Monday, August 2, 2010

Railfanning 7-30-2010

Hi, Friends Rudy Volin and Jim Mixter joined me for a day of railfanning on Sand Patch. We arrived in Cumberland, MD about 9:15 AM, and knowing the Capital Limited was due about 10:00, we headed east on MD 51 to check out Mexico Farms and North Branch. We set up at Mexico Farms as the coal hoppers on the left were blocking the shot at North Branch. While we waited for the Cap. we photographed a work train.

About 10:15 the Cap. showed up with a P32 trailing the usual 2 P42s.

On the rear were a couple of FRA cars.

After shooting the cap we headed for Sand Patch. As we were passing Viaduct Junction, in Cumberland, we could see a manifest freight departing ahead of us. We decided to head directly to the top of the hill knowing we could beat it there. As we approached Sand Patch we heard Q352 climbing the hill headed east. Jim and I elected to shoot at Manila while Rudy went on to Mance. Q352 arrived at Manila first and came to a stop. There was track work ahead and it would cross over to #1 track after Q359, the train we saw leaving Cumberland, passed.

A few minutes after Q352 came to a halt we could hear Q359 approaching. It is shown splitting the signals.

Note that both units are painted in the "bright future" paint scheme.

After Q359 cleared Q352 got the signal.

Rudy picked us up after Q352 headed downhill and we went to the overpass at Sand Patch. Radio chatter indicated 4 trains approaching, 2 EB and 2 WB. First up was Q368.

This was a huge train with a 2 unit helper set on the rear.

Next Q277 crested the grade and started its descent. It was followed closely by Q130, however, there was no warning on the radio of its approach and by the time we heard it the train was too close to photograph. No great loss though as a cloud had moved in front of the sun.

Our last train at Sand Patch was Q216.

We then relocated to the former WM Keystone Viaduct, which is now part of the WM hiking trail. This was the third attempt by Rudy and me to get a WB train here. The first attempt did not yield a photo and on our second attempt a cloud covered the sun. The D060 pictured below was the only WB from the time we saw Q277 at about 1:45 until we gave up and left at 6:15.

We enjoyed the day and I hope you enjoyed the photos.