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Sunday, April 21, 2013

13-04-21 PHOTOS: Boston Redeye

So now to finally finish my story of trying to get to Boston after a kerfluffle with a terrorist dying in a boat cancelled my existing travel arrangements via Amtrak Train 95 on Friday evening. I had been intent on just cancelling my trip and was in the process of returning to Philadelphia when received word that the trains were running again. Taking action I got off my RiverLINE train in Robeling, NJ and after booking a ticket on my usually blacklisted Train 66 I headed back to Trenton and then New York.

Train 66 arrives at 2am as you saw before I went down to the South Ferry station to grab some photos of the new old station and its gap fillers. Upon returning to Penn Station and grabbing a bite to eat I went to kill 3 hours in the Amtrak waiting room when I noticed that Train 66 was now listed as "Delayed" on the big board. A trip to Amtrak customer service with the question "is Train 66 running" yielded the response "technically yes, but it was hit by a tornado and is stuck south of Washington, DC.

Well now I was pretty much screwed seeing as there was no way to abort my trip aside from taking Train 67 back down south which involved the same wait, but a disappointing outcome. It was only on another trip back to Amtrak customer service when I heard another traveler being told that the buses were running again and if I was to walk up to the PABT I could catch a 3am departure.

Well desperate times call for desperate measures so so all I had to do was walk the 8 blocks from Penn Station to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. If being forced to ride a Stinkbuggy wasn't bad enough it had started to rain and I must have looked at someone the wrong way because the next thing I knew I was running for my life! I managed to get away, but that's when the CHUDs came after me.

I eventually managed to purchase a ticket on the 2AM departure, which was the first bust departure north since the lockdown. There was a rather long line, but they had enough buses lined to to take everybody and I got on a 1/3 filled brand new 2013 bus that had not yet been thoroughly stinkafied. Departing about 30 minutes late I managed to fall asleep somewhere on the Thurway and woke up as we were pulling into South Station right on time. You know I'm committed to trains, but the Bus service can be reasonably nice so Amtrak had better not slack off in terms of service.

Anyway, in Boston I was scheduled to catch the first northbound Downeaster departing at 8:50, which was still several hours away. To kill the time I hopped an Orange Line train to Oak Grove and later took some pictures at South Station. A few days later I reversed the process and headed home from Exeter.

Anyway enough narritive as I assume you all want some photos. Again you can find the full set here, just scroll down a little.

First off is a video of my Rutgers wrapped RiverLINE train as it heads south from Robeling without me. Thanks to the POP system I didn't have to get a second fare to abort my trip.

In Trenton I got video of HHP-8 #663 arriving with a southbound Regional. The Limited Clear signal at the end of the eastbound platform was for an approaching Keystone. The southbound Regional is greeted by a Medium Approach indication at the end of the westbound platform

And a northbound Keystone departing past the Limited Clear signal at the end of the eastbound platform with AEM-7 #950.

NJT Arrow III set parked on track #4 at Trenton. #1327 has had its original United Knitting Machine twin arm pan replaced by an off-brand Schunk type.

Here is a brand new 2013 Van Hool....HA, just kidding. Of course I didn't take any pictures of the Bus or PA Bus Terminal. Instead here is an interior view of 1200 series Boston Orange Line car #1230. It's a shame we're going to loose that fine wood paneling when the cars are retired. They just don't make things like they used to any more. :-(

#1230 facing the Stop signal at Oak Grove.

#1220 preparing to head back south at Oak Grove.

MTBA F40PH #1001 seen hanging out at North Station. #1001 was part of one of the first F40PH orders by a commuter railroad back in 1978. #1031 in the background might look the same, but is actually an F40PHM-2C built by Morrison Knudsen in 1992.

Amtrak P42DC #72 at the head of the early morning Downeaster. Due to trackwork I would be treated to a rare millage trip over the Reading line instead of the more usual Lowell Line via the Anderson RTC.

Two routes had been cleared out of North Station through the former Tower A interlocking plant.

My Downeaster set that day was also sporting a rare twin P42 configuration with #204 on the rear shown here as the train departs Exeter.

The original Exeter Boston and Maine station is now some sort of diner/convenience store.  The Amtrak Quik Track machine is actually inside, which is rather appropriate.

The new Exeter station lacks the same dedicated waiting room and facilities that Dover and Durham have. 

The Memorial Bridge in downtown Portsmouth, NH has been out of service for over a year now as a replacement span is built to replace the 1920's vintage original. The bridge is a memorial to those that died in The Great War.

Click for Wide Format.

The closure of a downtown bridge would normally be pretty disruptive, but fortunately Portsmouth has a second bridge available to it which carries US 1 over the bay. That is until the Sarah Long Bridge itself was hit by a barge forcing its closure. Fortunately the I-95 bridge provided a THIRD alternative...

The Sarah Long bride is actual a dual use road and rail bridge with a rail line under the highway deck. The rail line is used infrequently for trains to and from the Portsmouth Navy Yard carrying reactor components and spent fuel for nuclear submarines. To eliminate the need to raise and lower the bridge frequently a special sliding span is also provided on the rail portion of the bridge to raise clearance for small boats.

A couple of cranes at the Portsmouth Navy Yard.

Medium endurance cutter USCGC Tahoma (WMEC-908) may not look like it is anything rail related, but you would be wrong. It is powered by a pair of 4000-5000hp V-18 Alco 251 diesel engines. Go Alco! 

 The original MTBA F40PH #1000 seen on the platform at Boston North Station. It has been named in honor of Henry D. Hersey aka "Mr Commuter Rail"

P42DC #48 had been powering my Downeaster train that morning.

Two more F40PHs were waiting at North Station as well. #1008 and #1011. 

Sorry for the long post, but I just managed to catch a well above average number of interesting things on this trip. Next time I head BACK to NYC for a multi-modal trip to JFK airport and back.

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