Saturday, December 2, 2017

Railfanning 11-28-2017

Hi, Friend Dale Jacobson and I spent some time last Tuesday railfanning in the Baltimore area.

While I waited for Dale to arrive at our meeting place, the St. Dennis MARC station, I was able to photograph the last commuter train of the morning.

We were curious as to what was happening at Sparrows Point now that the former steel mill there was being replaced by a logistics park. In particular we wanted to see what Tradepoint Rail, the successor to the Patapsco and Back River RR, was up to. We found one of their SW1500s working the area off Grays Rd north of Grays Yard (above and below).


After finishing along Grays Road the crew went back to Grays Yard and picked up six more cars for spotting. We caught the train off the Wharf Road overpass (above and two below). At this point the locomotive and crew disappeared into a part of the park closed to the public so we left.



After lunch we staked out the CSX bridge between Havre de Grace and Perryville. The spot we chose, under the US 40 bridge, gave us a good view of the CSX bridge and a back lit view of the Amtrak bridge. This is how a correctly exposed photograph would look

While we waited we had some barge traffic for entertainment. The tow boat on the far left actually is not tethered to a barge but will pick up an empty out in the bay just beyond the Amtrak bridge.

I actually envisioned the scene with the Amtrak bridge as a silhouette, sort of like this.

Then I thought why not play with the color balance of the shot to warm things up.

Finally, about 2 hours after we got here CSX sent a north bound across their bridge. We never did see a south bound, which we had hoped to get here.

Our last train of the day was of the afternoon MARC train pushing from Perryville toward Washington, DC.

Thanks for looking/

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Trip to Wilmington, DE - 10/19 & 10/20/2017

Hi, I accompanied friend Dale Diacont on a quick trip to Wilmington, DE on October 19th and 20th. The main purpose of the trip was for Dale to present a program to the Wilmington Chapter of the NRHS.

After we got together near my condo in Silver Spring, MD we immediately headed over to the National Capital Trolley Museum, about 10 minutes away. Dale had never been there and wanted to take some photos.

After lunch we started north. Our first stop was at Havre de Grace, MD. Here are a few of the trains we photographed. First up was a northbound Acela.

Right behind the Acela was a northbound regional train.

After awhile we shot a southbound Acela and this southbound regional.

We then moved north to Marcus Hook, PA where we shot a number of commuter and Amtrak trains (above and six below). Then it was time for dinner and the NRHS meeting.







Our first stop the next morning was Kennett Square, PA where we hoped to get information on the East Penn Railroad's plans for the day. It turned out the people there were very nice and the information highly accurate. The crew drove from Kennett Square to Pocopson, PA where they picked up their train and power (four below). There are two former Pennsy cabin cars on display here: one is a former Pennsy cabin car in NYC green (above and third below) lettered Penn Central and the other a former Pennsy cabin car lettered PRR.




And now here's Dale.

The train took the connection off the former Reading RR line to Wilmington, DE at Chadds Ford, PA and headed west on a former PRR branch.

After the train stopped to drop a car at a lumber distributor in Kennett Square we photographed it on the west side of town and then again

passing a transload in Avondale, PA. Most of the train was dropped here before it came into our view.

It was very difficult to find open areas along the trains's route. Although we ran out of time so could not continue shooting I think things open up further along the route.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Railfanning Central Pennsylvania - 2

Hi, This post will concentrate on the Nittany & Bald Eagle. We stayed in State College hoping to catch the turn from Bellefonte to Tyrone. However, it left before first light and by the time we got some information it already was approaching or in Tyrone awaiting the NS C42 local out of Altoona, so we headed south.

Fortunately, the C42 seemed to have just arrived as we got to Tyrone so we were able to get a few photos of the interchange taking place.

Having set out the N&BE cars the C42 has pulled onto the N&BE tracks giving the N&BE power headroom to back onto their cars.

The C42 then backed off the N&BE trackage so the N&BE crew could leave town.

Just north of the small Tyrone interchange yard the N&BE track is elevated for a short distance and

descends to run in the middle of the street (above and below). In drizzle and sometimes pouring rain the chase is on.


We beat the train to Port Matilda

and then were able to get three more locations as it ran north (above and two below)


Including Unionville.

The crew yarded their train on the west side of Bellefonte (above and three below).




The Bellefonte Historical Society RDC was parked near the station in Bellefonte.

About two o'clock a crew headed east to get a rock train at Pleasant Gap and take it to Lock Haven. Here the power is passing the Bellefonte station and then

the Budd car.

We chased the power east catching it on the east side of Bellefonte and then

as it entered the quarry passing under PA route 26 (above and below).


After about 15 minutes the train departed (above and below).


We caught at another location in Pleasant Gap

passing through Spring Township and

approaching the station in Bellefonte.

We then headed to Milesburg where the line from Bellefonte joins the Tyrone/Lock Haven main. We were pretty sure we beat the train here and planned to photograph it under the old signal bridge. However, before the N&BE arrived empty NS coal train #537 appeared.

Its a good thing the coal train did show up as the crew of the rock train ran around its train off the main and backed into town. The power was now on the north end of the train so as soon as it cleared the junction switch it headed north.

The next day we planned to photograph the Lycoming Valley so after breakfast we headed over to the yard in Williamsport. The pair of the Reading painted GP35s were sitting dead near the yard office. Eventually, when nothing much happened, I went into the yard office to try to find out if the GP35s would run that day and was told, very politely, that no information could be provided due to homeland security regulations. While we waited we got a switcher coming back to the yard with a couple of cars.

About 9:45 AM, with nothing happening we took one more photo of the GP35s and headed for Northumberland in hope of being able to shoot the North Shore Railroad.

However, on arriving in Northumberland we found the engine house buttoned up. We had an opportunity to talk to a railroad employee and he gave us the same line about homeland security when we asked for information.

As there was nothing to do except shoot NS, and that in cloudy weather, and as the weather forecast for the next day was more of the same we elected to cut the trip short and head for home. Thanks for looking.