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Saturday, September 22, 2012

12-09-22 PHOTOS: Baltimore Area Wrap Up

Over the last year or so CSX has been engaged in some fairly heavy re-signaling efforts in the Washington DC area due to stimulus dollars being needed to be spent somewhere and the state of Maryland eager to buy the for-profit freight railroad a new signaling system since the last one they bought for CSX in the early 1990s was now slightly less than brand new. Anyway, this has kept me busy documenting the classic Baltimore and Ohio railroad color position light signals and generated several sets of photos that almost nobody here would be interested in at all. However, every so often when I am out on my missions an actual train will trundle by and I will of course take a picture of it as well. Multiply this by many missions and now I have enough photos banked up to actually make them into a full set.

No sense beating around the bush so let's begin this week's installment on the Baltimore Belt Line with CSX SD70MAC #4769 passing the eastbound CPL mast signal at CLIFTON PARK interlocking. This and the following couple of photos will be the last new content generated by my old Olympus 510UZ camera and were taken last November.

Behind it was a Helm leasing SD40-2 #7169. The train had been creeping up on a restricting indication, but it had upgraded to Approach just before passing the signal.

CSX #5292 popping out of the Charles St tunnel on the Baltimore Belt Line.

It was followed by SD40-2 #8804 pushing out a lot of smoke.

Chuchubob can have his BNSF units at Pavonia because when was the last time a Flordia East Coast unit showed up in New Hersey? #502 here is a GP38-2.

CSX SD50 #8581 entering the Charles St Tunnel.

CSX SD40-2 #8437 emerging from the same.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

12-09-15 PHOTOS: HARRIS Tower Trips

Well if traveling to South Norwalk is a bit too far for you there is another preserved interlocking tower museum in Harrisburg, PA operated by the Harrisburg chapter NRHS. The former Pennsylvania Railroad HARRIS tower was built in 1930 and turned over to the NRHS chapter in 1992 after Amtrak closed it in a plant rationalization project. Unlike South Norwalk its 115 lever US&S Model 14 interlocking machine is completely operational and able to allow visitors to run a simulated 1943 schedule. Now I could go on and on about the history of HARRIS tower and how Model 14 machines function and operate, but I am going to save that for another time so I can instead focus on all the other cool railroad stuff I encountered in two trips I took to the museum this fall, one by Amtrak, the other by car.

HARRIS tower is a short 5 minute walk from the Amtrak Harrisburg passenger station and can also easily be reached from Philly in about 2 hours or Baltimore in 1 hour. It used to control the west end of the Harrisburg station complex where PRR GG1's were swapped for steam power. Today most Amtrak trains terminate at Harrisburg and only use the STATE interlocking at the east end of the station. Freight traffic comes in the form of the Norfolk Southern Harrisburg line which makes a big left turn to head down the former Reading railroad route instead of take the former PRR Main Line. While traffic on the NS line is intense, with upwards of 50 trains per day, Amtrak traffic passing the tower consists of only the single Pennsylvanian round trip and Keystone tainset relay moves.

You can see all the photos from both trips right here with the Amtrak trip first and then the road trip photos coming after. As part of the Amtrak trip Chuchubob and I stopped off at the Middletown and Hummlestown yard in Middletown to get an extra trip leg for more AGR points and to also kill turn until HARRIS tower opened at 10am. The tower museum is open most Saturdays from May through October from 10 until 3.

Here we see Amtrak Metroliner cab car #9645 departing the Middletown station in the trailing position.

The M&H still has its collection of SEPTA PCC cars like #2095 seen here.

#2095 sitting next to GE 44-ton #2 which is about to depart with the first excursion train of the morning hauling former DL&W commuter MU coaches.

Alco S-6 #151 painted in a Western Maryland scheme. 

Upon reaching Harrisburg I caught AEM-7 #923 hanging out across the platform from #952.

Space cab car #9649 hung out on the stub track while signals were displayed for #952 through STATE interlocking for the next schedule keystone departure.

PRR GG-1 #4859 on display at Harrisburg station.

Amtrak P32-8WH #512 is the substitute power on this day's eastbound Pennsylvanian due to a general shortage of P42's which was in turn due to an overhaul programme.