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Last week, word was out that BOTH the CSX & NS OCS trains were going to be making trips. I decided to call up some friends and take a trip to try & shoot both on Monday. I started in Ashland, VA for CSX & eventually worked my way up to Culpepper, VA for the NS with just enough light left in the day to pull off a decent shot. On Tuesday, the train was down my way in Charlotte and heading south towards Augusta. I decided to give it a chase for a bit, as the afternoon light would be awesome.

Ashland, VA

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Culpepper, VA -

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Day 2 - Concord, NC -

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Rock Hill, SC -

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Chester, SC -

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Cornwell, SC -

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Blackstock, SC -

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Winnsboro, SC -

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Blythewood, SC -

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Last edited by Christopher2035
@Hot Water posted:

Interesting photos. Locations and dates would also be nice.

I took the first photo of Southern 4501 and 630 at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Depot in Chattanooga October, 2018. It was before we departed on the “Summerville Steam Special.”

I don’t remember the exact date or location I took the second photograph. I participated in a David Goodheart photo charter on the Ohio Central Railroad in the early 2000’s. Ohio Central 1293 was re-lettered to its original Canadian Pacific. 6325 was re-lettered to its original GTW. 1293 hauled the photographers while 6325 headed a freight train. At the end of the day they did this final double headed run by for everyone before heading back to the Morgan Run Shops.

Last edited by J 611

A week ago, since the sun was out I decided to ride DC's Metro subway over to Long Bridge Park in Alexandria and snap some train photos.

This week's video is also DC-themed, featuring a B32-8WH (less powerful, passenger version of the freight B40-8W) leading an early morning Florida train. With the early hour and weekend traffic, I successfully managed to follow the train across the river from Alexandria to DC's Union Station, where I filmed the locomotives uncoupling from the train for replacement by an electric. In the 1990s, these units wore the award-winning "Pepsi Can" variation of Amtrak's phase 3 paint. For the company's 50th anniversary, Amtrak repainted one of their P42DC locomotives, number 160, into a commemorative version of that scheme. I caught that unit twice on Florida trains, both times in twilight.

Nice video Dan. #514 used to push the Autotrain around in Lorton. This was in 2015.

2016-07-15 15.09.25

Bob

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2016-07-15 18.31.26

Drove up to Vermont for the solar eclipse on Monday - fantastic experience. Lots of traffic on the way home so we stopped in East Deerfield MA to sit for a couple of hours. Crappy photos (iPhone stinks as soon as you start to zoom) but interesting first-time sightings for me - Ottawa Valley and Eastern Alabama - both GWRR subs. Seems like they are a long way from home.

Eastern AlabamaOttawa Valley

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Haven't ridden the LIRR in a while but I jumped on a west bounder last night for a short trip to UBS Arena for an Islanders Game. Took a couple shots before my train arrived. I can drive to the arena but parking is a PITA and $40.00.... The train was $7.00 round trip.

First up was the 5:28 from Penn Station to Port Jefferson. I didn't get the front of the train but this one had 2 EMD DE30AC's. Typically they will run one diesel since these coaches are equipped with cab controls.

2024-04-11 18.07.272024-04-11 18.07.32

Next was the 5:25 from Penn to Oyster Bay. A more typical train set. Sorry about the photo bomber.....(Not the guy in the Canadian's jersey..)

The Islanders won in OT so it was a good night all around.

Bob

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2024-04-11 18.11.37
Last edited by RSJB18
@Mark Boyce posted:

Bob, Smart move riding the train.  Thank you for the photographs and videos!  You don’t see anything like that here.  
Did you sit with the Canadians fan? 😉

Not exactly. Ironically the Rangers were at the Garden last night too so there were a lot of Ranger jerseys on the train. I'm surprised we didn't need a penalty box on the train after the spanking we gave the Blue Shirts earlier in the week.....🤣🤣🤣

Commuter lines get repetitive to watch but at least there's a lot of action.

