Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Railfanning on CSX's Metropolitan Sub - 10-28-2014

Hi, As the weather was good yesterday and the foliage around our home looked very nice I thought I would try to get some fall foliage photos close to home.

I started out in Washington Grove, MD which is about a mile south of Gaithersburg.  Q216 showed up a couple of minutes after I got parked.

As nothing in the way of foliage caught my attention I moved on to Gaithersburg where I ran into friend John King.  We had a few minutes to catch up and then things began to happen.  First up was Q416 shown here passing the old freight station which is now part of a museum.  As the train came into view I could hear an eastbound blowing nearby.

 Q416 had just cleared when a loaded coal train came into view.

I decided to move on again and checked out Metropolitan Grove where I caught U777 passing Q416, which had stopped for some reason.

I went as far as Germantown where I got another photo of Q416.  On the way here Q415 got by me.  Note that these trains operate between Richmond, VA and Cumberland, MD.  The train to Cumberland is considered northbound, hence the even number, and the train to Richmond is considered southbound, hence the odd number.

Finally, I returned to Washington Grove on my way home where 616B, a helper set, breezed through.  As quieted down at this point and I was not impressed with the foliage I quit for the day.  I was out less than 3 hours.  Thanks for looking.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Railfanning 10/24/2014

Hi, I spent last Friday railfanning with friend Dale Jacobson.  The opportunity was much appreciated as it was the first time we had been out railfanning in over three years.

Our plan was to begin in Hagerstown and we stopped at Vardo Yard to inquire about the Winchester & Western.  When we learned that they had a derailment at the wye just outside of the yard we asked about NS trains and were told there would be both north and south bound trains in one to one and a half hours.

We elected to go north.  As we were exploring just south of Marion, PA we heard #211 call a signal a few miles north of us so we set up in Marion.

As #211 was really moving we did not give chase.  Instead we headed up to Chambersburg, PA where we stumbled upon #37Q with this Soo Line SD60.  It was a surprise to us as I had not checked Facebook that morning.  It was passed by #228 here and we attempted to beat #228 back to Marion without success.

However, we elected to wait here for #37Q (above and below). 

While we chased #37Q we heard the dispatcher inform #228 that it would be run around by #37Q south of Greencastle.  As we were unable to beat #37Q to the overpass south of Greencastle and could see #228 north of us in the siding, we decided to wait for it (above and below).

We then moved on to Rench Road, south of Hagerstown, MD as we heard a train preparing to head down the H Line.  We were really surprised when #211 showed up.  However, a cloud covered the sun and the location is not much anymore, so the photo is not included. 

Our next stop was St. James, MD where we arrived about a minute before #37Q.

We continued to explore south and stopped at the Tommytown Road grade crossing in Mercersville, MD where we caught #228 (above and below).

At Sharpsburg, MD we were just in time to photograph our first northbound of the day on the south side of town, local #V96 (above and below).

We returned to Mercersville where we photographed #38Q and


Since nothing else seemed to be in the offing on the H Line we decided to relocate to Shenandoah Junction, WV.  Shortly after got there a very late running eastbound Capitol Limited showed up

followed shortly by westbound Q373 (above and below).

Our final train of the day was #203.  Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Railfanning the Northeast Corridor - 10/18

Hi, Stan and I spent our second day along the Northeast Corridor.

Our first stop was Northeast, MD.  This is a difficult place to shoot as eastbound trains just pop out from behind the trees on the left (out of the photo) with no warning.

After a number of attempts at Northeast clouds moved in so we moved south to Perryville.  The prime photo location of a northbound train crossing the bridge over the Susquehanna River is now obscured by trees.  However, Stan liked this angle.

We then crossed the river to Havre de Grace.  Our first stop was the American Legion dock.  Both the American Flag and the MIA-POW flag fly here.  In all three of the above photos the trains are powered by the new City Sprinter locomotives.

An AEM7 has this Northeast Regional train in Tow.

Acelas provide photo opportunities southbound or northbound (as here).

The southbound Silver Star crossed the bridge at about 1:25 PM, running on time.

For our last location in Havre de Grace we walked down river a couple of blocks and shot outside the Tidewater Grill (above and below).

We then relocated to Perryman where we photographed this southbound Northeast Regional train coming under the signals.  We moved on to Edgewood, MD but clouds suddenly appeared and we decided to call it an early day at 3:30 PM.  Thanks for looking.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Railfanning the Maryland Midland

Hi, Friend Stan Short and I enjoyed two days of railfanning on October 17 and 18.  Friday, October 17 we had a really good day on the Maryland Midland.  We arrived in Union Bridge a few minutes after 8:00 PM and learned that, as per usual, UBHF would leave for Highfield, MD shortly.

As the train left town we headed west.  Our first stop was at Rocky Ridge (above and below).  Power consisted of a GP38 painted in the last scheme of the independent Maryland Midland and 2 of the 4 SD40-2s purchased by Genesee and Wyoming for the railroad last year.  Note that the SD40-2s were rebuilt form SD45s and retain the SD45 car bodies.

The train stopped to set off a lumber load and pick up a bunch of empties on the east side of Thurmont, MD.

While the crew completed their switching we moved on to a farm road I knew of east of Sabillisville, MD (above and below).

The Maryland Midland line into Highfield was once the mainline of the Western Maryland Railway.  The route known as the Dutch Line, because it runs through Hanover, PA, can be seen to the left of the locomotive.

The train pulled down past the switch to the Dutch Line and then backed its train into a siding on the Dutch Line where the cars were set off for interchange to CSX (above and two below).

After the set off the light engines backed down to a cut of cars set off by CSX and pulled them forward to clear the Dutch Line Switch (above and two below).  A mother brought her son to the grade crossing to watch the action (hanging out of the window of the front passenger seat of the car). 

Finally back on the former WM main the train pulled down a couple of blocks

where it picked up a few more cars.  This was in Blue Ridge Summit, PA.

On the return trip we photographed the train in Lantz, MD,

Thurmont, MD,

Detour, MD (above and below),

off Bucher John Road west of Union Bridge, and

coming past the former WM depot (now home to the WM Historical Society) in Union Bridge (above and below).  Thus ended our day on the Maryland Midland.

After a late lunch in Union Bridge we drove to Brunswick, MD where we saw this ballast train returning eastbound to the yard for the night and

the westbound Capitol Limited.  Thanks for looking.