Friday, March 16, 2012

Railfanning 3-14-2012

Hi, Friend Rudy Volin and I decided we wanted to photograph the Winchester and Western's new (to them) GP-38s on Wednesday so we headed to Martinsburg, WV in the hope that we would arrive in time to photograph the train picking up cars from the CSX interchange.  We arrived at about 8:40 AM and it seemed the cars to be picked up were still sitting on the north leg of the wye.  However, just to be sure I asked a flag person a block from the tracks if she had seen the train.

Big mistake!  She said the train went through about 2 hours previously although she had heard it but not seen it as it was before she got to work.  While it seemed her time estimate was too early and while the cars for pickup seemed to still be there, we nevertheless assumed her report was accurate and headed for the Potomac River Bridge to photograph the southbound train.

Unfortunately, her report was inaccurate; the train had not yet arrived in Martinsburg when we headed north.  About 11:10 AM the northbound crossed the Potomac.  As the northbound shot is not very good we elected to wait for the southbound which came back about 2 hours later.  The next 3 photos are taken from private property with permission.

We next drove to the CSX interchange in Martinsburg where the train showed up after about 1/2 wait.  What became obvious as soon as it got close was that the crew had switched the cars to be set out from the rear of the train to the front.  The cars to the left of the train appear to be tomorrow's pickup.

While the crew was getting back on the train we went into a residential part of Martinsburg.

After spending about 1/2 at the station in Martinsburg we headed to Brunswick, MD where we finished our day.  First up was an empty coal train.  We had just missed Q400.

A few minutes later the first commuter, P873, showed up.

Next up was P875.

Here P873 is backing to the yard.

Once the commuter rush started other traffic used normally eastbound Track 2.  This included, P029, the Capital Limited and 2 empty hopper trains.  P877, headed for Martinsburg, arrived next.

We could hear Q416 approaching but before it showed up W091, a work train with ballast cars, went west.

At this point we decided it was time to call it a day and get some dinner.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Railfanning 3-6-2012

Hi, I had a great day yesterday in the Front Royal, VA area with friends Rudy Volin and Doug Koontz even though the trains did not really cooperate.  Our objective was to photograph in the area of Compton Creek, about 14 miles south of Front Royal.  Two northbound trains should go through this are in the morning, 202 and 16T.  Shortly after Rudy and I arrived in Front Royal to meet up with Doug we heard 16T approaching Front Royal.  By the time Doug arrived and we were ready to move 16T was coming through town.

On the off chance that 202 was following (there was nothing on the scanner to indicate that this was so and we eventually figured 202 was earlier than 16T) we headed south.  We decided to look around Compton Creek and maybe wait a little south of there until 11:00 AM when we had heard a track authority in the area we were waiting would expire.  As 11:00 AM approached nothing indicated there was a train close.  As Doug had his computer and he had access to ACTS we went a few more miles to Luray and found a McDonalds.  It did not take long to learn a train was headed our way.  It turned out to be V89 running as light engines.  There is road construction east of the trestle and this has opened up the area for new photo angles.  When the construction is complete it should be really nice.  We headed south and did not get ahead of the locomotives until we got to Shenandoah where there was not a shot.

We headed back to Front Royal.  As we got close we heard 11R approaching Marsh Run, about 10 miles north of Front Royal.  We had time to go to the wye at Front Royal for a shot.

After 11R passed we heard 228 leave the Virginia Inland Port at Success.  We shot it at Riverton Junction, in Front Royal, as it moved off the Hagerstown Line onto the B Line to Manassas.

A few minutes behind 228 was 37Q which would run down the Shenandoah Valley.  

After photographing the train at Riverton Junction we relocated to Airport Road.  Unfortunately, the train beat us here and we wasted almost 10 minutes before we were sure it was gone.  We headed for Compton Creek where we were able to catch due to the grade the train had to climb.  This view is from the west side of the trestle.

We were able to photograph the train one last time at Vaughn, the summit of the southbound grade. 

We could have gotten one more shot at Stanley but elected to try to find a trestle Doug had located on a previous trip.  Unfortunately, we encountered a school bus dropping off students and the train hit the trestle just before we arrived.

Still, we had great weather and excellent company.  I hope you enjoy the photos.