Bob

@RSJB18 posted:

Commuter lines get repetitive to watch but at least there's a lot of action.

Bob

Nice pics/video, Bob. Sitting on the lower level of those cars must be weird when pulling in/out of a station!!!

Doesn’t the New York & Atlantic run some freight on the LIRR lines??? Should add some viewing interest.

And, Metro-North currently has a lot of interest due to its 40th anniversary - they have done up several engines in commemorative schemes (my favorite is the NYC Lightning Stripe)… I just saw on line the new seal they are putting on LIRR cars to celebrate their 190th anniversary. Maybe they’ll do up some engines too - I’d love to see a nice PRR Tuscan 5-stripe!!!

@Apples55 posted:

Nice pics/video, Bob. Sitting on the lower level of those cars must be weird when pulling in/out of a station!!!

Doesn’t the New York & Atlantic run some freight on the LIRR lines??? Should add some viewing interest.

And, Metro-North currently has a lot of interest due to its 40th anniversary - they have done up several engines in commemorative schemes (my favorite is the NYC Lightning Stripe)… I just saw on line the new seal they are putting on LIRR cars to celebrate their 190th anniversary. Maybe they’ll do up some engines too - I’d love to see a nice PRR Tuscan 5-stripe!!!

The LIRR certainly has plenty of history to makeup some nice HU's. The stickers look nice.

The NY&A RY runs more freight now that the 3rd track is done. I'm just not around the main line too much to catch the freights.

Yea- those lower level seats are really LOWER LEVEL!

Bob

Last edited by RSJB18
@RSJB18 posted:

Haven't ridden the LIRR in a while but I jumped on a west bounder last night for a short trip to UBS Arena for an Islanders Game. Took a couple shots before my train arrived. I can drive to the arena but parking is a PITA and $40.00.... The train was $7.00 round trip.

First up was the 5:28 from Penn Station to Port Jefferson. I didn't get the front of the train but this one had 2 EMD DE30AC's. Typically they will run one diesel since these coaches are equipped with cab controls.

2024-04-11 18.07.272024-04-11 18.07.32

Next was the 5:25 from Penn to Oyster Bay. A more typical train set. Sorry about the photo bomber.....(Not the guy in the Canadian's jersey..)

The Islanders won in OT so it was a good night all around.

Bob

Bob is that Mineola Station?  I know they changed Mineola Station since I was last there but the parking garage looks familiar.  The LIRR is the only way to go to USB.  Southern State/Cross Island is a parking lot.  My son lives on the Babylon branch but drives to Farmingdale so that he doesn't have to go into Jamaica Station and come back out to Belmont.

@coach joe posted:

Bob is that Mineola Station?  I know they changed Mineola Station since I was last there but the parking garage looks familiar.  The LIRR is the only way to go to USB.  Southern State/Cross Island is a parking lot.  My son lives on the Babylon branch but drives to Farmingdale so that he doesn't have to go into Jamaica Station and come back out to Belmont.

Yes it is Joe. That's the south side garage and bus depot. Mineola built another garage as part of the 3rd Track project a block away on the north side. The station platforms were lengthened to the east all the way to where the old Nassau Tower stood for the Oyster Bay interlocking.
I used to live right next to the Farmingdale station on the north side of the tracks. Small world.

Bob

@Ross posted:

Took a couple station photos,  Point of Rocks MD and Gettysburg PA. Saw an Amtrak in Arlington, but was out of position to photograph it.



I didn't stick around to see if they pulled up past the Western Maryland's station, but back in September I saw one of the CSX locals at the "other" Gettysburg station, the former Pioneer Lines, nee-Reading station that now sits dormant, about a block east on the same line. I don't think I've shared this one before, but if I did, I apologize.

Lincoln wasn't here

I've got two more Pittsburgh videos this week. The first is a quick, two-stop chase of the Norfolk Southern C29 local, which a friend and I caught while waiting for a southbound Bessemer miscellaneous turn back in November 2022. I believe this line is former PRR, it meets up with the remnants of the Erie near Meadville.

