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Saturday, June 29, 2002

02-06-29 CLASSIC PHOTOS: 2002 Atlantic City Line Mid-Summer Trip

As a special Holiday present I dug back into the archives and pulled out a set of photos taken nearly 10 years ago back when things were a lot more interesting in the local railfan scene. Back then we didn't need Amtrak's special indulgence for "heritage" paint schemes, Silverliner trips weren't of the farewell kind and my local NRHS chapter wasn't afraid to hold formal events. One such event was a special Atlantic City Line trip held in late June 2002. The trip departed from Lindenwold, ran to 30th St station then went all the way back down to Atlantic City before returning to Lindelwold. The weather was perfect and there were many sights to be seen all along the route.

So in lieu of my photo offering, which is still tied due to the huge number of photos taken on my Seattle trip, here is a wonderful slice of railfanning the way it used to be early in the unit decade of this century. You can see the entire set right here or continue reading along. You can also do the "what's not here anymore" drinking game, but I'm not going to bother to prompt you again.

We begin at the PATCO Haddonfield station where PATCO had recently decided to reject its policy of keeping fares low and instead began to spend money hand over fist to "improve" the railroad. Phase one of that project was the replacement of the original wooden ties from 1968 as well as the original porcelain mushroom insulators with PVC plumbing fixtures. On that day in 2002 the tie contractor gang was working within the confines of the Haddonfield station area using a variety of high rail dump trucks like this one.

The track work in Haddonfield meant a crossover move back to the regular track at the Haddonfield pocket track. Back in 2002 PATCO hadn't switched its signals to LED, nor had they replaced the swayback turnout at the north end of the pocket track.

There was no Circa Center or parking garage at 30th St so if you managed to avoid being hassled by the parking deck security you could get some really nice, non-overhead photos of the Race Street engine terminal. Also back in 2002 the term "High Horsepower Locomotive" didn't refer to some POS French thing that looks like a bananna. Nope, that honorific applied to the American built GE E60 that didn't need good looks to smash your ass into the ballast. Here we see #610 hanging out at Race Street probably for weekday Clocker service with #604 hanging out nearby on #10 track for an LD power change.

OMG! HERITAGE PAINT SCHEMES!! Oh wait...that's just how everything was normally back in 2002. Here we see Phase IV P42DC #1 sitting next to Phase V P42DC #147 and Phase III AEM-7 #949 in the background. If you ask me that Phase III AEM-7 scheme was Amtrak's best aside from the Phase III Metroliner scheme.


Because Amtrak still did a lot of power changes at Philly for all its Keystone, Three Rivers, Pennsylvanian and occasional NEC LD trains, Race Street was full of diesels and electrics to accommodate it.

Amtrak's MoW equipment wasn't all modern and "Eco Friendly" either as we can see here with 1950's vintage GP7 #766 in MoW gray.

Because of Amtrak's large mail and express service and their general lack of ridership the Penn Coach Yards were full of roadrailers, express reefers and tones of surplus Amfleets.

The paint schemes weren't the only thing Heritage about Amtrak in those days. Genuine 78-seat Heritage coaches were out in the yard having been ordered back into service by David Gunn due to problems with serviceable Amfleets.

Friday, June 21, 2002


It is time to take a blast back into the past with a casual trip on the SEPTA Market Frankford Elevated and Broad Street Subway lines during the summer of 2002. Not much more to say than that except this should round out my series of Classic photos from 2002. I had moved on to 2003, but then found another 2002 photo set that I has not yet remastered and rereleased so sit back and enjoy.

You can find the full set of photos on my still working photo hosting service here.

We begin on PATCO where a crew was dropping new tie extenders and plastic insulators for attaching the third rail to the new concrete ties.

Moving on to the MFL we catch M-4 car #1201 at Girard. The old signaling system is still in place as evidenced by the block signals and air operated trip stops.

M-4 #1060 at Huntington.

While the old signals still had about a year left the A-10 pneumatic point machines had already been replaced.

The original Bridge St terminal with the new terminal rising in the background.

M-4 #1191 at Bridge-Pratt.

Here is a picture of some of SEPTA's budget track structure that made use of CWR made from butt welding existing stick rail (that's why the trains still make clickly clack sounds on some sections) and then bolting it to the ties with actual bolts and not much more.

Moving over to the Market St elevated we find the 52nd St interlocking in its original configuration as a single trailing point crossover. Here is the 4R dwarf signal protecting wrong direction moves. This would soon be replaced by a full crossover.

 M-4 #1147 near 60th St on the original closed deck ballasted El structure. Running on ballasted track really reduced the noise even compared to the modern direct fixation El structure that eventually replaced it.

 Here is the open desk El structure used in the several hundred feet that the line runs through Darby before becoming a plain surface route. The closed decking was mandated by the City of Philadelphia for noise control. Since Darby was a little late to the game regulation-wise they got the noisy track.

The original Millbourne station and its famous wooden pedestrian overpass.

M-4 #1137 rounding the loop at 69th St after discharging on the outbound platform.

Saturday, June 8, 2002

02-06-08 CLASSIC PHOTOS: New York City / Metro North Trip

This is another installment in my "classic" series where I go back into the archives and re-process photo sets that didn't get the exposure they deserved back when my web hosting space was much more limited. These photos were chopped down into small sizes that could be handled in the 56k era and then pulled from my web space to make room for new offerings.

Today's photos were taken in June of 2002 and with photos nearly a decade old that means its time for another installment of the "Things that aren't around anymore Drinking Game". The rules are simple, when you see something in a photo that's not around anymore, you take a drink!!

If you would like to play the game on your own you can find the full set of photos here.

We begin at Hamilton, NJ where then new HHP-8 #661 passes by with a southbound regional train. See the cafe car on the front in Phase III livery? That means you take a drink. Also the Regional configuration of Business Class->Cafe Car->Coaches means you should make that a double.

Please drink again in honor of NJT ALP-44 #4409 pushing a consist of single level coaches on the NEC at LANE interlocking.

Bottoms up for these PA-1/3's sitting on the Newark storage tracks.

Don't worry, you can take a little break for this shot of the upper level of DOCK tower.

No anti-terrorist fence at HACK draw, that counts for a drink.

The PATH smashboards are still in place so use this time to refill your glass.

"Approach Slow" on the 738 signal with a drink-worthy train of PA-1/4's approaching from the opposite direction.

Crossing over at WR interlocking. That crazy cantilever mast for westbound trains has since been replaced by regular masts so take another drink.

Oh dear, looks like all the rain that morning has caused a bit of a landslide :-( Drink for the new concrete retaining wall that was installed soon after in the Bergen cut.

Into the PATH portal east of Jorunal Square.

M-1s on Metro-North framed by the route indicators on the former NYC signal gantry on approach to MO interlocking. Drink for the M-1s.

You may take a mulligan and count the previous M-1 drink toward this train inbound approaching MO interlocking on the Hudson Line.