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Sunday, August 17, 2003

03-08-17 CLASSIC PHOTOS: Springfield Trip

I'm going to mix things up and throw up some classic photos of a trip I took through Springfield, MA back in 2003. This was part of a larger MBTA trip I was taking and involved a return trip to Middletown, CT via the Amtrak Inland Route, as opposed to the Shore Line connecting to an inland shuttle. I caught the early morning inland Regional train (I think it was #142) and then layed over for a headway at Springfield Union Station in order to take some pictures of the terminal complex.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to repeat the trip and just this past year a redevelopment project demolished much of the old Union Station including the classic B&A interlocking tower. You can find all the photos here.

We begin with a still new Acela Express power car #2003 waiting for its departure at South Station.

On and adjacent track was MTBA bi-level K-cab car #1717.

Former Conrail fainted C40-8W #7335 somewhere around Worcester. 

The full length inland route Regional train was unable to fully platform at Springfield Union Station with the two P42 engines and three cars hanging out in SPRING interlocking.

Amtrak Phase IV heritage painted P42 #105 sitting on one of the Springfield station tracks.

B&A Tower 96 with most of its copper roof and fittings still intact. Excluding this structure from the redevelopment plan was a colossal failure of imagination. A similar tower at Cincinnati's Union Station was turned into museum space. 

Hosing down Metroliner Cab Car #9640.

LMS C40-8W #7924 blasting westbound on B&A Main Track #2 with a merchandise freight. LMS stood for Locomotive Management Service and was a joint venture by Conrail and GE to operate a lease fleet of C40-8W locomotives although they were essentially normal Conrail power.

CSX SD50 #8637 was operating in the trailing position.

The Union Station complex was divided between the B&A portion (tracks 1, 2 and 2A) and the Amtrak portion (tracks 4, 6 and 8). The only connection was a hand operated switch at the east end to allow the Vermonter and inland Regional to switch over from Amtrak's Springfield Line to the Boston Line. Today no scheduled service uses this connection.

The large red structure with the Amtrak sign is an elevator headhouse dating from the station's original operating period. At of 2003 the elevators were still in service for employee use. 

The new station renovation will reactivate the under-track concourse and associated stairways, which have been boarded up for decades. A temporary station, built at track level, has been filling in for the old structure since at least the 90's. 

Here is the front of the old Springfield Union Station.

The attached baggage and mail handling wing was recently demolished to make way for a bus station >:-o

Penn Central baggage car #7604 has since been removed and presumed scrapped.

Here's a catch, CSX AC6000 #5009 passing through eastbound with a TOFC intermodal train on track #1 while a local railfan looks on.

The trailing engine was also an AC6000, #669.

As seen here, the Boston Line is cleared for double stacks.

The 4W-1 dwarf signal at CP-98 displaying a Clear indication for a westbound move. The 'C' lamp is for the Rule 562 cab signal operation implemented by Conrail in the 1990's re-signaling effort. 

The movement in question was train 449, the westbound Lake Shore Limited Boston Section with Amtrak P42DC #164 in the lead. Trains 449 and 448 are the only two to make use of the B&A Main tracks 1 and 2. T449's consist was a deadhead Amfleet, baggage car, Viewliner sleeper, two Amfleet II coaches and an Amfleet I cafe on the rear. 

This new dwarf signal had recently replaced an H-5 searchlight governing movements into SPRING interlocking from track 6. Over the next few years all the 1980's installed H-5 searchlights would be replaced. 

Meeting Amtrak Train 54, the northbound Vermonter, at the Field siding on Amtrak's Springfield Line. 

Due to a debris strike south of Hartford the MU cable was damaged requiring the train to be operated from the cab of the pushing locomotive at a speed of no more than 30mph. MU jumpers are easily replaced, but no spare cable was on board our train.

View inside Metroliner Cab Car #9640's useless cab with an Approach Medium indication on the cab signal display.

The crippled train operated in this fashion to Meriden, CT where it met a northbound inland shuttle. At this point the crew and passengers on each train swapped equipment so the northbound train's working cab car could lead south and the southbound trains working engine could lead north. A very clever way to resolve the problem and prevent further delay. Here we see the northbound shuttle train holding beyond the Meriden station platform for my train to discharge.

Well that's it for this weeks trip back in time. Hopefully next time I'll be able to do up the Port Jervis Line.

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