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Thursday, April 14, 2011

11-04-14 PHOTOS: Springilanious

So last spring I was going on some trips, they were just with other non-railfan friends and therefore most of the photos taken were sort of ancillary to the real tasks at hand. I grouped these small batches of miscellaneous photos into a single set for your viewing convenience. Most involves a series of trips taken between Philly, Baltimore and Washington, DC.

We begin with a photo of your stimulus funds at work in the form of a brand new 25hz transmission line stretching between the former PRR substation in Landover, MD to the BRAND NEW substation located in the Ivy City yard (suck on it Will D). This new substation is a much needed supplement for the old arrangement wherein 12Kv power was sent via feeders from Landover about 10 miles to a switching substation at Union Station adjacent to the old express building. This left the entire DC terminal not only under powered, but also subjected to power disruptions.

Back in the PRR era power for Union Station was actually provided by the Capitol South substation which was fed by transmission lines along the Potomac Yard freight yard (later Conrail Landover Line). When freight operations ended Amtrak turned down ownership and support of Capitol South and made do with the Landover feeder arrangement. In the photo below you can actually see the two Landover feeders on the small catenary pole, one on the crossarm and another near the top of the I-beam post. At the time this photo was taken the new transmission lines were still not yet in service.

Switching to the DC Metro we see 2000-series car #2012 hanging out at NCR.

On another day we find nearly new 6000 car #6160 at Greenbelt.

A few moments later a DC bound MARC Camden Line train shows up for a station stop at Greenbelt Station with single level cab car #7745 in the lead.

Providing power was brand new MP36PH-3C #32.

Pulling out of Greenbelt my Metro train has a little race with the MARC train. Of course we quickly got the upper hand, but don't click the video off as when my train flies over the Camden Line the southbound mark train meets a northbound with a GP40-2WH/MP36PH-3C lashup.

Last spring wire work over night on the Shore Line was forcing Amtrak to temporarily utilize an innovative form of reliable dual mode locomotive which was constructed by coupling a P42DC diesel with an AEM-7 electric, a strategy NJT might want to pay attention to. Here we see P42 #109 coupled to AEM-7 #941.

Heritage baggage unit #1241 on the head end of Train 67. The two overnight trains 66 and 67 were the only Amtrak trains that got this special treatment.

  Amtrak #109 and the wet Baltimore platform.

In this busy video we see northbound Amtrak Train 180 arrive with #918 on the point just as Train 67 departs southbound with #109 and #941.

A few weeks later I returned to find P42 #104 providing the diesel pull with #939 attached for the electric.

Here we see #104 waiting to depart from track #7.

MARC K-car #7754 looked on from 5 track, laid up for the weekend.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

11-04-02 PHOTOS: Philly Sights

Spring is usually quiet for me rail photography wise due to the rain and mud so here is the first of a pair of "short subject" sets that were taken in March and April of 2011. Here I was taking a quick trip to Philly with a friend from Arizona to show her around and along the way I managed to get in a few rail and semi-rail related photographs.

I began at 30th St Station where I caught a Regional Rail train downtown into Suburban so show my friend around the City Hall area. 

Just like Silverliner II #269, evidence of the old Pennsylvania Railroad is still littered about such as this example at the 16th St entrance to Suburban Station.

And of course the main entrance to Suburban Station.

Across the street the new Kabletown Comcast USB Stick rises from the PRR overbuild. 

And the newly sand-blasted City Hall clock tower rises in the opposite direction. For those of you who don't know this is the second tallest stone masonry building in the world.

While for decades a gentleman's agreement kept City Hall as the tallest structure in the city, #2 on that last is the now Nationally Registered Historic Place PSFS Building, which was one of the first modern style skyscrapers built in the United States, opening in 1932, with such innovations as air conditioning. Because the building is now a hotel that means one can simply walk in and take an elevator to the former PSFS board room, which is now used for event hosting. Here we can see a more even view of the city skyline including Liberty Place 1 and 2 as well as the Comcast USB stick.

Here we can see the statue of Billy Penn and the Concast Stick in the background. Hopefully the rise of the Comcast tower won't result in another 25 year sports curse.

Another unique feature of City Hall is that it is covered in hundreds of sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder (no, the other Calder). There are so many pieces of art that some consider the entire building to be one large public sculpture.

Moving on to Penn's Landing we find the oldest steel warship still afloat, USS Olympia (C-6), moored next to WW2 era, GUPPY converted submarine USS Becuna (SS-319). The museum that owns and operates the two ships is currently having major funding problems and cannot afford to conduct repairs on the Olympia and has been saying that the ship may need to be scrapped or sunk if such funds cannot be sourced.

Driving along the trolley line on Delaware Ave was an Magnette ZB.

I was back on rail transportation with a quick ride on the MFL out and back to Frankford Jct to kill some time. Here my return train pulls out of and crosses over at Frankford Terminal.

Here is a picture of M-4 car #1136 at Berks.

And another railfan window ride from Spring Garden to 2nd Ave. This is the part that runs down the middle of I-95 before diving into the Market Street tunnel.

Well that's it for this little set. Stay tuned for another set covering various random photos taken in the spring.