Friday, May 29, 2015

Railfanning - May 23, 2015

Hi, Saturday, May 25 was Day In North America for Railroads Illustrated Annual. I was joined by friends Jeremy and Jim Beck, and Rudy Volin for a trip to the former Pennsylvania Railroad Middle Division, now the NS Pittsburgh Line.

We arrived at CP Banks, the former site of Banks tower, just in time to catch #38J pass #16N.

Our second lucky catch was at Cove where the Savannah & Atlanta heritage unit lead #20W east.

After waiting awhile at Cove we moved further west to a location about a mile east of Newport, PA.  First up was this eastbound manifest.  What appears to be a Gazebo at the left is actually a shelter for a manually operated water pump.

We could hear a west bound approaching when suddenly it seemed like an eastbound also was getting close.  Before I could fully get into position the eastbound Pennsylvanian rounded the curve just to the west.

Almost immediately after the Pennsylvanian disappeared an intermodal came west

followed shortly by a second intermodal , #21J.

On the west side of Newport is CP Port where we caught #23Z.

Continuing west we stopped at Thompsontown where we shot another westbound intermodal,

eastbound coal train #400, and


There is a nice open space at Mexico with New York Central style block signals.  Here we shot #11J and

# 56V splitting the signals.

Then Jeremy and I moved out from the track to shoot #17G,

the westbound Pennsylvanian, and

#21M in quick succession.

At Port Royal there were a number of eastbound trains for which the light was not really good.  Therefore, I tried for some new angles that would make the best use of the side light (above and two below).

Also, I took a couple of more conventional photographs of these two eastbound trains (above and two below).

Here a young railfan waves to the crew of an eastbound tank train.

Our final train at Port Royal was this westbound auto rack train.

We then drove directly to the west end of the Rockville Bridge in Marysville in hopes of getting a westbound in sweet light.  However, it was not to be.  This eastbound intermodal train crawled across the bridge.  While it was doing so the only westbound during the 40 minutes or so we were there passed behind it.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Railfanning - 4-20-2015

Hi, Friends Bill Kalkman and Dale Jacobson joined me on a day trip with the primary objective of checking out photo locations between Manassas and Front Royal, VA in anticipation of the N&W 611 excursions scheduled for June 6 and 7. We planned to photograph any trains we saw.  In summary, we did not find much of interest in the way of photo locations along this stretch and we hypothesize that the few good spots we found, mostly just east of Front Royal, will be chock-a-block full of people.

When we stopped to take a look at a spot near Thoroughfare, VA we noticed that the dispatcher changed the direction of travel on a block signal from eastbound to westbound.  We concluded that there would be a westbound fairly soon.  We continued to explore finally setting up at Belvoir, VA where we caught #227.

We did not hear another train while exploring the track west to Front Royal so we headed to Cedarville to wait.  Almost immediately after we exited the car #37Q showed up.

We decided to chase it and easily beat it to the Compton Creek trestle.  A new bridge for US 340 was completed here a couple of years ago and this really opened up the shot.

No. 37Q met #38Q at Vaughn Summit and we set up at Compton Creek for the northbound shot.

We got a quick grab at Overall, VA and then abandoned the chase.

Returning to Cedarville we were able to photogaph #V89 pushing a cut of double stack cars into the Virginia Inland Port.

A few minutes later the two trailing units of #V89's power came south headed for Front Royal (above and below).

Next up was #V86, the Shenandoah, VA to Hagerstown, MD local.

After #V86 passed #228, which had been working the port, continued south (above and below).

About two hours later we shot our final train of the day at Success, #203 (above and below).

Thanks for looking.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tanzania, Africa - 11

Hi, This is the final post on our trip to Tanzania. On our way to the airport for our flight to Arusha we had our last game drive.

We stopped to check out the tree in which we had seen a lioness the night before.  This morning she was on the ground.

Further on we spotted a vulture and

some small birds perched on limbs of a dead tree.

Our scariest encounter of the trip occurred next.  This is a bull elephant in musth (above and below).  All he wants to do is mate and he will brook no intruders (that's us) in his territory.  He shows his displeasure at our presence by ripping branches off this small tree and stomping on them.  When we tried to pass he moved toward the road causing our guide, Mkenda, to back up.  Eventually, Mkenda just floored it and we scooted past the elephant.  As we did so the bull came onto the road and gave chase.  Fortunately, it was no contest.

Three giraffes ambled across the landscape next.

Mkenda spotted this zig zag snake just off the road.

Soon we came across the same mother lion with the collar we had seen the day before.  This time she was in a small pride (above and two below).

Our final wildlife sighting was this small group of elephants with at least one little baby.

At the airport there was time for a final photo with Mkenda before

boarding our flight to Arusha.

This was a truly amazing trip.  Thanks for looking.