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Saturday, October 5, 2013

13-10-05 PHOTOS: Going to Church Ave

Back in October I got word that the spendthrifts at the NYCTA were replacing more of their reliable 1930's technology with modern junk so I jumped on a train and headed up to the Windy Apple in order to take a few photos of the old US&S interlocking plant at Church Ave. Now normally there isn't much to see with NYCTA interlocking towers because the windows are either papered over or they are located in the bowels of the tunnels, however Church Ave was interesting because the 1933 vintage 28-lever Model 14 interlocking machine had a CCTV feed piped into the dispatchers office so save on having to install a mimic board. This was photographable and I desperately wanted both photos and video of this rather crazy anachronism.

You can find all the photos here.

The MTA aren't the only ones throwing out perfectly good signaling. On my way up I stopped by the Ankin siding on the CSX Philly Sub where I caught the eastbound B&O CPL signal displaying a Clear indication at the east end of the siding. This interlocking was previously re-done only about 12 years ago, but I guess railroad money grows on trees.

I then proceeded to the west end of the siding and while that signal was also displaying Clear there was still no sign of the train it was for.

Onto the New York. We begin with a walk around the Chambers Street Station while waiting for an R32. There always seems to be a train arriving or departing the downtown Chambers St complex. In this walk down the platform An R32 C Train and R46 A-Train both depart before the arrival of another R46 A-Train.

Changing trains at West 4th Street I got video of a southbound departing R32 C-Train with #3515 on the front.

Yup, more videos. This time of R46 #5714 departing Church Ave at the head of an F Train en route to Coney Island.

MoW and C&S crews were occupying the inbound local track and I caught this GRS Model 2 switch machine on a pallet waiting to be installed. This surprised me as I figured the NYCTA had become a US&S M3 house and also I didn't think this model of point machines were still made.

Powering the first set of work cars was diesel R47 #65.

Acting as a cab car on the second work train was former R33 rider car #RD420 where workers can relax ;-) after a long day on the job.

AAR coupling between RD420 and the ballast hopper car.

Powering the second train was another R47 #63.

Alright, here is what I came to see, the Model 14 CCTV feed in the dispatch office.

Samsung meet US&S. I find this whole setup to be wildly ironic given the amount of processing power being used to replicate the model board vs the amount of processing power in the 1933 vintage interlocking machine itself. 

Yeah, I have video too complete with arriving F160 trains.

Because the local track was out of service G trains were running express between Church Ave and Smith 9th St. This is extra special because the express track runs under a separate alignment under prospect park and is not generally used by revenue trains.

Despite the railfan unfriendly front window I managed to get a somewhat passable video of the trip from Church Ave to Smith 9th.

Waiting to meet up with Subchatter Rich Green I took a few headways at Smith 9th. Here is the rear end of an inbound F160 at Smith 9th.

A Forgotten New York Favorite...the Kentile Floors sign.

Inbound G46 train that would take me to Hoyt where I could then transfer to an A/C back to Chambers.

The new 1 WTC at the WTC. Great start, now all they need is a second one.

Time to finish things off with an NJT ALP-46 #4610 at Hamilton.

I don't know what's next week. Either some rubbish on the PRR Atglen and Susquehanna low grade line or a classic set covering a trip I took to Oyster Bay in 2003.

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