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Early to Rise: The 23K-11 Scramble

It's just a few minutes into dawn and the sun has just barely crept into the upper reaches of the Hoosac Range. We hit the road from Southwestern CT around the same time that a late 23K-11 hit the road from it's point of origin in Ayer, and we'd been monitoring it's progress the best we could ever since, wondering who would reach the Hoosac Tunnel first. After a quick stopover in East Deerfield Yard that yielded no signs of a 23K anywhere, westward we went, "on to the Hoosac, on to the West" as the saying's been said. Arriving around 02:00, it was a matter of sit, wait, (try to) sleep, and see what the railroad brought you. Not many hours of shut eye were obtained that night, but the little bit the was ended rather quickly as 23K finally rolled around the corner at daybreak, easing off the throttle as it coasts over the Deerfield River and up the remainder of the westward grade leading up to the east portal of the Hoosac Tunnel at 6:36AM, a more than fitting wake up call. With the aforementioned late departure from Ayer the night before, 23K has spent just about all it's time over the road in darkness, and in a very short while it will step back into the black for decent stretch of both distance and time as it prepares to plunge into the 4.75 mile-long Hoosac Tunnel.

Photographed by Mike Antal, April 12, 2015.
Added to the photo archive by Mike Antal, April 23, 2015.
Railroad: Pan Am Southern.

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