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Saturday, February 28, 2015

15-02-28 PHOTOS: Shore Line Snow

Back in February I took an early morning Amtrak train up to Boston for an event. Normally I would have been tempted to take the overnight train 66, however it is about 2 hours slower than other Regional trains, is full of loud party-goers all the way to NYC and finally i find it nearly impossible to fall asleep on until departure from NYC since I normally stay up late. Combined with surprisingly heavy travel that might make getting a seat pair impossible I have developed a real loathing for T66.

This time instead of catching T66 at ~10pm and suffering through until 3am, I just stayed up until 4am and caught the next day's Train 190. This was a far better strategy. I instantly fell asleep upon boarding and didn't really wake up until well past New Haven. Unfortunately the timing of the train and the nature of the event somewhat limited the photos I could take, but I figured I should post them anyway.

First up are a pair of P&W GP30-2's #2006 and 2009 working the Providence Yard.

In case you hadn't heard, Boston received a record amount of snow this year so it's good that the point heaters were doing their job. Here Train 190 passes through PAWTUCKET interlocking.

New Haven RR interlocking towers SS 154 "Lawn" and SS156 "Boston Switch".

Three track RoW south of Attleboro on the 150mph section.

Four tracks at Attleboro.

Passing SS165 Attleboro tower.

Meeting an outbound MBTA commuter train at HOLDEN interlocking.

Of course thanks to my GoPro I was also able to shoot video at the same time. Unfortunately the blowing snow began to cloud the rear window forcing me to cut the video early.

Side window shot of AEM-7 #941 departing from South Station.

On an unrelated trip a few days later I was back in South Jersey catching PATCO. Here is Budd built married pair with #234 arriving at Haddonfield.

A low rumble in the distance heralded an outbound Atlantic City train with Comet V cab car #6063 in the lead.

Video of the same as it passes through the Haddonfield Trench with GP40PH-2B #4215.

I'll finish up with this photo of SEPTA SL-IV #442 at 30th St Station.

Next week I'll be featuring a set of guest photos from 2013 so stay tuned!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

15-02-14 PHOTOS: Searchlight Valentine

Every February I take a trip to upstate New York to the Capitol Region and the Adirondacks for some skiing and other activities. One can typically expect snow and sold weather, but this year both were taken to extremes. In fact with a projected high of just 2 degrees at Gore Mountain, my friend and I called an audible and went to West Mountain a day earlier where the highs would be in the 30's. This left us with a free day available for a road trip and we decided to head up to Lake Placid and the Saranac Winter Carnival.

Aside from a tourist railroad there wasn't much in the way of railfanning in that area, however there was a different sour of fixed guideway that supported vehicle speeds that most American rapid transit systems only see on their best day. I'm taking about the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sliding Center, which although wasn't in operation did allow myself to wander about for some photos. I also got a good number of Boston and Maine Main Line infrastructure photos the following day so don't just click "back".

You can view the full set of photos and experience some Valentines Day in July here.

We kick off with this photo at the State Senator Joe Bruno Albany - Rensselaer Amtrak Station looking south into CP-142. I had planned to take photos from the rear of the train, but the amount of snow on the tracks kicked up a large white cloud behind the train and covered the rear window in ice.

Like most classic railroads and transit systems, the Lake Placid sliding run started out great, but has been cut back and slowed down over the years. The original course was a 1.5 mile run, but it was cut back to 1 mile after the 1932 Olympics to 1 mile and then completely replaced with a more "modern" (aka slower) run in the late 1990's. The upper portion of the track is now completely overgrown and are only visible when there isn't snow on the ground. The 1980 track is still there, but completely unused and around that the modern track was built. You can orient yourself with this diagram of the modified 1932 track used in 1980.

Here is the administrative building for the complex built for the original track.

The finish line and runout for the 1980/1932 track.

Banked curve of the modern track which is refrigerated and can be used for sliding year round.

Most of the track has been covered by a white tarp to eliminate sun glare and eliminate problems with uneven freezing.

Timing house at the finish line of the modern track with the runout. One of the methods used to slow down the new track is to make the last few hundred yards on an uphill.

Ice castle built for the Saranac Winter Carnival.

VW Bus built out of ice.

Olympic cauldron and Whiteface Mountain.

In this year's searchlight tour I stopped off at CPF-466 on the former B&M Main Line to the large D&H yard at Mechaniscville. Here the eastbound mast signal is displaying an Approach signal.

The old B&M main between Mechanicsville and Ayer has been turned into a joint venture between NS and the Guilford Rail System resulting in a sizable number of NS power freight trains now appearing on the line. This train was parked on the siding with a pair of C44-9Ws, #8927 and #8945, on the front.