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Saturday, November 2, 2013

13-11-02 PHOTOS: Amtrak Fall Foliage Express

In 2013 Amtrak added something new to its fall foliage excursion offerings, which had previously consisted of attaching its remaining great dome car to various trains such as the Adirondack and Cardinal. Marshaling spare cars from across its system, Amtrak assembled an 18 or so car special excursion train to run a rare milage trip starting at Philadelphia's 30th St Station, running down the NEC, up the Port Road, around Enola Yard, over the Rockville Bridge, back down the Royalton Branch and across the Columbia Secondary before finally returning to Philadelphia via the Harrisburg Line.

While the trip was great and offered some excellent scenery, it was somewhat marred because the actual photography options were a bit limited thanks to being stuck inside an Amfleet car with tinted windows (I was in one of the Amfleets instead of the Horizon cars which made up the bulk of the train and I think offered clearer windows).

I won't try to bore you too much with a lot of nasty side window shots with all the reflection and color balance issues, but if you want to see the full set you can find them right here.

It was clear that the best photo opportunities were afforded those persons who chose to chase the train instead of ride the train so I wound up with more photos of railfans than railcars. Here we see a group at the point of the wye in Perryville, MD as he turn off onto the Port Road.

Now on the Port Road we soon passed under the former B&O Philly Sub bridge over the Susquehanna River.

Crossing the Octararo Creek on the Port Road south of the Conowingo Dam.

Flock of about 15-20 vultures (or Eagles?) perched in trees along the Susquehanna River. 

New and old powerhouses at the Holtwood Dam.

Approaching the new signals at CP-WEST HARBOR under the A&S Viaduct that I visited last week via bicycle.

Mann's Run Shoo Fly (flume) that I had also visited a few weeks prior from the other side.

Railfans at the Walnut St crossing and Route 30 bridge in Columbia, PA.

Looking north up the Susquehanna River towards Three Mile Island at the Shocks Mill Bridge.

Site of the old PRR Electrification substation at Enola Yard.

NS SD40-2 #3353 and GP38-2 #5004 sitting at Enola Yard framed by the old school PRR catenary supports.

C40-9W #9730 and C40-10W #7668 at the Enola Yard engine terminal.

Former Southern RR high hood GP38-2 #5070 at Enola Yard.

North view from the Rockville Bridge.

HARRIS tower from the opposite perspective.

Pennsylvania Dutch country barn as seen from the Royalton Branch.

Side window video on the Royalton Branch while the NS dispatcher gives us our Form D for the Columbia Branch.

Another side window video passing through CP-COLA with railfans lining the route.

Mobs of railfans hanging out on the Columbia Branch which hasn't seen a passenger train in who knows how long.

View inside one of the brightly lit Horizon Cars which do have slightly larger windows which I believe were not tinted.

Almost home, ZOO tower with the NY-Pittsburgh subway in the foreground.

That's pretty much it. Great ride, sucks for photos. If the route doesn't change next year I'll probably opt to chase.

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