My trek went from CP-169 at Hoffmans where the Selkirk Branch meets the Hudson Line to become the Chicago Line, down past CP-SH where the Carmine Branch joins. I then continued down to the Fullers Flyover Bridge at US 20.
All of the railfan related photos can be seen here and if you are interested the Catskill photos can be seen here
Now on with the show.
We'll start out with the classic NY Central signal bridge at CP-169 where the Chicago Line begins. The signal track to the left is the Hudson Line used by Amtrak Empire and LD trains and also maintained by Amtrak. The two tracks to the right are the Selkirk Branch which was built in the 1920's along with Selkirk yard as a freight bypass of the congested Albany terminal and its steep West Albany Hill (well, not that steep, NYC steam was just wussy). Today this line is used by all CSX freight to and from Boston and the new Jersey ports. The Huston Line gets a straight shot through the interlocking so all through freight trains have to make a diverging movement here at CP-169.
I love using this picture as an example of American grade crossing protections on overseas signaling sites. I think the sign says it all.
I was lucky enough to catch this train or autoracks coming around the curve where the Selkirk Branch flies over the Hudson Line with SD40-2 #8439 in the lead and in the #2 position is a former Conrail painted C40-8W #7302.
After a little cross country trek I was rewarded with this prime and increasingly rare example of a New York Central cantilever signal mast. These used to be all over the electrified region untilthe dickheads at Metro North thought it would be a clever thing to tear them all down. This one was thankfully spared from the recently CSX re-signaling efforts on the Selkirk Branch.
The small target GRS model SA searchlights are in the offset automatic signal" position and serve as the distant signal to CP-169. The best ether can display is Approach Medium.
Wow, those relay cabinets are apparently bullet proof, bomb proof and battering ram resistant. Let's hope the C&S crews remember to lock them.
The 41x signals are adjacent to the bridge over the Mohawk River seen here with some stunning foilage as a backdrop.
Here's a little juxtaposition I caught from the result of a recent rail replacement showing off the effects of globalization.
In case you can't make it out the rail in the back is stamped Beth(lehem) Steelton 1994 while the brand new rail in front is made by Mittal, an Indian steel conglomerate that bought the remains of Bethlehem Steel (the International Steel Group) in 2005. Sort of depressing.
Moving on from here the signaling news turn a turn for the worse as the 34x automatics had been replaced as part of a project to install a new interlocking at the large Price Chopper distribution facility in Rotterdam.
This also meant that CP-SH had come under the ax. I'm a little pissed with myself that I didn't take the time to photograph CP-SH on my numerous other trips to the area, but I guess that teaches me to be lazy. Here are the westbound home signal masts and look, people are already shooting at the relay hut!!
New dwarf signal coming off the Carmine branch. Unfortunately CSX has decided to convert the line from Conrail signal rules to Seaboard despite several advantages of the former including ability to display Restricting without Lunar, Y/Y for Approach Slow instead of Y/R/G and *Y* for Advance Approach instead of Y/Y.
CP-SH interlocking. Look at those trees! This must have been close to peak weekend. The white building to the right is one of the largest fresh fruit distribution hubs in the Northeast. Refers from the west coast are pulled inside the entirely refrigerated facility where they are unloaded. This was shown in an episode of Extreme Trains.
While checking up on the unfortunately replaced automatics (distant to CP-SH) I discovered another clump of photogenic trees. unfortunately no freight trains in sight.
Finally I got a reasonable photo of the double bridge at fullers Flyover. The two tracks of the Selkirk Branch cross over each other here as part of a historical oddity based on how the traffic flow was set on the New York Central main line between here and Buffalo.
It serves little purpose today, but there's no real point spending the money to remove it.
Oh wait! There's some videos as well taken from the rear of my Amtrak train in the way up. The first is of NORTH PHILADELPHIA interlocking with an HHP-8 hauled regional passing on the adjacent track and a 4-car train of Mixed S-IIs and S-IIIs coming off the CHW.
Next a clip of SHORE interlocking shortly before it was re-worked and its double slip switch removed. You can see the C&S crews installing the new CzPL mast signal on 1 track.
Well that's it, turn in next time.