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Friday, October 7, 2016

16-10-07 PHOTOS: Whitlock Ave and GCT

In pursuit of my ultimate goal of trying to get some video from the front of a Harlem Line M3 set I wound up with some time to kill so I took a quick trip up the (6) train to Whitlock Ave to get some photos of the Bronx River viaduct and the adjacent signals on the Amtrak Hellgate Line. Then I wandered about GCT until it was time for my Harlem Line train to depart. You can find the full set of photos here, starting about halfway down.

We begin with an inbound (6) Train at Whitlock Ave led by R62 #1745.

In front of the Pellham Bay Line viaduct over the Bronx River is the former New Haven Railroad Westchester Ave station. Currently abandoned, it may see renewed use with plans to send MNRR trains to Penn Station. 

Outbound 6 train heading over the bridge with R62 #1720 in the trailing position.

The inbound 6 local train I decided to take back to Grand Central was led by R62 #2025.

MoW lights were up at 125th St interlocking. Here we can see the tail lights of a southbound train that has just crossed over to the express track.

Grand Central Terminal has a lot of hidden Easter eggs that the average commuter might not known about. For example in the old Amtrak waiting area, in service prior to the opening of the Empire connection in ~1994, we find the old manual train information board, now preserved for posterity.

In another bit of trivia, lower level Track #110 was fitted with a special device to move empty mail cars back up the ramp to the upper level.  The device consists of a steam piston that would literally launch the cars down the track.  Not surprisingly the system was not very practical and was out of service by 1923.  I was told that track #109 had a similar setup, but there is no evidence of it today.  Now the surviving ram on tk 110 is most often mistaken for some sort of runaway train buffer since an a straight rail route through the interlocking plant leads tracks 110 and 109.

Here we find JR North M8 #4137 sitting next to an MNRR M7.

The highest tracks on the upper level have a somewhat odd platform access arrangement because each of them lead to loop tracks that allow arriving trains to access the underground yards on the east side of the terminal. The lower level had its own loop tracks, but those were regrettably sacrificed for East Side Access :-(  Fun Fact: P32AC-DMs are restricted from the loops because the MTA allowed  various modifications (such as new escalators down to the Lexington Ave subway station) to intrude up to the clearance profile of the largest MNRR locomotive use at the time, the EMD FL-9.  Since the P32AC-DM is larger than an FL-9, it will no longer fit through the loops.

MNRR M3A #8031 sitting next to another JR North M8.

The leading unit of my Harlem Line train was M3A #8034.

Approach North White Plains on the Harlem Line.

Denizens of North White Plains Yard.

MNRR M3A #8031 departing Pleasantville. 

Next time we continue with some Hudson Line railfanning above Poughkeepsie.

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