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Friday, January 14, 2011

11-01-14 PHOTOS: Lucky Seven

It's a New Year for my photos as I charge ahead in clearing the backlog. As I get off for MLK day I figured that the best way to celebrate was to head to New York City and try again to complete a full photo survey of the Flushing Line via its surviving railfan window. Previously every time I had set out to take video or photos of the line I had been thwarted by poor cloudy/rainy weather. This time, while there were some clouds in the sky to begin with, the day was a lot clearer than the others I had been faced with. Also threatening to throw a wrench in the works were the service cutbacks that had eliminated mid-day express service. This forced me to take a very early morning Amtrak train (early enough that I was able to catch T67 southbound at Baltimore) into the city in order to get my ass out to Flushing before the hammer dropped at 10am.

Anyway I did manage to catch literally the last express run of the morning before then meeting up with Rich Greene for a little mid-day action on the G before lunch and then a complementary sunny express run on the <7> in the afternoon when the service resumed at 3pm. In the morning I just took photos out the back of the train as I didn't feel like taking reverse direction video, but in the afternoon I did complete the segments I needed for a full video tour of the 7 which I will post separately. The afternoon run also featured a run in with a douche bad T/O that tried to inform me that taking photos was illegal, but I wasn't about to interrupt my video for that and I just hold him he was wrong. He retaliated by giving me a really slow express run, but oh well, can't really do much to fight passive aggression.

Anyway you can see the full set of photos which include a full signal survey of the flushing line express track right here. You can also read on to see a well chosen sample of high def photos that I took during the trip.

We begin with an exciting catch at Baltimore Penn Station where P42 #107 leads AEM-7 #904 on the southbound Train 67. Catenary work in Boston was causing this odd dual mode mashup where the P42 would power the train through the de-energized sections and then the AEM would provide power the rest of the way.

I begin the 7 line tour at the Hunters Point portal and I was lucky enough to have a nice layer of snow coating the El structure throughout my photo excursions that day. Anyway I'll start things off with this photo of an R62 inbound at 45 Rd.

I caught the NYCTA patriotic car #1776 at 43rd St.

And an inbound express with #1811 in the lead at 50th St.

Express train lead by #1746 inbound at Junction Blvd.

R62 trainset on the layup track caught while approaching 111th St Station.

111th St tower which has control of the line east of Queensbobo Plaza.

My 7 train continuing on from Willets Point. I got off there was I didn't want to miss the last express trying to make the transfer at Flushing Main St.

Despite the presence of a trainset the express track was not being used for express trains so after some confusing I hot footed it over to the inbound local platform where I became increasingly worried that I had missed the last express run as nothing but locals came through.

But I was in luck as a train marked with the red express diamonds on the side pulled in and I assumed my place at the rear railfan window. At this point I proceeded to document as many of the signals as I could because I knew they would soon be needlessly replaced by a less efficient CBTC system. Here we look back at 111th St tower and Willets Point from the Express Track Flyover.

Sometime later we find an outbound R62 trainset at the new 74th St interlocking.

And here we are passing an inbound R62 set lead by #1680.

And two trains together at 73rd St.

Unfortunately #1680 got the jump on is at Woodside so we had to pass him again at 53rd St.

Passing over Sunnyside Yard I got this pretty good shot of Q Tower.

After my excursion on the 7 Rich Greene took me out on the Crosstown Line to show me some of the surviving interlocking towers there such as this one controlling the crossover at Nassau Ave.

And this US&S plant at Dr. Van Nostrand Ave.

We rode the G all the way to 4th ave which has the IND's only above ground, main interlocking tower.

Unfortunately the interlocking has been completely decimated in the track rebuilding project going on there. They were gearing up for the next stage of the project where the local track would be swapped over to the express track with a new temporary platform that could only accommodate the shorter G trains. Also seen in this photo is an outbound R160 F train.

After that we returned to Manhattan via an R train where we had lunch with Alex and Amanda. From there we returned to 4th Ave via the R and then proceeded on to Church Ave via the F which featured another US&S provided interlocking.

By then it was getting closed to 3pm so we decided to take the G back to its 7 connection at Court St where I could then catch an outbound express train. While waiting around at 45th Rd I saw one of the targets of Bloomburg's recent air pollution improvement initiative for heavy oil fueled boilers.

About 20 minutes of video later I arrived at Willets Point *again* where I took a picture of my express train departing for Flushing from the proper track.

Back on the 7 local I got some now properly sunny pictures of the Corona Yard lead and another outbound express train heading up the ramp.

Switching to an E train which then took me to the PATH station at 33rd St where I transferred to NJT at Newark Penn. I'll end on a photo I took of two of the surviving Amber PRR signals both displaying Approach Medium.

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