So it's become a tradition of mine to venture out with Chuchubob each Thanksgiving Eve to photograph the special Amtrak holiday trains running up and down the corridor. Unfortunately last year the weather was not very cooperative and Bob and I were forced to take SEPTA to the Levittown Station in a wintery mix of rain and snow. Once there, conditions were so blah that I couldn't even tempt Bob to stay an additional headway with a free lunch.
This year, on the other hand, conditions were perfect with a bright winter sun and warm temperatures. Of course Amtrak still found a way to run its train late, but no matter, this outing was one of the best that was able to use the Levittown Station location to its full potential.
You can view the entire set of photos here.
First up was what I believe to be Amtrak Train 20, the Northbound Crescent with 4 sleepers in the consist, running behind ACS-86 #623.
A 4-car inbound R7 local lead by SL-IV #459 passes under the MP 63 automatic signals mounted on the Fallsington Road bridge.
Moments later a southbound Acela Express train with power car #2002 blasted through the station, passing the hapless R7
The R7's were times to arrive just a few minutes apart. Here the outbound makes it stop lead by SL-IV #434 and trailed by #171.
Southbound Amtrak ACS-86 #631 with Regional train #141.
This was followed by northbound Axela Express train #2158 powered by cars #2021 and #2024.
This was followed by Richmond Regional Train #86 hauled by ACS-86 #611, which I guess is the new #911.
The interesting end of a northbound Keystone train with Metroliner cab car #9643.
Amtrak Regional Extra Train #1195 pulled by ACS-86 #614.
Regional Train #184 with ACS-86 #618 was sporting an extra Viewliner II baggage car on the rear for some reason.
No "one and done" this year. Bob was good to stay into an additional SEPTA R7 headway (although we drove to the station). Here is an outbound R7 local with SL-IV #350.
Amtrak ACS-86 #636 with Train 43, the Pennsylvanian.
The inbound SEPTA R7 using the same trainset from the previous outbound train.
ACS-86 #610 with southbound Regional train #125.
Following that was Southbound Train 91, the Silver Starve with ACS-86 #617.
I finally caught an AEM-7, #942, hauling a northbound Keystone with Metroliner cab car #9651.
Unfortunately I was out of position checking the southbound signals
when what I thought was Extra train 1174 rolled through with an extra
Horizon car on the rear. Turned out to be Lynchburg Regional #174,
#1174 was 45+ minutes late.
With all these still photos you might be thinking I decided to give yup on video. Well you would be wrong thanks to my new GoPro body mount camera.
At West Trenton, SEPTA had completed their seperation project routing the old Trenton Line northbound track through the east side of the SEPTA yard and relocating the SEPTA trains to the former main line tracks.
SEPTA SL-IV #454 pulling out of the yard for an inbound R3 run to Center City.
A pair of CSX AC4400's, #449 and #531, rolls through the West Trenton Station with a short general freight train.
Outbound R3 train with SL-IC #308 pulling into the West Trenton Yard to lay over.
To keep its new yard tracks safe, contractors were busy constructing an anti-vandal protective rampart.
Also across from the yard was this incandescent street lamp. Alert Kevin Walsh!
Because of SEPTA's inability to play nice with others, the nearly 10
mile section of double track between CP-WOOD and CP-WING has been cut
back to a single 3 mile passing siding between CP-WING and a new
CP-SUMMIT. This leaves only two controlled siding and one yard track
between Philadelphia and Port Reading Junction for Trenton Line trains
The former Conrail crane is still in the West Trenton yard backlot.
Hmmm, think a railfan might live here?
It doesn't take long to get to Golden Hour in the winter time. Here
another SL-IV R3 trainset lays over by the old TRENT tower, which serves
as a SEPTA crew base.
Well that's it. Tune in next week as we head out to Chicagoland's Blue Island.