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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

16-11-13 PHOTOS: HOLMES for the Holidays

One of my more enjoyable Thanksgiving traditions involves heading out with Chuchubob om thanksgiving Wednesday to catch the smattering of extra trains and additional cars added to the usual NEC lineup in order to accommodate the increased holiday crowds. In past years we have tended to gravitate towards the Trenton area, photographing the NEC at such locations as Bristol, Levittown and Morrisville and then wandering by West Trenton to top up with some SEPTA and CSX action. This year Bob and I decided to stay a bit closer to home, hopping across Ye Olde Betsy Ross Bridge to the Holmesburg Jct SEPTA station and Amtrak interlocking. This also allowed us to get our quota of freight action wrapped up ahead of time with a quick stop by the Cove Road grade crossing just shy of CP-HATCH at the north end of Pavonia Yard. You can check out the full set of all these photos here.

Acting on one of Bob's tips, we managed to catch rare Blue CN C40-8W #2455 that was coupled ahead of NS C44-9W #9344 on Train 39G.

As we took pictures of 39G, the Pemberton Branch local freight arrived from the yard NS GP38-2's #5278 and #5271 providing the power. Here's a photo of the local power edging up next to NS standard cab SD70 #2559.

 The third track at Cove Rd is for the NJT RiverLINE light rail and with 15-20 minute headways we were on hand to catch #3514A heading southbound.

Three wide at Cove Road!

Moving on to Holmesburg Jct we caught an inbound SEPTA R7 Silverliner V trainset with #716 in the lead.

 Holmesburg Jct is still a junction in the form of HOLMES interlocking, a 4-track full crossover with a connection to a 5th industrial track and the Bussleton Branch. The old HOLMES tower is actually part of the SEPTA station building.

The first interesting sight was the northbound Train 86, hauled by ACS-86 #638, which was sporting an extra Horizon coach.

Next up was Train 51, the westbound Cardinal, running a couple hours late from its initial terminal and pulled by ACS-86 #608.

Of course there were hourly R7 trains in each direction running with extra cars. SL-IV #298 appeared on an eastbound example shown here passing under the HOLMES westbound signal bridge.

There were also hourly Acela runs such as this example bracketed by power cars #2010 and #2015.

That day's Train 20, the northbound Crescent, had an astonishing 4 Viewliner sleepers coupled to a Heritage dining car. Power was ACS-86 #657.

Here we see SEPTA SL-IV #341 on a westbound R7 run posing in front of HOLMES tower.

The yellow and black stripes on Keystone Metroliner Cab Cars #9644 and #9645 were looking particularly bright in the mid-morning sun. 

Conductors giving the hand signal to depart Holmesburg Jct with SL-IV #415 in the trailing position.

After the R7 had departed a Restricting signal appeared on the 1W signal and NS GP38-2 #5285 showed up running lite in the reverse direction on #1 track.

Shot of the day was Amtrak Regional Extra Train #1174, hauled by ACS-86 #607, passing NS #5285 within the limits of HOLMES interlocking.

The meets kept coming as the following non-extra Regional Train 174, led by ACS-86 #665, passed a westbound R7 led by SL-IV #381.

Hungry for lunch? Well too bad! There ain't no dining car on Amtrak's Train 91, the Silver Starve, seen here being pulled by ACS-86 #622.

With the day's only extra train passed, it was time to leave, but before we could get back to the freeway we were literally stopped by NS #5285 in street running mode retrieving some gondola cars from a strap yard.

Hauling the cars up a steep grade required some prodigious use of sand. 

In another big of luck, we were returning down River Rd when the NS Pemberton local we had seen hours earlier at Cove Rd crossed ahead of us, finally turned loose to generate some revenue.

Well that's the selection of videos from 2016's Thanksgiving Wednesday. Please remember to check out the entire gallery for loads of more Amtrak and SEPTA action! Oh, and if you're too lazy to click a link here's a video montage I put together from the body mounted GoPro I had equipped for the occasion.

The video includes:

Southbound Amtrak Cardinal Train 51 with ACS-86 #608
Northbound SEPTA R7 Local with Silverliner IV #298
Southbound Amtrak Keystone Train #643 with ACS-86 #667 and Metroliner Cab Car #9647
Northbound Acela Express #2158 with power cars #2010 and #2015
Northbound Regional Train 86 with ACS-86 #641
Southbound Regional Extra Train 95 with ACS-86 #669
Northbound Keystone Train 646 with ACS-86 #619 and Metroliner cab car #9644.
Northbound Regional Train 184 with ACS-86 #630 and an extra food service car on the front.
Southbound Regional Extra Train 1195 with ACS-86 #669
Northbound Keystone Train 648 with ACS-86 #624 and Metroliner cab car #9645.
Southbound Acela Express #2251 w. power cars #2023 and #2025
Westbound Pennsylvanian Train 43 with ACS-86 #643.
Westbound NS light engine move with GP38-2 #5285.
Northbound Amtrak Regional Extra #1174 with ACS-86 #607
Southbound Amtrak Train #91, The Silver Starve, with 2 sleepers
Northbound Amtrak Regional Train #174 with ACS-86 #665 passing inbound SEPTA R7 Trenton local.

Next week we return to the NEC with photos of Amtrak's Thanksgiving Sunday parade at Martin Airport station in Maryland.

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