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Sun, Jun. 14th, 2015, 11:55 pm
PHOTOS: HIGH LINE PHASE III

With the partial opening of Phase III of the New York Central High Line it was time to plan another trip to New York City to photograph it. Usually during the holiday season I am in an around the city for Nostalgia Train purposes, but this year I was interested in a bit better transit service and to hook up with some fellow Subchatters who prefer to spend their weekends outside the city limits, so I scheduled my trip for Boxing Day instead.

My secondary mission on this trip was to photograph some of the surviving interlocking towers on Metro North property due to some recent rumblings about demolition and I was able to cover both the former New York Central MO tower in Mott Haven and the former New Haven SS22 in New Rochelle. You can find both the tower and High Line photos in one gallery, right here

We begin with southbound RiverLINE LRV #3501a arriving at the Bordentown Station. With its $1.50 fare and free parking, even traveling with 2 people is cheaper than paying to park at Hamilton.

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Sun, May. 24th, 2015, 11:51 pm
PHOTOS: AURORA EXPRESS

Early last December I was presented with an oppurtunity to take a supplimentary trip to Chicago and since it involved a rare (for me) weekday hotel stay I finally had a chance to get some video of a METRA Aurora Line express run. Like the LIRR and NJT, METRA now runs a zoned express service on its popular Aurora Line. The outermost zone starts at Aurora and makes only two additional stops at Route 59 and Napperville before running express all the way into Union Station. Of course getting out to Aurora in time for even the final such express departure at 8:06am takes a bit of doing, especially when I was coming in from near O'Hare airport. Fortunately, in order to position sufficient trainsets for its aggressive service MERTA must make use of frequent reverse peak express trains and the 7:01am departing outbound train departing Union Station which would turn for the 8:06 ran express all the way to Downers Grove giving me two runs for the price of one.

Of course I didn't stop there. After arriving back in Chicago I hoofed it over to the Van Buren St station where I caught an Electric Line train to the Riverdale stop which was then only a short walk away from the famous Dolton Junction, a manned tower with the last pure mechanical interlocking machine in North America. Capping everything off I managed to get quite a bit of railfan view action on the return METRA Electric train.

You can find the exciting full set of photos here.

We begin with a reverse railfan view of the outbound express run between Cicero and Dowers Grove.



At Belmont we pass an inbound train on Track 3 with F40PH-3 #112 pushing on the rear.

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Sun, May. 17th, 2015, 06:06 pm
PHOTOS: HALETHORPE HOLIDAY

While the day before Thanksgiving 2014 brought cold wet and snow, the Sunday after brought sunshine, extra trains and NJT Arrow III trainsets venturing well south of Trenton. Previously I had looked to a field adjacent to the NEC at the end of Runway 10, but recently Airport police have started kicking people out of that area so I needed to find a new location. The obvious choice was the new MARC Halethorpe station that now features long high level platforms, signals at one end and weekend commuter train service.

You can check out the full set of photos here.

I was on station from about 2:30 PM to 5PM in order to catch both NJT trainsets. A group of young railfans was also on hand to check out the action. First up is some sort of southbound Regional hauled by ACS-86 #611.

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Sun, May. 3rd, 2015, 06:01 pm
PHOTOS: LEVITTOWN

It has been a long running tradition of mine to head out with Chuchubob for some NEC railfanning on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Typically there are some Amtrak extra trains running along with generally increased consists. Unfortunately this year an early winter storm created hazardous driving conditions so I hit upon the idea of taking SEPTA Regional Rail to the Levittown (Pennsylvania) Station on the NEC to catch the mid-day parade of trains.

Originally planning to stay for two SEPTA R7 headways, the cold and general miserableness caused Bob to throw in the towel after just a single hour. Also the poor photographic conditions resulted in most of my product being in the form of a video montage. Still I have enough photos to throw up a full set. You can find the link to the full gallery here.

We begin at Levittown having just slighted from SEPTA Silverliner IV #352 as it stares at the 632 automatic signal .

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Sun, Apr. 26th, 2015, 05:50 pm
PHOTOS: ROCKVILLE ROUND TRIP

When Amtrak announced it's 2014 Fall Foliage Trip to and from the Rockville Bridge via the Conrail Harrisburg Line I was on board immediately. However this year riders were presented with a choice of days (Saturday or Sunday) from the beginning. This year I decided to go with Sunday with a plan to drive up to Rockville on Saturday to photograph the excursion train from the ground before returning to Philly to ride it. This would also provide me the opportunity to undertake some critical signalfanning.

You can find the full set of photos covering both Saturday and Sunday's activities here

I should also mention that this set of photos marks the debut of my GoPro Hero 3+ capability for railfan purposes.

We can start off with a stop at HARRIS tower in Harrisburg, PA. The tower wasn't officially open, but a number of Harrisburg Chapter fans were inside to watch the Amtrak special. The big Model 14 interlocking machine wasn't on for playing with, but I took a photo anyway.

