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Friday, August 12, 2011

11-08-12 PHOTOS: San Francisco Mornings

San Francisco basically consists of two thing...Caltrain and MUNI light rail and since last week our theme was Caltrain it's time we move onto the the MUNI section of this trip. This year I was a bit too busy to go out on an official MUNI field trip on one of their more far flung lines, however I was able to get some pretty good coverage of both the Cable Car system and the Heritage F Market Trolley line.

So for those of you who like such things this set of photos is going to be packed with them instead of the normal droves of railroad signals. So I urge you to all check out the entire collection of photos here because the selection below is not going to feature all pictures of such.

We start on Powell St showing cable car #21 heading southbound through a "pop out park" installed where street parking used to be. Ironically the company that made this destruction of car habitat possible was Audi.

Trio of cable cars including #14 at the Powell St terminal.

A packed Peter Witt Milan car #1859 attempts to add on more passenger on a bright sunny August day at the Ferry Terminal station.

Melbourne car #496 passing by the Ferry Terminal station.

California Ave cable car #58 hanging out at the Market Street terminal.

Cable car #6 approaching Union Square on Powell St.

Here I caught one of the single ended cars having trouble with it grip resulting it a replacement having to be installed outside the cable carhouse. The car had previously failed out on the road and had to be towed to the carhouse for a running repair. Still, sure beats an AC traction motor and a bank of IGBT's.

Despite the city's wet weather I encountered an original Austin Mini that hadn't turned into a large pile of rust. Of course it didn't look any way near as cool as another British import I came across.

A few of the cable cars had been given a new green paint job like #13 here shown crossing the California Ave diamonds.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

11-08-09: PHOTOS: Caltran Caltrain IV

I get out to the Bay Area once a year or so on work related trips and each time I always make sure to include a ride on the Caltran Caltrain that runs between San Jose and San Francisco. Like I have said before it is easily the best commuter operation west of the Mississippi that was rebuilt in 2005 with new track, signals and a peak period express service that cuts 30 minutes off the normal trip time and completed the 50 mile journey with only 3 or 4 intermediate stops. Furthermore, the use of gallery cars provides a superb railfan view, although it is now quite frequently marred by bug splat.

Anyway this would be by 4th "survey" style photo set of the Caltrain system starting out from the Milbrae Station, which connects with the San Francisco International Airport, heading to San Jose then taking the train all the way back to San Francisco. Since I had already completed my standard def video compilation of the line I opted for only a few short clips on the return trip which is generally too backlit for standard photography at 4:30 in the afternoon.

New this year was an extended wait at the Millbrae station because BART eliminated the direct SFO to Millbrae connection during the day instead forcing people to connect with a Red Line train at San Bruno that in turn caused me to miss the hourly headway southbound Caltrain by 2 or 3 minutes. Yup, it seems like even out west public transit agencies can't seem to co-ordinate their schedules.

Anyway, you can view the entire set of photos here. What differentiates this set from those that came before is that I FINALLY got sunny weather for the initial southbound trip.

We begin at San Francisco International Airport where I get to sit around while a poorly scheduled BART service is screwing me out of my Caltrain connection. Here we see a 'C' car #430 sitting at the outbound end of the stub terminal.

After getting off BART, which is practically useless to railfan we see the still newish Millbrae intermodal transportation center, which was constructed in conjunction with the Caltrain rebuild and BART extension to the airport. 

The granite benches were pretty cool with various images of rail transportation etched into them.

While burning through my small-large lateness penalty I managed to photograph Rohr 'A' car #1263, which are rather uncommon outside of peak periods. The streamlined nosecone of the 'A' cars are a BART trademark which have been increasingly marginalized since the delivery of the flat cabbed 'C' cars, that are preferred due to their ability to be used in the middle of a consist. This car was originally numbered 263, but had a 1 added when it was rebuilt with AC traction in the 1990s.

Being extremely bored I wandered over to the old Southern Pacific train station which is now a local transportation museum. 

On display was some old signaling equipment and some locomotive know...for kids.

After about 40 minutes a "Baby Bullet" trainset finally showed up with Bombardier split-level #115 leading and MP36PH-3C #923 providing power on the rear.

Here is a photo of #923.

Finally after nearly an hour a southsound set of Gallery cars arrived with F40PH-2CAT #904 providing power.

Once on the road my train encountered #919 pushing another local northbound south of San Carlos.

Finally got a nice sunny picture of the truss bridge at Palo Alto.

Here we see some VTA LRV's at the Mountain View Station.

Another Baby Bullet trainset with #924 at Sunnyvale.