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Saturday, October 31, 2015

15-10-31 PHOTOS Haroween

Back in the fall I was trying to arrange a day to travel with Todd GP30 to travel to the Harrisburg area to take some pictures of signals and spend a few hours at HARRIS tower with its restored Model 14 interlocking machine hooked up to a software simulation back end. HARRIS tower is only open Saturdays from May to October so we were already running out of time. Unfortunately every Saturday had a conflict...except for the last which happened to be October 31st. So after weighing the comparative merits of Halloween parties versus classic railway signaling, I turned my car north and set out on a mid-fall road trip.

Our trip took us up the west side of the Susquehanna, past Enola Yard, the Rockville Bridge and then back down the west side of the river to the other side of Rockville Bridge before reaching HARRIS tower and Amtrak's Harrisburg terminal complex. You can find the full set of photos here.

NS GP38-2's including #5353 hanging out at the Camp Hill yard on the Shippingsport Secondary. This was the former PRR route to connections with the B&O, N&W and WM at Hagarstown, MD, but was partly supplanted by the parallel Reading RR route.

Former Southern RR high hood GP38-2 #5001 is hanging out at Enola Yard. These units are not cab signal equipped and are used on Buffalo Line local runs.

A lot is being made of the 4000hp NS SD60E rebuilds, but a number of former Classic SD60I's and SD60M's are still kicking about in front line service. SD60I #6735 was waiting for its next assignment at Enola Yard.

A pair of NS SD80MACs hang out near the road entrance to Enola Yard. NS recently purchased the half of the fleet CSX made off with aftr the Conrail merger and plans to partly rebuild the entire fleet. The 5000hp monsters were EMD's initial response to GE's AC6000 model engine.

UP yellow was all over Enola Yard as the newly purchased fleet of SD90/43MACs were being pressed into service after being purchased by NS. The SD90 was going to be a 6000hp unit, but the failure of the 1010H engine resulted in the engines being "temporarily" outfitted with 4300hp 710G engines. With new Tier IV emissions regulations making new locomotives a bit of a gamble, NS has responded with an aggressive rebuild program that includes turning these 100 former UP SD90MACs into SD70ACe equivalents. 

The Enola Yard backlot was stuffed full of locomotives, but the backlighting encouraged me to move on.

Historic Rockville Bridge as seen from the Bridgeview railfan themed bed and breakfast.

Morning sunlight reflected into the westernmost arch of the Rockville bridge.

Waiting for a lineup at CP-WYE on the east end of the Rockville Bridge was NS C40-9W #9121.

But sitting right behind was a rare visitor from the land up north, C40-8M #2412. The was a rare GE example of a late model road freight cowl unit, which were popular in Canada due to the extreme cold weather which could make exterior walkways treacherous. 

The Model-14 interlocking machine in HARRIS tower was still in working order. The 1930 vintage electro-mechanical technology has been hooked up to 21st century PLCs to allow it to run a simulator PRR era schedule.

Passing by on the NS Harrisburg Line were some legitimate UP units including SD70M #4516.

Speaking of SD60E's, #6999 was in the trailing position on one of the many passing freight trains.

NS C40-9W #9185 looks like its suffered some fire damage, a common ailment of older GE's.

Speaking of older GE diesels, Amtrak P42 #201 was at the front of Amtrak's eastbound Pennsylvanian. 

While over on the through track more UP run through power was passing by. This time SD70ACe #8794.

HARRIS tower's lower levels featured a relay collection and PRR branded power.

Over on the other side of the Amtrak Harrisburg Station complex, P42DC #84 sat coupled to cab car #9647.

CP-PAXON connects the NS Harrisburg Line with the Royalton Branch and Steelton industrial track. Just out of sight behind some trees is the former Reading RR CAPITOL tower.

Two generations of Amtrak electrics sit on the Harrisburg station wye track.

The westbound Pennsylvanian arrived behind Amtrak P42DC #116, passing through STATE interlocking, currently under reconstruction.


Unfortunately the new layout of STATE interlocking will not contain a double slip switch. One might say it is being moved to the rebuilt Albany terminal that is gaining one.

Amtrak ACS-86's #628 and #600 laying up west of the station. #628 is serving as protect power and #600 was leading a Keystone trainset.

Inside HARRIS tower's restored model board.

In the past I would try to video the HARRIS Model 14 operation by holding my camera in one hand. This year I brought out my "new" GoPro body mount that let me kept my hands free to work the levers.

I leave you with the 85 year old HARRIS tower now looking down at the 3rd generation of electric power that will see it through its 100th birthday.

See you next week when I return to Levitown for the 2015 Thanksgiving parade.

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