Monday, October 26, 2009

Today's Train of Thought- Change of Seasons; October 26, 2009

There's nothing quite like fall in New England, as exemplified by today's train of thought from contributor Rich Barnett. Sure the highways are crowded, but if you're inclined to take in the scenery without the hassle of traffic, there's always an excursion train like the Berkshire Scenic Railway in the Western corner of Massachusetts.
The Berkshire Scenic Railway actually ceased operations in 1989 due to deteriorating track conditions on what was then Boston & Maine's Canaan Running track- a scenic but lightly-used rail line between Pittsfield, MA and Canaan, CT that was isolated from the rest of Guilford's system. Around this same time, the Housatonic Railway was working on rehabilitating the dormant former New Haven mainline between Canaan and New Milford, CT that connected with the Canaan Running track. In 1991, the Housatonic purchased the Canaan Running Track from B&M and freight traffic has been up considerably on what was once a decrepit New England branchline. However, it wasn't until 2003 that the Berkshire Scenic resumed operations on the line between Lenox, MA and Great Barrington, MA.
Here, painted in colors reminiscent of the New Haven railroad (and matching some of the surrounding foliage), Berkshire Scenic SW8 #8619 is seen passing the Hurlburt-Willows paper mill in West Lee, MA on October 21, 2007 on it's return trip to Lenox.

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