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Thursday, May 7, 2015

15-05-07 VIDEOS: Train 79 GoPro

So last week I threw up my videos from a vestibule ride taken on Train 79 between Alexandria and Selma. However thanks to my capitol upgrade I am now able to offer both stills and video taken at the same time. With a suction cup mount and sufficient batteries I can stick up my GoPro on the rear window and let it record as I shoot away with my regular camera or just sit in my seat using Amtrak's WiFi. On this run I was able to capture the entire RF&P Sub and about half of the A-Line between Richmond and Selma. I would have taken more, but GoPro cameras eat battery power like candy and despite having a total of 5 batteries they were pretty much drained by the time we turned onto NS.

We start off at Alexandria, VA, departing southbound as Train 20, the Crescent, performs its station work on the opposite track. Unfortunately I had another issue with a corrupted video file transfer and then a later file transfer that resulted in the loss of the original file so most of this video between Alexandria and Qhantico lacks audio. Look for the work on the new third track as the train approaches Quantico.

Continuing on from Quantico to Fredericksburg, the third track work continues down to about the location of ARKENDALE interlocking.

Between Fredericksburg and Doswell, VA we pass by additional third track work and the site of the new VRE Spotsylvania Station. Eventually we are forced to stop and wait at NORTH DOSWELL for northbound traffic as one track is blocked for MoW work. By this point I was making a better effort to get the radio chatter on the video.

Once we had the railroad again Train 79 crossed over the Doswell diamond and proceeded towards Richmond via the street running in Ashland, VA (where Train 79 does not stop).

If you read my trip report you'll remember that I mentioned how between Richmound and Petersburg I was all excited to have caught the Strates carnival train, but later discovered I had left the lens cap on. Well here is that video presented as an audio adventure. My recommendation is to run it in parallel with the video that lacks audio ;-)

Given battery constraints I wanted to be able to record coherent chunks of the route and there was just no way I would have enough juice to last the hour or more from Petersburg to Rocky Mount. So I decided to capture the chunk between Rocky Mount and Selma, but to help ease battery issues on future runs I also recorded the segment between Petersburg and Collier Yard. Note the new BX interlocking where the Amtrak Norfolk Regional branches off to Norfolk.

Starting up again at Rocky Mount we enter the South End sub and pass by the Rocky Mount Yard on the way to Voit Wilson, NC on the 2-track main line.

It's back to mostly single track in our last video of the day we head to Selma, NC where Train 79 turns off onto the former Southern Railway H-Line. I had a little problem with the battery dying just minutes before we reached Selma, so that's what the odd jump cut is about.

Hope you liked the videos. Look for more in the future covering the Amtrak Shore Line between Old Saybrook and Boston.

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