Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Railfanning - 11-23 - 2012

Hi, I went railfanning in the Harrisburg, PA area with friend Doug Koontz last Friday.  It was good getting out with him as it had been awhile since we had been able to photograph trains together.

Unfortunately, for me it was not a great day.  For some reason I made a number of photographic mistakes including one very blurry picture shot too late so the train is almost out of the frame.  Needless to say, its not here.  Also, the weather, which started out perfect began to deteriorate to the west of Harrisburg by noon.  As a result we headed east, but the clouds soon caught up with us.

Our first location was on the west side of Newport, PA with # 20K.

We then headed west and eventually caught Amtrak's eastbound Pennsylvanian at Millerstown (not shown).  My next shot was of #24W just east of Duncannon, PA.

We caught #24K again, at Marysville, PA.

From Marysville we continued on east eventually reaching Middletown, PA where we photographed the westbound Pennsylvanian.  As the weather had now become fully cloudy we elected to spend the rest of the day there.

As it would be about 1/2 hour until the next train we went over to the Middletown and Hummelstown to see if anything was going on.  While the railroad was buttoned down tight, former WM Alco S6 was sitting in a very photographable position.

We then returned to the Middletown passenger station where we shot Amtrak Keystone Service #645 and then,


Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Railfanning - 11/18/2012

Hi, I went out on Sunday with friend Marc Laborde and his son Anthony.  As I was unsure of traffic levels that day we headed for Shenandoah Junction, WV where we could shoot both CSX's former B&O east west route and NS's former N&W Shenandoah Valley line.

We were unpleasantly surprised when we arrived at Shenandoah Junction to find a crew with heavy equipment on the track working on the NS line.  However, shortly after we arrived a ballast train went east on CSX at about 10:00 AM.

As we saw the heavy equipment moving south toward the NS grade crossing in town we went to line up for a shot of the expected train.  We found one of the trucks with some of the crew parked near the grade crossing.  From one of the crew I learned their track authority was good until noon.  With this information we decided to head up to Hagerstown to see what we could find there.  As we were on our way to Hagerstown we heard the dispatcher extend the track authorities (it turned out there was a surfacing gang working in the Charlestown, WV area) until 2:00 PM.

When we got to Vardo Yard in Hagerstown I went into the yard office to try to get some information.  Although the yard clerk was cool, he did tell me that the train sitting outside, which turned out to be #37Q, was called for 12:30 PM and that #11R would depart at 1:30 PM.  While we were there we had the opportunity to photograph this high hood SD-40 switching the yard.  #37Q is sitting to the right on yard air. 

We headed north to try to find #11R.  However, when we reached Greencastle, PA we heard #11R call Vardo for yarding instructions.  So we returned to Hagerstown just as #11R entered the yard.  We noted that the crew for #37Q was aboard so went south to Antietam, MD arriving and getting set up just as the train was descending the hill in the background.

#37Q stopped just north of Shenandoah Junction until the surface gangs cleared up.

At about 2:15 PM #37Q came south.

At 3:30 PM #11R crossed the diamond with CSX's Shenandoah Valley line (under the third car in the train) in Charlestown, WV.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baltic Cruise - Copenhagen

Hi, Our final port of call was Copenhagen, Denmark. Again we booked a shore excursion from the ship. Our first stop was the Rosenborg Castle, one of at least 3 royal castles in Copenhagen.

Taking photographs inside the castle required a permit for which there was a small fee. Here is a fireplace mantle.

 The throne was flanked by statues of lions.

 I am not sure what this item is but it intrigued me.  I stood to the left of and behind the throne.  It can be seen in the photo above behind the lion and just to the left of the steps leading up to the throne.

Our visit to the castle included viewing of the royal jewels of which these his and her crowns are a part.

The rear of the castle faces a park.

From the castle we went to Tivoli Gardens.  This was a "must see" for us.  It actually is a small amusement park in a garden setting in the middle of Copenhagen. Here are some views from the park.

The waterfront area proved very photogenic. I took this photo through the bus window as we passed by.

Before our ship departed Copenhagen I took this photo of the royal yacht from one of the upper decks.

This brings our trip to a close. I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baltic Cruise - Tallin, Estonia

Hi, Tallin was our 5th port of call. The ship was already docked when we awoke that morning and the day was cloudy with rain. Fortunately, we had booked a walking tour of the old town otherwise we would have been tempted to stay on the ship.

We began our tour outside the old town which was surrounded by medieval walls. Here are a few photos of the walls, and their gates and turrets.

 The streets of the old town had many interesting buildings that provided interesting photographic subjects.

 The three openings above the door provided access to storage facilities while the beam projecting above the highest opening was used to lift heavy objects up to one of the three warehouse levels.

 Some of the streets were particularly narrow.

 This is a venue for summer concerts.

Viimsi Open Air Museum offers a look at peasant life in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.  The next post will be on Copenhagen, our last port of call.