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Here are some photos I took last October.    This was a stop on the way home from October Strasburg O Scale show and some railfanning in Central PA.      On a previous visit in the summer, I saw only 1 train.

These were taken at the East End of Conway Yard on NS.   That is on the old Pennsy Main Line about 20 miles West of Pittsburgh.     I stopped there for the night and spent a few hours in the evening at this spot which is a GOTO for me if I am in the area.IMG_1929IMG_1931IMG_1932IMG_1933IMG_1934IMG_1938IMG_1940IMG_1945IMG_1950

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B&O truss bridge decorated for the holidays.  This is the sole surviving iron truss bridge invented/designed/patented  by Wendall Bollman.   Bollman's iron truss bridge system was the first iron truss bridge system used by American railroads .  At one time the B&O had approximately 100 of these bridges throughout its' system.  

This particular bridge, located in Savage, Md. spans the Little Patuxent River on what used to be the B&O's Patuxent Branch.  This bridge was moved to this location sometime in the late 1800s.  Its' former location on the B&O system has never been determined.  The two spans are about 80 ft long each for a combined length of 160 ft.  It carried the B&O's Patuxent branch across the Little Patuxent River to a cotton mill which still stands alongside the river and is now converted to shops, restaurants, and art studios.    I remember the bridge being active, carrying freight cars across up until the mid 1960's.  Since being moved to its' current location in the late 1980's, locomotives were prohibited from crossing the bridge due to weight restrictions.  A string of idler cars ( about 6 - 8 gondolas ) were employed so inbound and outbound freight cars could be pushed across the bridge to the mill's loading dock and coal dump.  The locomotive always stayed on the south side of the bridge.

This bridge is listed on the National Historic Registry and is a Civil Engineering Landmark.   The Chessie System abandon the Patuxent Branch at US Route 1 ( about 1/4 mile from where this photo was taken ) in the early/mid 1970s.  Later in the late 1990s  the CSX completely abandoned the remainder of the branch.   I took these photo in December 2024.  

CSX donated the bridge to the Howard County Dept of Parks and Recreation.  Additionally CSX donated part of the Patuxent Branch ROW too and it is now a trail which I often traverse.

Looking south.
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Looking north showing the illuminated wall of one of the mill buildings.  IMG_2712

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Patrick, great photos of the bridge in its holiday trim and the history is very interesting.

The sun decided to show up this morning after a long rainy, windy, and cloudy week, so Happy Friday!

Since it is so nice I stopped at the Santa Clara Train Station in Silicon valley and went for a brief stroll around the station and surrounding area. What caught my eye is a small Union Pacific consist of tank cars and TTX boxcars parked next to the SC train station. Not typical, UP usually parks freight further down the sidings. The SC passenger platform is at the beginning of the San Jose UP yard and I'm looking south towards San Jose. The 3 tracks on the left are in the yard, the track next to the platform is UP mainline. Both Amtrak and Caltrans use the UP mainline and stop at this location.

While I was taking this photo I turned around and a southbound Caltrain (different operator than Caltrans) was rolling in, so I switched to video.  I panned the Santa Clara train depot building with a restored Pullman private passenger car parked out front in between Caltrain coming and going. The train included #918 F40PH-2-CAT pulling Nippon Sharyo Gallery passenger set. If all goes well, by the end of 2025 most of these old F40's, Nippon Sharyo, and Bombardier cars will be gone, replaced by brand new Stadler KISS EMU passenger sets. In the video you can see the new overhead power. Currently the Stadler's are still under test, so Caltrain only runs them at night between actual passenger hours. The electrification infrastructure is not yet complete in the north, mostly in San Francisco.

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Last edited by WesternPacific2217

Spring-like temperatures in Springfield, MA started the day off with a thick fog. Even as late as 8:45 AM visibility was limited coming into the West Springfield Yard, but it made for a more interesting railfan experience. Probably one of the best days I've had railfanning. The Saturday morning CSX traffic was continuous, by noon it was almost short sleeve weather, and there were a pair of eagles canvasing the Westfield River which parallels the tracks leading to the West Springfield Yard. It's enjoyable to sit in the car just outside the yard waiting for trains, but it is infinitely better to hike the Westfield River Trail and catch the trains along the way.

I took these photos and video this past Saturday, February 10th in Bellow’s Falls, VT.  It’s hard to believe this beautiful blue-sky day turned into dark skies and heavy rain less than 45 minutes later!

Here’s Vermont Rail System light engine GP38-3 #206 crossing the Bellows Falls Canal as it enters the small yard complex.

