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Monday, December 28, 2015

15-12-28 PHOTOS: SEPTA Mid-Winter Trip XV

This was another SEPTA Mid-Winter milestone year with the event now in its XVth iteration. The focus this year was on the R3 West Chester/Trenton and the Rts 101/102 Suburban trolleys. Due to issues with using the day pass to West Trenton, the trip started with an R3 run out to Neshaminy where one could quickly catch the return train. Instead of proceeding back to Center City we next alighted at Fern Rock for the traditional Broad Street Line express run to 30th St (via the MFL) in order to catch another R3 out to Media. From there it was time for lunch followed by a cross county Rt 101/102 trip utilizing a transfer at Drexel Hill Jct. After a walking transfer, the planned photo shoot at the Sharon Hill R2 station was a bit underwhelming, but this was made up for by a few minutes at Temple University.

Attendance was about 15 persons of all ages and I want to thank everyone for coming. All of my photos for the event can be found right here.

The trip started off well enough with me not botching the inbound PATCO express run video. Last year my GoPro was a new purchase and I still didn't have the hang of its minimalist interface and various quirks. This year I've finally managed to get a handle on the little beastie.

We begin the official part of the trip on the Reading Viaduct with SEPTA AEM-7 #2303 returning as a deadhead through downtown, possibly en-route to Frazier for maintenance. I had previously seen this trainset at Market East discharging its revenue passengers in time for work. Note the mismatched numberboards.

Another returning deadhead set of SL-IV's with #388 in the lead near North Broad.

Not every trainset would need to be reshuffled. As usual there was a conga line of trains waiting to get into Roberts Yard at HUNT interlocking.

SEPTA SL-IV #164 processing over the double slip switches at HUNT.

SL-IV #102 at Wayne Jct.

Freight action on the Trenton Line representing three of the big four American railroads headed up by CSX ES44AC #3173 teamed with a BNSF GE and NS EMD towing a unit crude oil train. This train has just come off the New York Short Line and will descend the grade down to CP-NICE where it will then head to South Jersey via CP-PARK.

AEM-7 #2305 sitting on the third track at Fern Rock waiting its afternoon call to action. Behind it is the only operating ALP-44 #2308 attached to its trainset.

The spike of railfans alighting from SL-V #869 at Neshaminy.

SL-V #702 pulling away from the Neshaminy station. This was the site of the old NESH interlocking where the New York Short Line freight bypass that previously departed the passenger route at Newtown Jct, rejoins. Throughout the Reading era the line between here and Yardley consisted of 4 tracks to accomidate the combined passenger and freight traffic. Before 1994 the SEPTA and Conrail tracks were seperated to Woodbourne and just this past summer they were seperated all the way to West Trenton. 

Group photo time! Those who attended from the start of the trip got the best sunlight. 

Inbound R3 trainset with SL-V #814. The R3 trainsets pass typically pass between Woodbourne and Yardley.

#814 again at Fern Rock.

Shortly there after an outbound SL-V train with #804 passed through Tabor Jct.

 Pair of SL-V's headed to Powlerton Yard pass through the 30th St Station upper level.

Replacement of the Crumb Creek viaduct on the R3 Media, will truncate the line at Swarthmore for a number of months.

SL-IV #365 departing Media.

Right after lunch we were lucky enough to catch the "heritage" painted SEPTA Suburban K-car #101 (aka 38). #101 is painted in honor of the West Chester Traction Companies 100th anniversary. 

The trip actually waited a headway to catch K-car #128 to Drexel Hill Jct.

K-car #121 at School Lane.

#128 departing Drexel Hill Jct over the emergency hand crossovers.

Drexel Hill Jct had recently been rebuilt with more power switches and eliminating switches from the level crossing.

If it had a flat surface, SEPTA will sell ads on it. Wrapped K-car #105 at Drexel Hill Jct.

K-car #127 would make the third inbound Rt 101 car in a row at Drexel Hull Jct.

#121 would have made it 4 Rt 101 cars in a row, but it was out for operator training and thus didn't count.

Wrapped K-car #122 passes training K-car #121 at Drexel Hill Jct.

SEPTA #601 is the last of the NJT Arrow II cars, now used as a cab car on the SEPTA wire train spotted here at the Clifton-Alden R3 station from a Rt 102 car.

Wrapped K-car #122 at Sharon Hill waiting for its inbound passengers to board.

SEPTA SL-IV #409 on an outbound R2 Wilmington at Sharon Hill.

The only Amtrak we encountered at the Sharon Hill NEC photo-shoot was this Regional train with ACS-86 #640.

SEPTA SL-V #815 picking up the group at Sharon Hill. The morning's wonderful sunlight did not last the day.

Video from the front of #815 as it travels between PHIL and ARSENAL interlockings just south of 30th St station. Are the restrictive signals due to traffic ahead or SEPTA's dysfunctional automated dispatching system?

Passing through the Center City tunnel, our R2 trainset got into a little race on the Reading Viaduct with SL-IV #316 amoung others.

SL-V #702 departing Temple University northbound.

5-car SL-IV trainset with #428 also northbound through Temple University.

How many of the Bomber trainsets can I catch in a single day? This would be the 4th of 8 with AEM-7 #2307.

Due to the chilly weather and low light levels, the trip began to evaporate as we hung out at Temple University since participants would simply catch their desired Regional Rail train as they passed through. I'll wrap up the photos with SEPTA SL-V #875 on one of the southbound tracks.

An ode to the classic PATCO car, eastbound departing Haddonfield, NJ.

Again, thanks to everyone who came out. Hopefully we can make MWT XVI even better!

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