a thick layer of haze. No matter, I was already there and there was a high green at CP SA025.

As it turned out, the train was running about 12 minutes behind the norm, not coming into view until 7:40 PM. P42DC 142 has just come out the shadow of the Imperial Sugar Building.

Amtrak Sunset Limited at Sugar Land TX

Amtrak’s westbound Sunset Limited, passes through Sugar Land TX on July 28, 2012

Amtrak Sunset Limited at Sugar Land TX

I wanted the next shot to show the head end coming out of the curve, with a clear view of the mainline ahead of the train. Close, but no cigar. As you can see, the lead unit got into the frame a bit too much, just blocking the mainline in the distance. But I’m not gonna beat myself up too much over missing the shot because the train did blow by me at 55-60 mph. Note to self: next time take picture 1/10 second sooner.

Amtrak Sunset Limited at Sugar Land TX

Amtrak #1 approaching CP SA025, the east switch of Sugar land

Amtrak Sunset Limited at Sugar Land TX

Amtrak Sunset Limited at Sugar Land TX

Shortly before #1 arrived, I learned there was an eastbound KCSM in the Sugar Land siding that would get lined out as soon as Amtrak got by. Of course it would be a backlit shot at best, but what the heck, digital images are free, right?

KCSM 4664’s headlight came into view within a minute or two, after which it led its northbound intermodal train back onto the mainline at CP SA 025.

KCSM 4664 at Sugar Land TX

A final shot as the head end finds a small patch of  sunlight in the final moments before sunset.

As the KCSM 4664 approached me, I almost put the camera down because the light looked that brutal. I can’t say that I like the sequence of shots, but I do find them interesting. What say you?

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