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Friday, July 6, 2012

12-07-06 VIDEOS: An R32 Day on the A

Due to still photography not working very well in a vehicle moving through darkly lit tunnels I once again turned to video recording to get more than a joy ride out of my Summer R32 trip to NYC. Even better I was now equipped with a 720p HD video capable camera so I would now have the joy of re-shooting all of standard def video I took previously. However because my camera is also fitted with a pair of 16GB SD cards I didn't have to worry so much about being stingy with what I shot...or at least that is what I assumed.

My trip comprised a complete round trip on the A between 207th St and Mott Ave in the Rockaways, although not in that order as I had a midday break in midtown for lunch, and I shot video along the majority of the route in both directions. In chronological order I went from Penn Station to 207th St, then down to Canal, then back up to Times Square in the morning and then in the afternoon I went from Hoyt to Nostrand, waited several headways for a clean railfan window, then continued on to Mott Ave, then back all the way to Penn Station again.

As a lesson to all of you who might assume there is no need to film or video something just 4 months after I took this journey, the entire line out to the Rockaways was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and my HD videos posted to YouTube will be one of the few historical records of the line as it used to be. After the storm I saw a huge spike in traffic to that video as various people were nostalgic about another vanished transportation link.

Anyway, for the purposes of simplicity I am going to present my videos in the form of a round trip starting outbound at Nostrand Ave, heading out and back to the Rockaways, then north to 207th St before returning south to end at Canal St. Remember these videos are available in HD so please check that option for the best viewing experience.

Here begin at the Nostrand Ave Station, named indirectly for the famous Dr Van Nostrand at the Hoffermyer Clinic in Belgium and continue east along the Fulton Line all the way to the 80th St station on the Liberty Ave El.

In our second video we will run all the way from Liberty Junction at Rockaway Boulevard to Beach 67th St on the Rockaways. The segment between Horward Beach and Hammels Wye, along with much of the Rockaways themselves, were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Here we are headed back in the other direction from Beach 67th to Broad Channel.

Same line, Howard Beach to Rockaway Boulevard.

Back underground with the westbound Fulton Line starting at Grant Ave and proceeding all the way to Fulton Ave.

Here we switch over to the 8th Ave Line and run it all the way from Fulton Ave to 207th St.

We finish up with a southbound dash on the A from 207th St all the way to Canal. The reason I left in the gap between Canal and Nostrand Ave in this direction was due to some time and logistical concerns combined with the fact I can video that segment any time I went when the R32's are on the C.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the movies and I'm a bit surprised that railfans who actually live in NYC haven't really bothered to take advantage of the dwindling RFW opportunities for video purposes themselves.

12-07-06 PHOTOS: An R32 Day on the A

One of the many highlights of Summer, right up there with baseball and trips to the shore is the now annual appearance of R32's on the A. No longer confined to dismal local runs under the ground, the A assignment allows the venerable Budd cars to stretch their legs on long express runs and even see the light of day as they emerge from the tunnel and head out to points in Queens and the Rockaways.

Over the July 4th Holiday period I headed up to New York City to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and shoot some HD video from the large and surprisingly clean railfan windows. Most of the video segments will be put into a follow up post, but here is a compilation of still photographs I took during the outing, the complete set of which can be found here.

We begin in Trenton where Amtrak train #79 or 89 has arrived with an extra heritage baggage car on the head end. The pair includes #1708 in a Phase IV scheme and 1763 in the current scheme,

Here we see R32 #3442 on the rear of a southbound train at Penn Station with an R160 E train passing by on the local track.

Cab of R32 #3427 at 207th St.

R32's #3607 and #3841 laying over at 207th St.

An R32 at Canal street facing a Clear signal after having waited for the E-Train connection across the platform.