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Sun, Apr. 12th, 2015, 05:45 pm
PHOTOS: SOUTHERN SHIFT

For my Fall 2014 trip to Georgia the plan was to visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with my friend and also get some photos of the relocated signal location on the CSX Abbeville Sub close to her house. This set also includes pictures taken at Washington Union Station during the northbound power change. You can find this set of photos here.

We kick off with Amtrak Train 19, the southbound Crescent, arriving at the Greensboro, NC station with P40DC #824 and P42DC #13. I think this is the first time I have ridden behind a P40 outside of the NEC.



Seven hours later the same Train 19 departs the Gainesvile, GA station on a Diverging Clear signal indication at MIDLAND interlocking. The old Southern cantilever had still not been replaced and as the train passes some hints to how the relay logic works was exposed.



The first of three trains I caught on the Abbeville sub was this doublestack intermodal headed by C40-8W #7705.

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Mon, Apr. 6th, 2015, 05:40 pm
PHOTOS: OCTOBER H-LINE

Usually when I take my bi-yearly trips to Georgia I focus on the RF&P and A-Line portions of the trip as that always had the most interesting train traffic, signaling and history. When Train 79 turned off the ACL at Selma I usually went back to my seat and enjoyed the free Wi-Fi, because after all that portion was completely rebuilt about 10 years ago with all new signaling and the single track branch line almost completely lacked photogenic traffic.

Well with all the signals on the A-Line now thoroughly raped there was little purpose on collecting yet another set of the same old thing so this last time I sat on my hands for the first part of the trip and took up my position at the rear of the train for the second. It still wasn't super exciting, but it is something new.

You can check out the full set of photos from DC to Greensboro, NC right here.

We begin at Baltimore Penn Station where I got my first ride behind an ASC-86 with #607 pulling Train 79. The bad news was that my train was over 40 minutes late and wasn't helped any by being put behind a MARC local on the way to DC.



Here we are on the lower level of Washington, DC union station with a line of P42DC's ready to attach themselves to the front of through trains. Number 87 ahead of #112 and #7.

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Tue, Mar. 31st, 2015, 05:37 pm
PHOTOS: 2014 SEPTA RODEO

An interesting side effect of the Silverliner II/III retirement of 2012 was that I basically lost interest in the SEPTA Rail Rodeo held each fall and open to railfans via a lottery system. I had managed to attend the Rodeo in 2010 and 2011, but not since. This year I was again cool on working to get a spot, but when a pair of tickets fell into my lap I figured it would be worth the trip and I invited Chuchubob to go with me.

Now if Chuchubob is known for anything it is managing to be everywhere something is happening in South Jersey. However I was surprised to learn that he had never before attended one of the SEPTA Rodeos so that made me feel good being able to pass it forward so to speak. The event itself was everything I had come to expect, but there were a few new surprises. You can view the entire photo set here

We begin with NJT GP40PH-2B #4206 pushing my ACL train in from an Amtrak connection at 30th St Station.

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Wed, Mar. 25th, 2015, 01:27 am
PHOTOS: HUSTON LINE 125TH ST

One might expect that the photos from my annual Labour Day trip to New Englande, but this time I took a side trip to visit fellow Subchatter Lexcieeee who happens to live in Ossining which gave me an opportunity to take some photos and videos of the Metro North Hudson Line. The first photo stop was at Oscawana Island, which is that place in Courtlandt where the 3-track Hudson line bores through a small rock ridge via two tunnels.

The next day while connecting to Boston via Amtrak at New Haven I spend an hour or so photographing the morning rush at Harlem 125th St Station. After that I wandered around the New Haven station complex a little longer than I had anticipated due to my Regional train being significantly delayed.

Finally, I took a few more photos in and around the Portland, NH area. You can enjoy the full set of photos here and also stay tuned for a special video post to follow.

We begin at Grant Central Terminal with M3 #8017

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Sat, Mar. 14th, 2015, 01:23 am
PHOTOS: SAN DIEGO STREETCAR

So if you recall my last few posts I wasn't just riding the Coast Starlight for my health. Unlike many of my cross country trips I actually had a genuine reason to head out to the west coast in the form of a computer security conference in San Diego. Now I've been to San Diego before, for about 24 hours in 2013 and then a longer stay in 2009. This time the 4000 series LRV's were really making the old 1000 series U-2s scarce, however I was pleased to find that the MTS was running its PCC trolley on a downtown loop 3 days a weeks.

Unfortunately there was a bit of a downside in that I left my camera on an ISO 800 setting after a round a night photos so all the day photos look like absolute shit :-( I guess these things happen. Anyway, you can see all the photos here

We kick things off with a new 4000 series LRV arriving and departing from the Gaslamp station.

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