I took my 3 year old to ride the New Hope Railroad on Monday.   We had a great time and he really enjoyed the ride.  



I will be riding and chasing the York #17 on Thursday with my older son.  Will post pics soon of that day!

Home of the Michigan and Great Lakes Rail Road.

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Thank you for starting the thread this week, Jdevleerjr. I always like your posts.  

I'll continue with some of my photos of RailCamp 2019, day 2.  DSC_4595

Don't they all look like they want to be in a classroom?    24 teenage boys at the Amtrak training facility in Wilmington, DE.  We got some good explanation of what is involved in the work to keep a railroad running.  


Two of my favorites at Amtrak.  Harold in the striped shirt, and Freddy in the solid blue.  They both told their stories of keeping the electric locomotives running in top form. 


One of the early RailCampers was Adam Otsuka, who was in the 1999 camp at Steamtown, and the 2000 Advance Camp.  He now works in planning for Amtrak.  We are impressed in how this program gives a lot of young people the nudge they need to become real railroaders.


Some rail fanning takes place in Wilmington, such as when this northeast regional train whizzes past.  


The young men get a chance to go into a real locomotive, and VP of Operations, Chris Jagodzinski walks them through different scenarios that they might encounter as engineers. 


Chris walks them through the inspection of the locomotive, too.  At each step of the way, he quizzes the boys on their knowledge, and helps them along to understand the need for so many different parts of a passenger locomotive.  


All aboard!


At the training center, the boys also get to try their hands running locomotives along the line.  The video monitor shows them trying to navigate the Acela train set through the route at track speeds. 


This team is learning how to dispatch trains.  


Another type of train simulator is this one, which allows them to navigate different weather conditions.  The controls match the types of locomotives Amtrak uses. 


More dispatching information from Tim (left) and Dimitri (right)


After dinner, the focus shifts to freight trains.  Engineer Tony Verbyla from the Reading & Northern tells stories of life on the rails.  The two hours allotted to him were not enough once the conversation started rolling.  

My pics are a bit light on train photos, but I hope that you find the RailCamp idea to be helpful.  If you know of a teen boy or girl who might be interested in 2020's program, check out www.railcamp.com



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Took these photos a few weeks ago on July 6 at the rail yard  in Roanoke. VA. .... N&W burrow crane with N&W gondola.  Looks like they are still being used but never got the NS paint job.  I took these photos with my cell phone so I couldn't zoom in ... wish I had my camera with me.  JDEVLEERJR - thanks for starting this thread!   I love the AMTRAK rail camp photos and your photos from New Hope RR!IMG_1441IMG_1439

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 


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One shot of the North Central Railroad #17 from today's visit. 

I went with my son and we road the 1st train and chased the 2 afternoon ones.  The staff there was wonderful and it was a really good operation.  The locomotive is beautiful. 

Enjoy and next weeks MWPF will include more shots from today.





Home of the Michigan and Great Lakes Rail Road.

See my Train Photography 3rd Coast Photography

Check out the Progress of my layout: M&GL RR

Forum member since: 8/25/04


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I am concluding my RailCamp 2019 coverage on the first couple of days.  Sunday, June 29, I had to pick up some of the campers who decided to take the train.  What a way to start things off, eh?  


The Wilmington area is really cool to watch trains.  It seems as if you don't have to wait 20 minutes before something rolls by.  Amtrak runs the Acela, and the Northeast Regional trains, plus Septa stops here, on their way between Philadelphia and Newark, DE.


Here is the crew we picked up at the station.  My phrase is that they start the week as rail fans, and end up being railroaders.  


On Monday,  June 30, we started the road trips with a safety briefing and other information at the Wilmington Locomotive shops of Amtrak. 


A cool walk through of the locomotive shop gave the boys a chance to see all types of work needed to keep the trains rolling.  


An interesting part of the Amtrak operation is that the railroad has to maintain the HHP8 electric locomotives as though they are running them.  It is a contractual obligation, until they are paid off, and returned to the bank that is financing them. 


Group photos are big in this camp. This was the photo location chosen for the loco shop visit. 


After lunch, we toured CTEC, which manages the electric operations of Amtrak, and the dispatching area for the lower sections, plus CNOC, which manages the operations of the nationwide network. 


Our train to Washington DC arrives.  The boys are ecstatic that we get to ride behind the Veteran's Unit, no. 645. 


While in Washington, DC, there are several photo opportunities.  VP of operations, Chris Jagodzinski leads the tour to Tower K, which still manages the trains running in and out of Union Station.  This includes MARC trains, and Virginia Railway Express. 


After dinner, we have a group photo taken with the US Capital in the background. 


Our Acela awaits us.  We boarded a regional train inbound, riding the wire and track inspection cars, and take the high-class train on the way back. 


Our arrival at Wilmington, DE at dusk.  


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I took a number of photos last weekend as the 4014 headed back west.  Met up with Big Boy 4005 (Elliot) and his wife while in Omaha and had a good time.  We stayed in the hotel across the street from UP's display area.  I parked my car about 100 yards from it in fact.  As a photographer, it's difficult to find new ways to photo something like the 4014 that's been photo'd thousands of times.  You have to look close and think about how you want to portray it.  The run from Omaha to Grand Island, NE is mostly flat and straight with few buildings of interest.  Worse, the train was w/b on the northern most of the two tracks meaning you either had to find a place where the second track was higher or try shooting towards the south.  Since it was sunny most of the day that second option was out.  Still, I think I managed to maybe get a few nice shots.  I tend to not take a lot of photos as I put a lot of time into thinking them through.


1. A driver on the left side.

2. A coil on one of the passenger cars.  I really like these kinds of details.  If done right, the photos look great.

3. While the other foamers were snug in their beds, I was still out there.  Had to drink several cups of coffee the next morning but it was worth it.

4. One spot I found on google earth was a high trestle over Little Papillion Creek in Omaha.  Cool location but there were some issues.  First was it's pretty high above the valley floor, so I had to back off a ways to get a better vertical angle.  Second issue was the direction of the sun.  The train would be running on the north track.  If I shot from the south the bridge would cover a lot of the engine so that was out.  Shooting from the north I solved that problem but now I'm shooting toward the south which tends to create a dark engine with little detail.  I thought of making it a silhouette but there wasn't enough contrast for that either.  Luckily there was a lingering overcast which helped to even out the light.  Had to wait an hour or two as the train got hung up further east somewhere.

5. The highway overpass near Clark, NE is one of the very few places I can get some elevation to clear obstacles.  Not an outstanding shot but decent enough, I guess.


I also took some photos of the other Big Boy in Omaha on display at Lauritzen Gardens, but those came out so-so.


Kent in SD

Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,

Miserere nobis.


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