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Saturday, July 19, 2003

03-07-19 CLASSIC PHOTOS: Port Jervis Trip

Before the age of formal Informal Railfan Trips, trips still happened, they were just fewer in number and not as well organized. Even the old Subtalk was known to get into the action and one such that trip organized in the summer of 2003 had the ambitious plan to go to Port Jervis and back on a weekend.

Port Jervis is always a tempting target for a railfan trip, but with 2_ hour travel times in each direction combined with spotty service frequencies, it is easy to get in over one's head. In this case everything was fine until the return trip where the brakes locked on an old CNJ vintage GP40P, which had to be set out and delayed us by an hour or more. Even returning express via the main line didn't do much to aid in our timelyness and we arrived at Hoboken well past the portal arrival and also well after the sun had set.

Because all of the "adventure" took place after daylight hours and before digital cameras had large memory capacity or native video, this photo set will cover all of the more "typical" railfan stuff that took place earlier that day.

We begin with a pair of Arrow III MU trains headed inbound and outbound at Hamilton, NJ with #1412 and #1377. Remember when NJT used to use MU's on it's electrified services? Crazy right?!

Amtrak left the lights on at MIDWAY interlocking. It also looks like I got lucky with a forward railfan view on an NJT train. Unfortunately with only 96 shots available on each card and a paltry 3x zoom, I couldn't take advantage of it.

Transfer to PATH at Newark and head out across the DOCK drawbridge. This was only 2 years after 9/11, but you can see what I thought of PATH's photo ban. 

SRS Doodlebug #149 was hanging out in Hudson yard. I believe that HUDSON Tower was still open.

PATH was still recovering from a land slide that had taken place the previous June.

PATH Journal Square yard complex.

 Arriving at Hoboken I found NJT and MNRR GP40PH-2's #4137 and 4190 sitting side by side.

The interior of Hoboken Terminal had just been renovated.

Hanging out on one of the outdoor tracks was an Arrow III Gladstone train with #1314.

Under the train shed the aluminum body of Comet I cab car #5128 was showing through the white paint.

#5000 Class car of the currently stored Comet III fleet was also waiting quietly at Hoboken.

Here Comet 1 cab car #5110 sits next to Metro North Comet IA cab car #919. This would be the car that the group would eventually ride to Port Jervis in.

#5000 wasn't the only special car at Hoboken. The lead car of the entire Comet coach family, #5100, was also there posing for photographs. #5100 was built by Pullman in 1970.

 I'm not sure how we didn't get swarmed by police (I suspect they were off weekends), but we went out as a group to get some pics of TERMINAL TOWER, which was also still open.

Terminal Tower interlocking.

Wide shot of the DL&W trainshed.

A hole in the blackour material on the rear inside door allowed for some limited reverse photography. Here GP40PH-2 #4147 sits in the middle of TERMINAL TOWER interlocking.

Wider view of the interlocking with #4147 getting its signal.

Back in 2003 the Bergan tunnels were still under reconstruction.

And the Seacaucus connection had not yet opened.

The single track UPPER HACK lift bridge.

The delapidated WC tower in Waldwick, NJ. This has fortunately been preserved and restored.

Crossing the famous Moonda Viaduct at Milepost 55 on the Graham Line.

The crew was nowhere to be seen so a few of us threw caution to the wind for some out the window shots on #9198.

Conrail painted GP40-2 #3040 in local freight service at Campbell Hall.

The formerly 2-track Otisville Tunnel.

NJT and MNRR Comet trainsets in pool service in Port Jervis yard.

Over at the old Erie engine terminal the turntable was just starting its restoration.

The twin rusting sand towers over at the old engine pit.

For some reason the train we had taken up pulled back next to the old Erie bracket mast and the engineer was fiddling around with the coupler om GP40PH-2 #4201.

The old Erie Port Jervis station.

Side view of Comet IA #9198.

Ah ha! That's what was going on. Ex-CNJ GP40P #4108 was attached to our train behind #4201 to run dead in tow back to Hoboken for maintenance. 

Here is the group shot of the participants. I recognize SubChatters Spider Pig and Lincoln, but not the others. If you see yourself please speak up!

So like I said before, after departing Port Jervis the brakes locked on #4108. The crew eventually noticed and we had to set #4108 out on a dump siding around Milepost 70. I don't have any photos of the ordeal, but I did get a few late afternoon shots of the shadow our train made re-crossing the Moonda viaduct.

Anyway next week we return to our usual programming with the next episode of my trip on the Coast Starlight.

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