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Saturday, July 25, 2015

15-07-25 PHOTOS: BB-62 Take 2

I'll admit that the main subject of today's photo set is more boat than train, but since like most rail stuff I like the Battleship New Jersey was built in the 1940's and I took rail transit to get there I'm posting the photos in my main sequence instead of an OT aside.

Thanks to Groupon I was lured back to take another Battleship New Jersey tour about a decade after my last visit. I heard that the fire control room was now open with its old analogue computer and figured it was worth a visit. As the groupon was basically a 2 for 1 deal I hooked up with fellow Subchat participant Phil Nasadowski who was interested in using the ship as a subject for some medium format photography.

You can find all of my photos here

We begin with "classic" PATCO car #271 arriving at Haddonfield.

At Ferry Ave I got my first photo of a rebuilt PATCO Unit in service, #1005. This trainset of rebuilt cars was being run as much as possible to identify possibly faults.

Phil Nasadowski has some expensive tastes. 

A ship in service from 1944 to 1990 tends to rack up a lot of awards. Click here for a wide angle.

While known for their big guns, like these 16" 55 caliber Mk 7's, one major weakness of this type of armament was that the ship could only fire a full magazine load of shells before the barrels would have to be removed and re-lined.

The group that runs the museum is currently in a capitol campaign to restore the teak decks to their original appearance. This small portion has already had the work done and it is phenomenal. 

A Battleship can be thought of as an armoured box covering the engines, magazines, main guns and command center. All else is generally considered sacrificial. Here we see the armoured conning tower set in the middle of the larger bridge structure. Cast steel structures such as these are one of those things, like steam locomotives, that we can't make any more. 

View of the Ben Franklin Bridge from the bridge.

Interesting to see what various corporations produced during the war years.

Unfortunately the main fire control room was only open for the special Turret 1 tour which we had missed. However the aft 16" turret was open full time and had a smaller version of the Mk 1 analogue fire control computer available for inspection.

The whole ship, but the turrets especially, smelled just like a classic railroad interlocking tower or a preserved steam locomotive. That's why I call it the smell of the 1940's. I would love to identify what generates it. Here is the turret officer's station showing the various ready indications for locally firing the guns.

The USS United States as seen through the aft turrets periscopic sight. That ship is also facing its own preservation battle.

The tour over, Phil and I headed to the NJT RiverLINE E-Center station where LRV #3517 was waiting.

Back at Haddonfield with PATCO Budd married pair car #232.

Turned out we were in the same trainset we had rode out on with #271 on the west end. With 30 minute weekend headways PATCO only needs to have 2-3 transets in service. The last time I visited BB-62 PATCO was probably still offering 12 minute Weekend daytime service along with $1.60 fares. WTF!

Because I have nowhere else to put it, here is a photo of Baltimore Light Rail LRV #5019 at the Convention Center station.

Here is a photo of LRV #5034 on the Camden Shuttle taken from the Hilton Hotel skybridge. 

Well that's it for now. In a few day check back as I spend a few consecutive lunch hours at Washington DC's Union Station.

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