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Friday, December 27, 2002

02-12-27 CLASSIC PHOTOS: SEPTA Mid-Winter Trip II

Now in its second decade the annual SEPTA Mid-Winter trip has become a staple of the Mid-Atlantic railfanning social calender. However it had to start somewhere and since the original MWT took place when I was still using a film camera its doubtful that I'll ever go and re-scan the 2 or 3 photos I took on that so this set is about as close as you're going to get to Genesis.

The trip consisted of a ride on the R2 to Wilmington and then straight back through Center City to Norristown where we transfered to a Rt 100 train to 69th St, Rt 101 to Media, R3 to Clifton-Alden, Rt 102 to 69th St again, MFL back downtown and then I assume a Broad Street Subway run again.

If you're interested you can find the complete photo set here

After heading up the Chinese Ramp and through 30th St Station we encounter brand new HHP-8 #651 passing ARSENAL tower with Phase III and IV Amfleet in tow.

A pair of CSX road freight diesels were waiting up on the High Line ramp was we pass ARSENAL tower. The Medium Approach on the home signal is for a Stop at PHIL interlocking to get onto the NEC.

E-60 #607 and other Phase III painted units were waiting out behind the Wilmington Electric Shoppes.

The old PRR roundhouse was in the process of being demolished.

A number of Budd Meteroliners out in the backlot had yet to be transfered to the Bear shoppes. Present are two snack car units in their original PRR/PC paint scheme and one "roof hump" unit painted in Phase III.

Ex-Reading Silverliner IV #137. Look, its still fitted with its original cow catcher!

Amtrak HOOK tower back when the interlocking was still a pneumatic plant.

LAMOKIN tower sadly no longer has an interlocking associated with it since the Chester Creek branch was abandoned, but the tower still stands, although its seen better days.

BALDWIN tower named for the old PRR locomotive supplier in Eddystone, PA.

SEPTA #50, a rebuilt SW1200, was running lite through 30th St station probably en-route to rescue a broken down push-pull set.

SEPTA SL-IV #144 at Norristown.

SEPTA Rt 100 car #144 at the Norristown terminal.

1S signal at Norristown displayed for the next Rt 100 departure across the now ailing Bridgeport Bridge. Note the special power derails to keep cars from rolling out of the terminal tracks.

Suburban K-Cars at 69th St.

Some West Jersey Chapter members disembarking at Media from K-Car #109.

Another view of #109 at the Media terminus.

 SEPTA Airport III #235 pulling into Media about a decade before its eventual retirement.

SL-IV #373 next to #235 at Media.

SEPTA M-4 MFL car #1112 pulling into 69th St as darkness falls.

Well that's (basically) where things all begin. In its 13th incarnation the MWT will celebrate both the old with a trip back to Wilmington and the new by using the RiverLINE-ACL connection.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

02-11-27 CLASSIC PHOTOS: Thanksgiving Outing

While returning home from school for the Thanksgiving holiday in 2003 I managed to take some nice rear vestibule shots from the back of my southbound Amtrak Regional train on Metro-North territory and later followed that up with a trip around the west coast of New Jersey checking out progress on the yet-to-be-completed RiverLINE light rail line. In that case the stops amounted to the Delair bridge area and the light rail complex in Bordentown, NJ.

Not much more to it than that, but most of the photos contains something that's not there anymore so check them out.

At the Amtrak Meriden, CT station the H-5 searchlights at the MP 18 automatic signals were still up and displaying a Clear indication for the northbound Vermonter.

Due to the holiday crush Amtrak had to empty out the basement in terms of rolling stock so here we see two Metroliner cab cars including #9640 in the Vermonter consist running behind P40DC #830. Despite the two cab cars in front behind the lead ending a second P40DC, #827, was also applied to the rear.

My train, which may have been the southbound Vermonter, gets its own P40DC #804 pulled off the rear at New Haven during the power change.

Classic New Haven "Flying Beam" style catenary on the 3-track section between Woodmont and New Haven. Can anyone honestly say that the new stuff looks nicer or more elegant?

SS73 WOODMONT eastbound.

Ok, here's one that can use a little explanation. East of the SS71 DEVON movable bridge I caught this light Amtrak P42 looking like it was wyeing on the Devon wye. Does anyone know if this was some sort of common practice? Perhaps because the loop track at New Haven was out of service due to the yard re-configuration work? Anyway I think this is a P42 in Phase IV as in a higher resolution I think I could make it out as #67.

MNRR GP35 #105 running lite east of Bridgeport.

The venerable New Haven diamond catenary, another victim of Metro-North's wasteful capitol spending.

The open gap in the catenary at the SS29 Cos Cob movable bridge. 

