Search This Blog

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. 

Boston and Main bridge across a frozen Hudson River with a parked NS freight train.

Unfortunately the classic B&M searchlights at Eagle Bridge Junction have been replaced by a budget set of Darth Vader signals on a bracket.

Boston and Maine Eagle Bridge Jct station piled high with snow.

Maine Central GP40-2LW #501 in the snow at Hoosick Jct.

Hanging out with it #501 was MEC GP40 #349.

Former B&M searchlight intermediate signal 162 at MP 443 displaying Approach in the snow. The reason for the disagreement in numbering stems from when the Guilford Rail System controlled the D&H and created a unified main line from Brunswick Maine to Binghampton, NY. The GRS is one of the few railroads that continues to use offset heads for automatic signals.

The eastbound signal sports a (G) plate which converts a Rule 291 Stop and Proceed indication into a Rule 290 Restricting.

Intermediate signal 160 with an HBD-DED-HCD defect detector at Hoosick, NY.

Former B&M station at Hoosick, NY.

We'll wrap things up with a GoPro video taken from the rear of my southbound Amtrak Regional train as it travels from Metropark to just south of County interlocking where the blowing snow made the footage rather marginal. Shot at 1080p.

Next week we travel both up the corridor and back in time to Boston.

No comments:

Post a Comment