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Saturday, July 11, 2015

15-07-10 PHOTOS: Pttsburgh Rade

This summer I had the opportunity to take a road trip to Pittsburgh and as usual I was able to convince my ride to throw in some railfan stops along the way. These consisted of a number of locations along the former PRR Main Line / Conrail Pittsburgh Line as well as some stops in downtown Pittsburgh. This was my first visit back to Pittsburgh since 2010 and I was also able to try out the new North Shore light rail extension, which is part of the downtown free travel zone.

You can find the entire set of photos here.

On the way to my first stop I got lucky and caught some road power laying over on the Radebaugh Secondary. It consisted of new SD70ACe #1145 and C40-9W #9652, along with CN SD75I #5639.

Traffic on the Pittsburgh Line tends to come in waves and the fleeted westbound signal at CP-RADE showing Approach was an indication that I had arrived right in the middle of one. Sure enough a westbound coal train with ES44AC's #8115 and #8129 soon appeared.

Next up was an eastbound helper set running light presumably to Johnstown for its next assignment. Power consisted of two 6300 series SD40E's, #6325 and #6310, which were originally SD50's. SD40E's are NS's preferred power for PRR Main Line helping.

Clear PRR position light signal for an eastbound doublestack train.

That was quickly followed by a westbound double stack train with C40-9W's #9917 and #9277

Later that day I caught the SRS truck out at CP-PENN.

CP-PENN is the interlocking that still features a 4-track PRR PL signal bridge and is also the tri-junction between the Pittsburgh, Conemaugh and Fort Wayne lines.

The clear signal was for a westbound manifest freight with C40-9W #9853 and SD60I #6792.

PAT LRV #4240 at the new Allegheny Station.

LRV #4222 has been painted to resemble a classic Pittsburgh PCC.

Later I caught three of the Allegheny Valley Railroads SD40-3's, #3001, #3002 and #3004, hauling a train off the Bloom connecting track at CP-BLOOM. These engines are rebuilt SD45s.

Walking back towards downtown, I caught a road-slug set running light eastbound at CP-EAST PITT. Power unit was GP40-2 #3059 with a former Penn Central GP38 as slug #707.

The AVR train was clearly held for some time at CP-PITT as when I finally got back it had just started to cross the Fort Wayne bridge.

With the removal of CP-WEST PITT a number of years ago, the old slow speed PRR dwarf signals were replaced by this pair of full speed masts. Here NS C40-9W #9396 and SD60 #6663 pass in front of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Later that day I scored big time with NS Conrail Heritage ES44AC #8098 (along with sister ES44AC #8075) crossing the Fort Wayne bridge!

Shortly thereafter a westbound empty crude oil train trundled past with a SD70ACe's #1010 and #1026 as power.

 In addition to upgraded tank cars, crude oil trains are fitted with buffer cars on the rear to prevent explosions. One such car rolls pat the old CP-WEST PITT sign at the new MP353 automatics.

The MP 353 automatic signals are located about 10 feet east of the division point between the PRR's Lines East and Lines West, as signified by a brand new Milepost Zero. The 353 miles east of this point are chained from the end of a specific platform at Suburban Station in Philadelphia. 

Well that's it for this little journey. Next week I stay closer to the east coast with a walk around the Penn Station complex in Baltimore during that city's annual Artscape festival.

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