Thursday, January 18, 2018

Railfanning 1-15-2018, MARC Charger test train

Hi, I joined friends Bill Kalkman and Jim Kleeman on MLK's birthday to photograph the first test run of MARC's new Charger locomotives. They were scheduled to depart Baltimore at 9:00 AM and as it was sunny we headed to Landsdowne, MD for out first shot.

While we waited Q277 and

Q141 passed.

As the weather had turned cloudy, at about 11:30 AM we relocated to Bush Street in Baltimore. Q031 was the first train through.

Finally at just short of noon the test train, symboled P931, appeared (above and three below).

Our next stop was St. Dennis, MD. Q438 came through almost immediately after we arrived.

As Q438 passed eastbound P931 arrived and stopped. In fact it paused at almost every regular commuter train station.

This stopping at stations provided just enough time to catch the train at Laurel.

While P931 continued into DC and came around past QN interlocking (it not go into Washington Union Station) we cut across Montgomery County and easily beat P931 to Gaithersburg, MD (above and below).

We knew the train would take the Old Main Line to Frederick so we set up outside the lime kiln near Buckeystown, MD.

Our final shot was at Brunswick, MD. At this point the train was unexpectedly operating in push mode. Also, it was at last light as they had spent just over an hour in Frederick.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Railfanning 1-9-2018

Hi, I went out Tuesday to test a new camera. It was a short day, late departure and early return. These photos all were processed from jpegs. My Adobe Lightroom does not handle my new camera's raw files and I had to download a converter which I did today.

I stopped at Brunswick where Q217 showed up a few minutes after I did.

Next I headed to Shenandoah Junction, WV as I figured there would be more trains there. I was correct. First up was Q216 and then

a westbound stack train.

As traffic on CSX died for awhile I set up for NS and was rewarded with #211 which met

a northbound manifest freight.

Needless to say I am low on the learning curve with the camera but do like what I have seen so far. By the way it is a Fuji X-T2 mirrorless camera.

Thanks for looking. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Spain and Morocco - 7, Rabat

Hi, Our next excursion off the ship was to Rabat. This was a day trip and Ruthe chose to stay behind as she had caught a bug.

Our first stop was the Royal Palace. Security was tight although the King was only here when he had official business to conduct (above and below). He was away on the day of our visit.

Then it was on to the Hassan Tower (above and below) and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V (second below). The tower was planned to be the largest minaret and part of the largest mosque in the world at the time construction began in 1195. However, the current Sultan died in 1199 and construction ended with the tower rising to only 1/2 its planned height.

Construction of the mausoleum was completed in 1971. It contains the remains of King Mohammed and his two sons, one of whom was King Hassan II.

A group of Muslim women arrived to visit the Mausoleum.

This seems to be some kind of decorative lamp.

A special place is reserved inside the mausoleum for a holy person to sit and read the Koran aloud.

Ceremonial guards at the mausoleum (above and below).

From the mausoleum we drove along the water front (above and below)

to the Rabat lighthouse

which was just across the road from the Jewish Cemetery.

Towards the end of our visit we traversed some streets in the historic Kasbah where I captured the knocker,

this window,

a street vendor selling pottery and

a view of the ramparts.

Our last stop in Rabat was at the Hasan II Mosque built partially on land and partially out into the Atlantic Ocean. Once again, we were unable to enter the Mosque.

When we returned to Casablanca we stopped outside Rick's Cafe inspired by the movie Casablanca. However, it would not open for another 1 1/2 hours.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Spain and Morocco - 6, Marrakesh to Casablanca

Hi, On the way back to our ship we stopped at El Jadida, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ruthe an I enjoyed taking some photos of the country side and the rural communities we passed through (above and seven below).

Every community had a Mosque.

Donkey carts are widely used.

In one of the larger towns a street fair was in progress (above and below). Live stock is brought here for sale or trade.

Prickly Pear Cactus is grown as a crop. The structure on the left is an irrigation conduit.

In El Jadida I took a brief walking tour of the small city while Ruthe took a briefer stroll on her own (above and seven below). The city is unique for its synthesis of European and Moroccan architecture. The Portuguese who controlled this area from 1502 to 1769 built a huge fortification facing the sea.

This is the minaret of a Mosque (above and below).

Tile work in North Africa always is beautiful.

Thanks for looking.