So the final "rare mileage" part of the 2016 Autumn Express was run over the NS Harrisburg Line between CP-WYOMISSING JCT, just west of Reading and CP-CAPITOL in Harrisburg. Of course this segment of track had been trodden before by the 2014 Autumn Express, that actually came and went over the route in both directions. Of course this year I was able to take photos out hr back whereas before I was not. You can find the full series of photos at the top of this photo set here.
After running up the ramp from the Reading Line, out train entered the Harrisburg Line at CP-WYOMISSING JCT. The Harrisburg Line between Reading and Harrisburg had been run under Rule 251 ABS up through the Conrail era, but a CTC project was one of the first orders of business for NS due to the 40-50 trains a day that traversed the line to serve both the New York and Philadelphia markets.
Although not as well known as the Reading Main Line between Philadelphia
and Reading, the old Lebanon Valley Branch, as it was called, boasted a
lot of Reading station infrastructure for both New York and Philly
bound passenger services. Here we see old Reading stations in
Wernersville and Lebanon.
After crossing over at CP-DORF, we passed an eastbound merchandise train with a trio of NS locomotives including former Conrail C40-8W #8396 and a 5000 series SD40-2, and one unidentified Reading and Northern EMD.
The Penn Supply Milard quarry has a small fleet of ex-road power to shift the long aggregate trains through its loading facility. Here we see long time power B23-7 #250 and SD40M-3 #6521 along with a newly acquired ex-UP SD40.
A short distance away in the receiving yard was NS C40-9W
#8865 and SD60E #6916. Both classes are common in the Harrisburg area.
In Palmyra, a cut of cars was being prepared for set-out by some road power including NS C44-9W #9519 and SD60 #6707. Note the osage oranges all over the track.
NS GP38-2 #5303 was working the Hershey yard with a former Conrail cabin car. As you might surmise, the Hershey yard mostly supports operations for the Hershey company that has many plants in and around the Hershey, PA area.
Although no longer in service, the old Hershey #1 plant building with
the smokestacks, still stands as an attraction for the Hershey Park
monorail, which crosses the tracks twice.
Old Reaing CAPITOL tower at CP-CAPITOL in Harrisburg.
Since I already had pictures of past Autumn Express trains turning on the Rockville Bridge, I took a short break to eat lunch and get off my feet. However after the procedure was over I got this pic of NS C44-9W #9233 and SD70ACe #1037 and their westbound doublestack trains waiting for us to clear CP-ROCKVILLE.
The Harrisburg intermodal yard always has a lot of power
hanging about such as SD60E #6911. SD60E's are part of an in-house
rebuild program by NS to upgrade the previously 3800hp units to the
standard of a new SD70 with 4000hp, yet with none of the odious
Long porch SD40-2 #3491 was also on duty switching cars.
Of course the yard had some "weird stuff" like NS geometry train #38,
Conrail painted cabin car #21283, a wreck crane and a jet type snow
As we finally re-entered Amtrak territory at CP-HARRIS, an NS manifest
train sporting C44-9W #9519, SD60 #6707 and C40-10W #7709 highballed
westbound as soon as we cleared the interlocking plant. As with the day
before there was single tracking going on between CP-HARRIS and
Well that's all for today. Next time we will complete the round trip journey on Amtrak's own Harrisburg Line with a photo stop at Lancaster.