Saturday, September 21, 2013

Railfanning - 9/19/2013

Hi, I went up to Baltimore again on Thursday with friend Rudy Volin. Our objectives were to check out two CSX locations: first the S. Monroe St. bridge over CSX and second the Russel St. overpass, and then to shoot during the morning and afternoon at the Halethorpe commuter station again. 

We already knew that both bridges over CSX had sidewalks and that Russel St. was an afternoon shot only.  What we learned was that trees plus a ghetto fence block any shot on the S. Monroe St. bridge and that the sun comes around for a shot off the Russel St. bridge very late in the day at this time of the year.

As we were driving up to Halethorpe Rudy spotted a train sitting on the Old Main Line at St. Dennis.  We went down to investigate and found this ballast train.  It was waiting for a southbound intermodal train to clear before it could enter the Capital Sub main and continue its trip east.

Almost as soon as we hit the platform at Halethorpe the final electric powered train, with an HHP-8 pushing, stopped to pick up passengers.  We wanted to photograph from the pedestrian bridge over the tracks, if possible.  It turns out there is no fence on the bridge, just glass and it is possible to shoot through the glass without reflection if the camera is held very close to the glass.

While we were on the bridge we shot a southbound commuter with the MP36 pushing,

a northbound Amtrak Northeast Regional train with an AEM-7,

a southbound Northeast Regional with another AEM-7, and

a southbound Acela.

As we were leaving another MARC train made a station stop.  The man on the left had warning sign (next to his left knee) he would hold up whenever he spotted a train in either direction.  The sign warned of workers on or near the tracks and required the engineer to blow his horn.

Our next stop was Bush St., where all of the CSX images were taken.  First up was Y123, which backed down and headed onto an industrial track to the left just this side of the overpass in the background.

Shortly after the Y123 disappeared the Q031 went south.

Forty five minutes later Q036 came north.

Next a light power move came up from the south and then backed into another branch underneath the bridge.  We never saw what the power set went to pick up.

Meanwhile, the ballast train was sitting just south of Hollins Ferry Rd.  Once the light engines cleared it came up and crossed over.  The Y123 is in the background on the left.

After this eastbound coal train came through we headed back to Halethorpe and go up on the pedestrian bridge again.

First up was an Amtrak Northeast Regional train with an HHP-8,

a northbound MARC train making a station stop,

a Northeast Regional with an AEM-7.

and a MARC train led by an HHP-8 making a station stop on its way to Baltimore.

We then went to the south end of the platform and photographed a northbound Northeast Regional with an AEM-7,

the northbound Silver Star with an HHP-8,

a MARC train running express, and
another northbound MARC train behind an HHP-8 making a station stop. 

In closing I should note that parking in the MARC lot is impossible in the morning and early afternoon.  It is best to find parking on residential streets on the east side of the tracks.  There are elevators in both towers in addition to the staircases, and there are restrooms on the parking lot level of the tower on the right in the photo above.

Thanks for looking.

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