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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

10-12-28 PHOTOS: SEPTA Mid-Winter Trip X

See, I'm making progress. Last year I was able to use the Mid-Winter Trip IX report as a promotion for Mid-Winter Trip X. This time around I haven't even gotten around to announcing the date, which just happens to be December 27th this year so mark your calenders. Anyway last year the originally planned MWT was postponed a day on account of blizzard conditions so with a change in date and piles of snow still disrupting travel turnout for the milestone 10th anniversary trip was a little lighter than I had been expecting, but still a good time was had by all.

After a very Regional Rail intensive trip in 2009, MWT X was going to fall back to the city trolley division with an R1-Rt 36-Rt 10-Rt 15 connection in the morning followed up by a novel Rt 66-R7-BSS connection after lunch. The weather was superb with bright sun in the sky and a thick coating of white snow on the ground. For those who choose to show up they were in for a real treat.

Now as I tend to get caught up in these trip with both running the trip and talking to people my photo output can actually end up pretty light and MWT X was an example of this. Part of the reason was due to the very productive Snow Day trip the day before and part was that I didn't have a lot of railroad signals and such to document on this more trolley heavy routing.

So, if you want to see the entire set of 90 some odd photos I did take please click here either before or after you continue on to see a more selective sample.

We begin with Silverliner IV #280 depositing us off at the Eastwick Regional Rail station before our half mile or so walk over to the Eastwick Rt 36 trolley loop.

Hanging out at the loop were K-Car trolleys #9009 and 9041.

9009 would be our ride back into 30th St and after traveling up the Island Ave Right of Way and turning onto Elmwood we saw #9016 fall in behind us before pulling into the Elmwood Depot. 

As we approached the 40th St portal I saw a bit of a trolley traffic jam behind us at 43rd St.

At 30th St we transferred to a Rt 10 trolley with K-Car 9079 here shown at Girard shortly after dropping us off.

While waiting for an eastbound Rt 15 we were presented with two Callowhill Depot pull in moves using the Rt 15 tracks on Girard. The first was K-Car #9103.

The second was K-Car #9043, although some random holeless guy kinda ruined my shot.

If two pull-in wasn't enough, behind them came an orange SEPTA work vehicle carrying a bed full of trolley axles. I wasn't sure if they were for K-cars or PCC IIs.

We then saw an inbound Rt 10 with K-Car #9025.

Monday, December 27, 2010

10-12-26 VIDEO: PATCO in the Snow

While the previously discussed festivities involving the post-blizzard SEPTA system was cut short by a particularly mean spirited pig in a poke, it had the small silver lining of leaving me in a mood to salvage something something from the day as well as get back at the man. So when I nabbed the front seat on a PATCO train at 15/16th and Locust I noticed that the operator had closed the curtain to prevent anyone from looking in....but also preventing him from looking out which meant I was free to take video from the front of the train without harassment.

While the window was its typical dirty self, I was able to get reasonable videos that culminated with a dual departure on the platform at Haddonfield. Anyway you can watch the entire trip from Broadway to Haddonfield, in 4 parts broken up at station stops, right here.

If you are interested in specific parts here we begin at the Broadway portal, through the short Mickle St overbuild and then up onto the old PRSL viaduct before proceeding to Ferry Ave.

Here we continue on one of the longer runs on PATCO between Ferry Ave and Collingswood where the train encounters the newly re-affixed track on the elevated PATCO viaduct.

Continuing on we leave Collingswood, pass over a crossover and then arrive at Westmont also on a viaduct.

Finally we trade the viaduct for a trench as we dive below street level to enter the Haddonfield station where I planed to exit the train with the camera rolling in order to capture any sparks from the third rail upon departure. However I was doubly lucky when I discovered a westbound train already at the platform and I was able to capture both taking off side by side.


10-12-27 PHOTOS: SEPTA Snow Day

Well I guess it should be expected that when one runs a railfan trip in the middle of Winter, weather disruptions might occasionally occur. After 9 years of reasonable December weather the 10th SEPTA Mid-Winter trip brought with it an intense northeast blizzard that hit the area on the day before the trip was to take place. With much of the city transit operating on special schedules and travel from places like New York disrupted I made the decision to postpone the trip by a day. However, with Fred G already in town and a scheduled run of the then new Silverliner V's still scheduled there was no point in letting the day just go to waste so I ventured out into the city with Chuchubob and to see what we could find.

Now while the Blizzard was over the following day there were high winds and cold temperatures so in addition to a nice coating of white, the wind was whipping up great clouds of power that would swirl and drift. To make the conditions even more interesting the sky was partly clear so you had a combination of great light and snow bits in the air. The result was a superb day for taking photos, although SEPTA would have something to say about that later.

Anyway you can see the entire set of photos at the following link. You'll need to scroll down a little bit past some semi-related photos taken at OVERBROOK interlocking that I am saving for another time.

So our story begins with Fred G, Chuchubob and I all meeting at Market East to catch a scheduled R6 train to Norristown. The snow was playing hell with the schedules so upon heading down to the platform as discovered that not only was our train late, but it would not consist of the promised Silverliner V's :-( Fortunately what did arrive was a mixed set of II's and III's so we happily gave up on the new stuff to take a ride in the old, which in our case was reading car #9016.

Departing Market east our train made a strange crossover from Track 2 all the way over the track #4, which was normally used for inbound local trains and rarely saw outbound moves. Upon emerging from the Center City Tunnel the cause for all the delays became apparent with snow blowing everywhere and drifting against the tracks. Here we see the #22 automatic signal on the Reading Viaduct with the uncommon situation of Clear signals on tracks 1, 2 and 4 northbound.

Upon arriving at Temple University station the crew made the announcement that this train was going out of service because it was not actually the train we thought it was. This train was the previous R6 that had simply been so delayed (as an R2 into the city) that it was just going to be terminated. Fortunately there would be another R6 pulling in behind us. Anyway I got out and took a picture of the #24 signal gantry with two Approach Mediums and a Clear and a pair of Silverliner IIs hanging off the platform.

Bob and Fred were close at hand shown here getting out of LVANIA car #218.

 Yes this train was compliant with SEPTA's no solid S-II trainset policy with S-III #227 sitting in the middle of the consist.

On the end of our train was S-II #263 with cute little mounts of snow piled on the roof access steps.

Just as we were bracing ourselves for some ugly set of Silverliner IV's low an behold the scheduled Silverliner V run shows up on track #4 right behind our previous train (thus the reason for pulling up so far). Here we see the prototype single unit #701.

This photo is pretty special as it shows the front of #263 framed by the Silverliner V's railfan window and the silhouette of the SEPTA quality assurance tech who was assigned to make notes of the run from the front seat. As a side note all of the following photos are taken from the second railfan seat in the Silverliner V.

 #263 then departed Temple U north on #4 track, kicking up snow as it proceeded to Robert's Yard.

Inbound trains were confined to #3 track such as Silverliner IV #186 seen here south of North Broad.

And S-IV #428 squeezing under Broad Street.

After waiting a moment to get our lineup at 16TH ST junction we proceeded north and I discovered that the reason for the strange routing was that the point heating system at the interlocking plant had failed and most of the switches had frozen up. I took some video as we proceeded through the interlocking to give a better sense of the wind blown snow condition going on outside. It seriously looked like the arctic out there!!