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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

12-11-21 PHOTOS: Thanksgiving Everything

For my a traditional thanksgiving not only includes Turkey and family drama, but also a trip around the Philadelphia region in Chuchubob's Elder-mobile on the day before Thanksgiving to catch the mildly expanded Amtrak and SEPTA rail services. In 2011 we had set our sights on trying to track down some Silverliner II/III cars, but with those retired we were not free to go elsewhere because if there was one thing that we knew we would not run into it was Silverliner II's.

The trip began at Burlington South RiverLINE station and proceeded up and around Trenton to West Trenton where we would get lunch and catch the SEPTA / CSX action on the Trenton Line. Next we headed south to Morrisville, PA to take pictures of NJT, SEPTA and Amtrak trains crossing the Delaware River before finishing up with a trip to the Woodbourne SEPTA station again on the Trenton Line.

You can catch the entire set of photos here which includes some additional photos of signals and such I took while driving to and from New Jersey.

We begin on the day before the day before Thanksgiving I went off to see a bargain basement Sixers game and caught this little race between a PATCO train and a northbound NJT Atlantic City Line train.

The next day I started out at Burlington South Park Ride Station where we arrived in time to catch a northbound train. The interlocking just north of the station has been modified with an extra dwarf signal on the passing track resulting in the original home signal displaying Approach Medium for the dwarf's Medium Clear.

RiverLINE DMU #3501B soon arrived and departed the station.

Here is a video of the Medium Clear signal and #3501 taking the diverging route onto the single track street running through Burlington City.

Despite some rollers hanging out nearby in the Burlington Bristol Bridge parking lot Bob and I were surprisingly not harassed.

We tried to get ahead of the train to get a picture crossing the bridge at Bordentown, but alas arrived just a few seconds too late.

Finally reaching West Trenton a train of Silverliner V's soon arrived with #858 in the rear position.

Lots of CSX freight moves in the mid-day when SEPTA dispatchers will actually give them the railroad. As soon as 858 cleared the main the westbound signal at CP-TRENT was pulled up for a straight movement and soon enough CSX ES44AC #940 and AC4400 #442 rolled through with a train of aluminum ore hoppers.

Not long after that the signal came up again to Approach indicating a following CSX movement. Well boy where we surprised when we saw a 6 car train of Silverliner II cars behind a pair of CSX geeps on their way to the scrap yard in North Jersey. The one year we stopped looking for Silverliner II's they found a way to come to us despite the notable handicap of being retired.

I went to video due to the backlighting, but thanks to an inconsiderate friend I suffered a camera malfunction. Fortunately my B camera was there to record all the action.

After lunch I emerged from the restaurant just in time to catch another CSX freight train going by while SEPTA Silverliner IV car #332 waited in West Trenton yard for the trip back to Philly.

On the way to the Morrisville Amtrak stop we swung by the Morrisville freight yard where a lineup of NS freight power was hanging out by the driveway. This included SW1001 #2103.

GP38-2 #5285

And SD60 #6566.

From there we swung by the SMS yard in the Penn Warner Industrial park where Baldwin DS4-4-750 #102 was waiting her next call to duty. #102 was built around 1950 and is still going strong.

First over the bridge was an eastbound Amtrak Keystone train with #953 in the push position. No, #953 has not been retrofitted with a diesel engine because what looks like an exhaust plume is actually the heat spilling off the dynamic brake resistor grids as the train brakes aggressively for the stop at Trenton.

NJT Arrows #1358 and 1359 crossing the bridge toward Trenton after coming out of Morrisville yard.

Westbound PRR signal bridge at MORRIS interlocking.

Amtrak #946 with a southbound Regional crossing into MORRIS interlocking.

Amtrak Aclea Express power car #2025 pushing on a northbound train.

5-car train of SL-IV's heading back toward philly with #183 on point.

Eastbound Arrow III train heading down the Morrisville yard ramp and across the bridge.

Westbound NJT push-pull set with split level car #7013 in the lead.

ALP-46 #4625 was on the front of the next Morrisville-bound train. NJT was running special extra trains today, but service was also running late so I couldn't be sure what was what based on the time.

Parking at the Woodbourne SEPTA station I took a quick trip to take photos of the single intermediate signal on the former Conrail Fairless Branch that connects the former Reading Trenton Line with the former PRR Morrisville Line. United under Conrail the lines are divided again between NS and CSX.

SEPTA Silverliner IV #108 passing through CP-WOOD en-route from West Trenton.

Hey look, its SEPTA Silverliner V #858 again, sparking it up as it heads outbound to West Trenton.

Upon driving back down south after the holiday I went out to try to catch one of the NJT Arrow III sets passing under the BWI Runway 10 Glidepath. Unfortunately something was screwed up on the NEC making not only the Arrow set late, but everything on the NEC late so in 30 minutes I only caught a single Acela Express heading southbound and a single Regional heading northbound. The southbound AX had power cars #2012 and #2024.


 The Regional was running with HHP-8 #652 as he slammed on the brakes for the BWI station stop.

Ironically the most interesting thing I saw that day was an Atlas Air DC-8 taking off. Built between 1958 and 1972 it was older than everything but the Heritage cars running on this part of the NEC.

Well that's it for this set. Next week tune in for a little ride on the Flushing Line.

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