Here are some still photos as # 206 stopped at the Green Mountain Railroad (formerly Rutland) yard office…

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@Mark Boyce posted:

Joe, that's a nice building they have for a yard office.

I agree, Mark.  It's nicely painted and well maintained.  Makes for a great photo prop!  You can also see the Amtrak station building just visible on the left.  The Vermont Railway yard lead crosses the line that Amtrak uses on a diamond just on the other side of the station building.

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My Railfanning Adventures from 2023

CSX tank car train with NS power leading @ Wildwood, FL -

Union Station & Amtrak's California Zephyr @ Denver, CO -

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In the vein of transit (sort of) here's some Maryland Area Rail Commuter (MARC) action from last February. MARC is currently the only operator of the Bombardier-Alstom HHP-8s, which were intended to supplement the AEM-7s and retire the E60CHs on Amtrak. On some weekdays, at least one unit is in service on a Penn Line train between Washington and points north, but occasionally, two of the five units may appear. Such was the case on this day, when I found 4912 being hostled around Union Station for express service, and 4915 on the point of a mid-afternoon rush train.

@prrjim posted:

These were taken at the East End of Conway Yard on NS.   That is on the old Pennsy Main Line about 20 miles West of Pittsburgh.     I stopped there for the night and spent a few hours in the evening at this spot which is a GOTO for me if I am in the area.IMG_1938

In one of your photos, interesting to see a SD40-2 still hard at work.

The SD40 in my photos from Conway was the yard goat.   You can see a slug attached to it that is a cut down Alco of some sort.   It was also 6 axles.    the SD40 still was marked as an SD40-2, not one of the rebuilds marked SD40-3.

the GTW  unit in Pontiac looks new.   Very nice.   It must have been recently shopped.

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@coach joe posted:

Ah, the 4 train sliding past the old Kingsbridge Armory.  I can't count the number of times I sat in that train on my way to Manhattan.  Last I heard Mark Messier was part of a group looking into turning the Armory into a sports complex.  I wonder how that turned out?

I've never been inside the building, but I hope they use it for something worthwhile.   It's awesome!

@Mark Boyce posted:

Chris, great photographs as always!  I was going to ask about the Kingsbridge building, but Joe beat me to it and filled me in with the answer to my question.  😊. I have never been even close to New York City.  Cresson is more my speed! 👍🏻

Thank you Mark!   I believe it's one of the largest , if not possibly the largest armory in the world. It was very challenging to photograph, given the vast size of it.

Thank you Mark!   I believe it's one of the largest , if not possibly the largest armory in the world. It was very challenging to photograph, given the vast size of it.

I had no idea it is an armory.  The armories I’ve been in are no larger than a basketball court.  Of course Butler, Pennsylvania and Keyser, West Virginia aren’t quite as large and important as New York!  😄😄

@Bob Golfs posted:

That date for the Michigan Central Station opening is also the 80th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landing.  I wonder if they chose that date to coincide and have some ceremonies or exhibitions to commemorate that as well?

Bob

Hi Bob: Local news media have been doing a lot of historic stories about the station. Several about WWII. Check out this link. Stories & videos. 

https://michigancentral.com/

Gary

Wife and I were headed toward Allentown for the Spring Thaw, but while on the road changed our plans and went up to Altoona for a weekend of railfanning. Drove back and forth from South Fork to Altoona Friday afternoon through Monday morning. Insane number of trains and shot 100 iPhone videos during that time. I got bored late Sunday afternoon and looked for a different way to frame the shot. Here you go - a live photo frame!

Here are my posts for the week -

Brooklyn, NY - 3/17/23 -

Great shots as always, Christopher, but one really stands out to this ex-pat Brooklynite. And the bit that REALLY gets me is the very old Transit Authority logo on the side of the building. I remember when that logo was on the side of all the subway cars. I can’t remember when they stopped using it (probably when the subways became the MTA), but I’m glad to see it has survived. Thanks for sharing.

@Apples55 posted:

Great shots as always, Christopher, but one really stands out to this ex-pat Brooklynite. And the bit that REALLY gets me is the very old Transit Authority logo on the side of the building. I remember when that logo was on the side of all the subway cars. I can’t remember when they stopped using it (probably when the subways became the MTA), but I’m glad to see it has survived. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you!  I think late 70s is when it was phased out. I love the logo!

I honestly don't know how it's lasted so long on the side of that sub station!   One day, I'm going to go back & it won't be there.    think it makes a nice contrast to the more recent vintage R160 F train in the shot.

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