MNRR M-2 #8735 at the Rye phase break.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

02-10-12 CLASSIC PHOTOS: Toronto Trip

Waaaaaay back in October, 2002 I set off on an international journey to visit a friend in Toronto. Now he wasn't a railfan, but I did manage to get in a good deal of railfanning both on the way to and from as well as while in Toronto. Naturally I took Amtrak's Train 63, the Maple Leaf and started my trip in Meriden, CT, which was near where I was attending school at the time. As I went through and re-processed these photos I was struck by how much of an interesting time the early 2000's were for railfanning and lamented how they just missed out on the technological revolution that lay ahead in terms of being able to document things.

While I had a shiny new digital camera, flash memory for it was almost as limiting as rolls of film with each of my two 64MB cards only allowing 96 shots, and on this trip I used every one of them on a trip that could easily generate hundreds of photos on my current gear. Also missing was the ability to take video, even standard def, which again prevented me from capturing what an E60 sounded like to railfan window views on the TTC. Finally without a reliable Wikipedia there was no way to learn that the TTC fleet did in fact have old "H series" cars that I should have sought out.

So you can see all the photos that I did manage to take right here, but you'll just have to imagine all of those that got away.

Like I said before I was stunned by the variety of equipment that was still running around back then, so much of which is now vanished and considered "classic". In this first photo we see a northbound Amtrak Vermonter train approaching the Meriden, CT station on the siding track as foretold by the long since replaced 1990's vintage US&S H-5 small target searchlights displaying an Approach Limited for the move. In what is probably the only example of equipment that has become more common, ex-Metroliner cab car #9643 in partial Phase III paint, leads the way, which is also a thing of the mast as the Vermonter now operates with two diesels. Also note the variety in Amfleet paint, its almost the rainbow era all over again.

In what was certainly a good omen about the trip to come the PV Dover Havrour was tacked on to the rear of the Vermonter, in front of P40 Genesis #808.

Now I'm not going to mention E60's and not show one. Cab of #601 sitting at the platform at Penn Station.

Holy fucking shit, P32AC-DM genesis #706 in PHASE III PAINT!! Wait, why don't the "heritage" P42's look like this o.0

ACMU 1100's in Croton!

The New York State Senate President Joe Bruno Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station was brand new and New York State Senate President Joe Bruno was not yet in jail.

The Albany Amshack and its low level platform canopies were still standing.

P40 #817 would provide the power all the way to Toronto. Yes the P42's were in service and all F40's had been retired, but P40's seemed to be prevalent in the northeast diesel pool. Here #817 backs onto our train to replace the P32AC-DM. You know isn't a dual mode loco supposed to eliminate the need for...POWER CHANGES?!?!?

Waiting on a Medium Clear at CP-291 at the new Syracuse Amtrak station with its high level platform. Our train stopped here briefly to perform a crew change.

Buffalo Central Terminal, which has seen some effort at preservation in the past decade.

 The former CASO line over the Niagara river has already had its rails cut and the old MC style small target searchlight has been turned, but the bridge is still there, covered with anti-terrorist barriers.

My train arrived after dark, but I managed to get this photo of SCOTT ST interlocking, east of Toronto Union Station.

 Main hall of Toronto Union Station.

Brand new Amtrak P42DC #36 sitting under the Toronto trainshed ready to pull out with Train 365, the International...which has since been discontinued.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

02-07-20 CLASSIC PHOTOS: SEPTA Wayne Shoppes

In the summer of 2002 the West Jersey Chapter NRHS organized a former visit to SEPTA's Wayne Junction electric car shops and Roberts yard. This was the primary maintenance facility for the Reading's electric MU fleet and served in that capacity until the center city tunnel was completed at which point cars had their choice of repair facility. Today the Wayne Junction complex consists of the Wayne Electric shops, the Roberts Yard storage yard and the Roberts Yard shop facilities which deals with truck, motor and HVAC systems.

What makes this set of photos so wonderful are the plethora of Silverliner II's and III's that were hanging around both the shoppes and yards. Even in 2002 nobody could even think that the old girls might "only" have another 10 years left in them.

You can browse the entire set of photos right here.

We begin in the Wayne Shoppes backlot where SEPTA BL15 pup switchers #51 and #50 are hanging out.

They are joined by ugly ducking RL-1 #61.

This former LIRR(?) Alco FA cab unit #615 was and is still in service as part of SEPTA's fall leaf busting gel trains.

Also in the Reading backlot were appropriately former Reading Silverliner II's #9017 and 9008. For anyone who likes the Budd "pin and cup" coupler here is a closeup.

Silverliner II 9004 is still shiny with only a few bullet holes.

One of the bays in the 1930's vintage carhouse.

Air brake parts on racks.

Ah SEPTA....

Here is an odd truck that appears to be from some sort of mechanically driven rail vehicle. Can anyone help identify this?

In 2002 you could still catch vintage Reading Blueliner #9125 as the wire train cab car.

Cab of #9125.