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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

10-09-01 PHOTOS: Downeaster Dover

Over Labour Day 2010 I took a trip up to the Boston area to visit a friend who lived in Portsmouth, NH. While I had ridden the Amtrak Downeaster service to Portland, ME and back in 2006 and been able to visit both the Dover and Durham stations when I was in town for a wedding in 2009, this would be my first purposeful trip on the Downeaster. My plan involved taking a Regional train to Boston and then complete the self-transfer to North Station where I would wait for the Downeaster. Due to Amtrak's issues with tight connections I believe I had an hour or two to kill waiting at BON and due to the MTBA's anality about hanging out on platforms I only had a relatively short window for Photos. However I made the most of my time.

You can see the comparatively short gallery of photos right here.

Now I was hoping to be able to take photos out the back of my Regional as we traveled up the Shore Line. I'm not on that line often and when I am the last car is more likley than not to be closed. Well good news was that the last car was not closed. The bad news was that Amtrak's company car, #10001, the Beech Grove, was attached to the back of my train. While some people would be thrilled at this, I was going to be limited to photo sessions at NYP and BOS. Here we see 10001 with some Amtrak officials at Penn Station. Date and time noted.

At this point the Amtrak folks were nice enough to give me a little tour of 10001. Inside is a rear seating area, then three bedrooms, each of which appeared to have beds with double mattresses in them, then finally a kitchen area. I was told that the Grove was being moved up to Boston for some meeting between with Federal officials, some of which would be boarding at New Haven along with a Pizza delivery to re-fuel the movers and shakers in the company car. Here we see 10001 at New Haven. Note the larger sized Amfleet II windows in at the observation end of the car.

Also at New Have was Amtrak P40 #843 in SLE service.

Now I called Rich Green who posted about the 10001 move on SubChat and Fred G said he would be able to meet the train at Old Saybrook. Now I figured he'd be on the opposite platform due to sight lines and the angle of the sun, but alas he was on the near platform and I missed taking a literal railfan photo.

Since there wasn't much going on at Electric Boat my next chance for an interesting photo was when my train finally arrived at BOS and I could head back for more photos of 10001. Here we see the business end of 10001 with MTBA F40PH #1065 on an adjacent track.

Here is a side view of the observation platform with both #1065 and GP40MC #1115 in the background.The hump on the roof of 10001 contains a camera for conducting line inspections.

Full view of  F40PH #106.

Parked ahead of our Regional train on BOS track 8 was class leading K-Car split level #1700 with MBB euro-car #1524 on adjacent track #7.

After self-transfering to North Station, in an effort to kill time I took a little walk along the east side of the terminal towards the Charles river hoping to get some reasonable vantage point for photos. All I came away with was this picture of MTBA F40PH #1032 on the #1 track at BON.

When my train was finally announced and I could be a "ticketed passenger" on the platform I had about 15 or 20 minutes to linger at the end of the track 7/6 platform. Here you can see Amtrak P42 #173 at the head of my downeaster train with MTBA GP40MC #1125 on track 8. Note the effect that Main black flies have had on the Atrak locomotive compared to the Geep which stays safely in Massachusetts.

Standing opposite 1125 was another GP40MC, #1138.

Over on the other side were sequential F40PHs #1013 and #1014, with #1014 covering up #1013.

#1014 and its train them pulled out into CP-1 (which used to be TOWER A interlocking) which not only included both the shrink of 10 station tracks to 4 main track and subsequent main line crossover, but also a pair of bascule drawbridges over the Charles River. Here #1014 has a Slow Clear signal on #2 track over the eastern bridge.

With #1014 out of the way #1013 was alone in the shadow of the Bill Buckner Bridge.

At the end of that train was Comet type cab car #1631.

When #1013's turn came to leave it had to wait for an inbound train headed by eco-wrapped MBB cab car #1531.

A third GP40MC, #1135, was providing power for that train.

At that pointa route was lined for #1125 and its train on track 6, which then pulled out parallel to #1013's train, with Comet cab car #1647 on the rear.

Here is a video of three trains in motion at the entrance to North Station. #1125 heading outbound, #1135 headed inbound and #1013 waiting for #1135 to clear.

Anyway my Downeaster trip went nicely with free WiFi, but then we left MTBA territory and entered that of the Guilford Rail system which promptly busted our train with a seriously frustrating 40mph heat restriction, delaying our train by 20-30 minutes by the time we reached Dover. Here we see 173 waiting short of the crossing in downtown Dover with a Clear indication on the CPF-44 holdout signal.

As with my last trip to this station Cabbage Car 90214 was on the rear.

And a few days later 90214 returned with my early morning train back to Boston. Yarg, I can't seem to shake this guy!

To summarize North Station can provide a lot of action in a very short period of time as long as you don't get swarmed by cops or irate transit workers. Next week turn in for my trip out to WALTHAM tower in Waltham, MA and look out for a supplementary set of photos detailing the Memorial Bridge that carries US 1 across the river in downtown Portsmouth, NH.

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