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Saturday, October 14, 2006

06-10-14 PHOTOS Buffalo Line Interlockings

The Buffalo Line is like a massive living museum of PRR Signaling. The line was resigned for CTC sometime back when the PRR was in charge so neither the PC, Conrail or NS have seen fit to change anything. In fact, most of the relay huts have little keystones on them. Moreover, there are pneumatic interlockings everywhere, even where you wouldn't expect, i.e. at interlockings with only 1 or 2 switch machines.

On my way home from chasing the Fall Foliage express I was able to stop and take pictures at CP-LINDEN, CP-SOUTH LINDEN, CP-RIVER and CP-KASE and I would have hit some more had I not needed to catch a train at Harrisburg.

You can see all the signally goodness at:

Oh those, LINDEN, SOUTH LINDEN and RIVER make up a wye just south of Williamsport, PA. Here's a little diagram I found.

Since then the second track now starts at LINDEN instead of SOUTH LINDEN. Oddly enough, despite the 1980's re-alignment, a pneumatic switch machine was installed.'s a little tour.

This pedestal signal used to be on the through track, but when everything was re-aligned it can only display diverging routes. Still, the lamp for the CLEAR aspect has been retained!

The air-plant at LINDEN has a pipeline and everything even tho it only used to serve a single switch.

The PRR signal gantry at LINDEN.

 SOUTH LINDEN used to have a turnout onto the siding here, but it was moved to LINDEN.

06-10-14 PHOTOS: Chasing the Flaiming Fall Foilage Spectacular

Question? What CAN'T someone do in a first class accommodation in a preserved, PRR painted, private railway car?

Answer! Take pictures of your excursion train as it flies along the Susquehanna valley up the former-PRR Buffalo Line.

While over 1000 (mostly geriatric) railfans crammed themselves aboard 10 Amfleet and 4 private cars for the Harrisburg NRHS Flaiming Fall Foilage Spectacular, an equal number of (much younger) railfans decided to stake out places lineside to photograph and/or chase the train. Of course chasing the train was no easy feat with a linespeed of 50mph, railfans frequently had to exceed Class 6 speeds on local two lane roads in order to keep up!!

My team of myself (navigator) and another railfan I know (driver) won the "hard core" award for successfully chasing the FFFS all the way from CP-WYE (MP306) to CP-LOCK HAVEN (MP 194).  In addition to pics of the NRHS Special I took time to document many of the Buffalo line interlockings and signals. The NS Buffalo line is a bastion of PRR Position signaling and pneumatic switches so of course, how could I resist :-D

All the photos are located at:
I started out at 5am at ROY interlocking on the Amtrak Harrisburg Line. Heh, signal-fanning at 5am...that's hard core. Here is a photo of the ROY relay hut still sporting a Penn Central sign. The air equipment is still there to support the #15 switch, which is the only pneumatic switch left in the interlocking after Amtrak ruined things :-(!!! You can even see the penciled in number for when the interlocking gets completely re-signaled (91B vs 5B). Come on, who can tell me that electrics are cooler than pneumatics.

Wow, feel the history. CP-ROCKVILLE, 109 miles from Suburban Station in Philadelphia. Unfortunately CP-ROCKVILLE has also been converted from pneumatic to electric switches.

The Buffalo Line starts at CP-WYE, which is located at the north leg of the east Rockville wye. CP-WYE is complete with position lights and air switches. In fact the air plant has seen some work.

The PRR E-8's are in the lead!

Monday, October 9, 2006

06-10-09 PHOTOS: Far rockaway Circle

On Columbus Day I hooked up with Pigs and went on a little circle trip. I started at Penn Station and took the LIAR out to Far Rockaway and simply returned via an A train.

My goal was to try to get an M-1 on the LIRR and then an R-38 on the A. I arrived at Penn Station early as to have my choice of trains to Jamaica. I wanted for 40 minutes before giving up and catching an M-7...however had I waited one more train I could have gotten an M-1/3 (although I would not have had any time at Jamaica for photos).

At Jay I met pigs and transfered to an M-7 out to Far Rock. It was my first M-7 ride and i discovered that they are absolutely useless for railfanning. There is literally no point to to railfanning in an M-7. You're better off staying at home. They are a waste of time and money.

At Far Rock we made the walking transfer b/t the Far Far Rockaway and Near Far Rockaway stations to pick up the A train. I worried having to wait some time for an R-38, but we were lucky and only had to wait 1 headway. We also saw the R160 on it's field trials (Boooo!!). I did not realize that the building at the end of the platform was MOTT AVE tower.

We boarded the R38 and despite the window being rather dirty, I got good front end shots all the way to the portal at Euclid Ave. That's pretty much it for the trip. I will post samples below.

All the photos can be found at:

 The Jamaica Yard complex as seen from the eastbound Main Line flyover.

JAY tower still routing trains through the interlocking after 70+ years in service.

HALL tower with M-3's and the triple deck relay hut trying to re-wire the interlocking. I like the old brick package.

 Doubleslip switch in HALL interlocking.

Rear of VALLEY tower controlling the junction of the Babylon Branch, West Hempstead Branch and Far Rockaway branches also on a 1930's era US&S Model 14 machine.