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Friday, April 19, 2013

13-04-19 PHOTOS: Put it In H!

On April 19th I had an ambitious plan to Amtrak into New York City, take the LIRR out to Hicksville for some photos, swoop down and ride the H train and then catch an M-2 set on Metro North for a trip to New Haven before continuing on to Boston. Well due to a wannabe terrorist bleeding to death in a boat the Boston and New Haven part of the trip was thrown into a cocked hat, but those segments that began with H seemed to work out so this week's first set of photos is hereby brought to you by the letter H in the form of Hicksville, Howard Beach and the H Train.

You can find all these photos here and don't worry I'll cover the Boston stuff shortly.

We begin in Baltimore Penn Station where the southbound Train 67 was hanging out with a poor man's dual mode consisting of AEM-7 #927 and P42DC #104. Amtrak does this when there is overnight work on the shore line that requires the overhead catenary to be de-energized. Here we see Train 67 depart toward Washington as northbound Regional train 180 arrives with AEM-7 #926

And a photo of the pair before departure.

Fast forward to the LIRR's Jamaica terminal where we fine M-3 #9801 sitting in the yard there framed by the A09 automatic signals.

After arriving at Hicksville around 10am I caught a westbound train of M-7's lead by 7031 passing through DIVIDE interlocking.

The Port Jefferson shuttle was powered by DM-30 #521 and departed after the westbound M-7 train platformed.

 Here is a video of the PJ shuttle taking the Medium Clear signal at DIVIDE.

M-7 #7405 with another westbound train this time on track #2.

7405 et al departing Hicksville and taking the Clear signal on the PRR position light mast at the west end of DIVIDE.

The DIVIDE 3-2W signal displaying Restricting after the M-7 train's departure. The LIRR continues to use the pre-1956 PRR set of signal rules which do not include the Medium Approach indication. Prior to Medium Approach ( --- over */* ) train diverging to stop would get Approach Medium and then diverge over Approach. This leaves many LIRR position lights without a slow speed route option as they are lacking the / position on the lower head.

M-7 #7284 arriving eastbound on track #3 at Hicksville. 

Eastbound deadhead passing through DIVIDE interlocking.

Double slip switches at DIVIDE.  This is a rare occurrence of main line double slip switches in North America.

Westbound LIRR train arriving on track #2 with M-7 #7387.

LIRR M-7 #7570 departing Hicksville on the rear of a westbound train.

Main Line train with M-7 #7133 departing eastbound on track #3.

LIRR M-7 #7133 passing DIVIDE tower. LIRR DIVIDE tower which has CTC control over much of the Main Line and Port Jefferson Branches. Was built when the junction and station were elevated as part of an area interlocking scheme and was converted to computerized CTC in the 1980's or 90's.

New York and Atlantic GP38-2 #261 pulling into the track #1 pocket with the daily local freight job and waits for the 11:11am westbound train to arrive.  These Geeps used to provide passenger power on the LIRR diesel branches until the purchase of the DE and DM locomotives.  They were completely unmodified, HEP being provided by generator cars.

NYA GP38-2 #268 in the #2 slot.

LIRR M-7 #7225 passing over the DIVIDE doubleslip switches.

Video of #7225 arriving adjacent to NYA 261 and 268.

LIRR M-3 #9847 passing through HALL interlocking to points east.

A train of R46's on the A doing the Sandy Shuffle at Howard beach.

Video of same.

A-trains at Howard Beach waiting for their next departure time.

Repair crews and a relaying R46 A-trainset.

From Howard Beach I caught the A-train shuttle to Far Rockaway which took a huge amount of time despite using the Rockaway Blvd shortcut. I was spending the entire trip on hold with Amtrak trying to find some way to get close to Boston (trains had been turning at Providence earlier) and had I been still able to head north the excessive delay on the A-shuttle would have probably caused me to miss the MNRR M-2 trainset I was shooting for. Anyway I arrived with Pigs at the Mott Ave station just in time to catch a westbound H-train from which I could see the devastation caused by the storm. I was later informed that the Rockaways always look like that. Despite the fog I got one reasonable photo of the train at Beach 90th St.

Poor Beach 105th St...the service outage is going to really hit its already meager ridership :-(

Sandy damage or general neglect...who can tell?

Headlights emerging from the fog on the Rockaway Freeway under the Beach 105th St station.

At Beach 108th St I boarded the 2$ express ferry back to Wall Street with the general intention of aborting my trip since Boston appeared to be still under the grip of irrational fear and panic. My plan was to catch NJT to Philly and Amtrak back to Baltimore from there. Next time we'll see how that all worked out.

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