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!
Bringing up the rear are the private cars. Here's the Warrior Ridge:
WAIT!! Who's that in the first window!! Why its Subchatter Chuchubob!! Awww, look at all the great photo ops he's missing. Shame.
Moving on we next caught up with the train at CP-SOUTH FERRY
Here is a Penn Centralized pedestal with red stop eyes. The 'SP' is for Slide Protection.
We move along to CP-NORTH MILLER which has perhaps the easiest rood access of any interlocking I know. high signal is clear for the flaming foliage express.
It took some class 5 speeds to catch up with the train at CP-NORTH MILLER given the 50mph speed on the Buffalo Line.
Then a field where we found some sun.
Next stop was CP-NORRY where a number of other railfans were located.
Hey, some important people standing on the rear platform at CP-NORRY (in Northumberland).
Side view at Watsontowne
Best photo of the day was not even planned. We got stopped by our train at a level crossing so we jumped out and took some pix.
We cut accross the mountain to catch it again at South Williamsport where the 219N signal was displaying for the extra.
Flaming Foliage Express at South Williamsport.
PRR Position Lights were prevalent along the line. Hey, why isn't anyone using the rear platform!! Ugh, some ppl are just plain spoiled.
We decided to end our chase at Lock Haven. I had a Keystone train to catch at 4 and we had some signal-fanning to do.
Next time in Part 2 I will show photos of some additional Buffalo Line interlockings.