The second video is a chase of a former Kansas City Southern "Gray Ghost" SD50, now owned by Larry's Truck and Electric (LTEX) and at the time leased to the Buffalo & Pittsburgh. I grew up with gray, patched-out former KCS GP40-3s on the Allegheny Valley Railroad, so seeing another standard cab ghost triggered a decent bit of nostalgia. Though I'm sure it's a mechanical lemon (as mainly railfan favorites are) I'm also partial to the SD50s, as they were the last EMD units offered with just a standard cab, and the fully filled-out, long (compared to an SD40-2 and the preceding SD units) hood with a Dash 2 cab aesthetic just struck me as pleasing, in a spartan, quasi-sleek, balanced sort of fashion.

I only caught the train at four spots, but I managed to get it crossing the Mosgrove viaduct and Vanderzee bridge, and filmed the whole train, which was longer than normal with the addition of many brand-new SPMX (Shell) plastics hoppers heading to the new cracker plant near Monaca, PA. RIBT has rarely, if ever, run in daylight since March 2023 following operational changes on the B&P.

Last edited by pittsburghrailfan

@pittsburghrailfan, The C29 local is on the Erie mainline, headed east to Meadville, where the line now switches to the Western New York & Pennsylvania control, although it was the Erie (later Erie Lackawanna) main line. In your first view, the PRR did cross the Erie by the black signal case in the background, the former site of Bruin Tower, a manual interlocking. Conrail replaced this with a switch from the Erie to the PRR as a connection to the Bessemer & Lake Erie's Shenango Yard, to the far right as you turned around for your view of the rear of C29.

Also in your second view, in the background would have been the Erie's New Yard, for interchange to the B&LE Shenango Yard and local industry switching in the area. About a half mile to the right was the XN Tower (Shenango Tower to Conrail) where the B&LE's Low Line from Osgood through Greenville to Kremis crossed the Erie. So there were two "Armstrong" manual interlocking towers within 3/4's of a mile on the Erie here, and Conrail razed them both.

As you came over the Wasser Bridge Road eastward, in earlier days you would have crossed the PRR tracks and then 2 of the 4 New Yard tracks and the Westbound and Eastbound Double Track Main of the Erie before crossing Wasser Bridge itself. This whole area has changed dramatically from it's earlier, much busier, times.

Your third view is of the Erie Greenville passenger station to the right, looking westbound, with the Greenville Railroad Park to the left. In the past this area was occupied by the wooden freight station and parking area. The Main Street crossing once had an additional track which led westward to Greenville Steel Car before rejoining the main by the Mercer Street overpass.

How do I know all this? I was hired as a trackman on the Erie Lackawanna in 1974, from the Track Supervisor's office located at the far end of this station. After that I spent a short time on the B&LE as a trackman before returning to the EL in the Conrail era. After working on a mechanized tie gang I bid into the Stoney Point section gang (located between Greenville and Meadville). Our section covered the trackage from Meadville's BK Tower through Greenville and Shenango Yard to the far curve in the background of your first shot of the C29 train.

I hope this information may be of some interest. I just can't get over how much this area has retrogressed through the years, but that's living in the Rust Belt.   Anyway, Keep On Trackin'!   Don Francis

Dan, I never knew the Reading had a station in Gettysburg!  I only knew of the Western Maryland station.  Thank you for the education!!

Don Francis, thank you for the former trackage details.  I only know the details here in Butler County.  Yes it is sad for us so many lines have been abandoned or see little use as smaller regional railroads.  Your insight is appreciated!!

@ Mark Boyce, Glad you liked the info. Thanks for the kind comments. BTW, your great layout keeps getting better and better.

@ Pittsburghrailfan, It's good to be of some help by relating my past experiences. Being somewhat off-base can be fun too; in my own case I always felt I was dedicated, but some of my co-workers felt I should have been committed!   Don Francis

@Don Francis posted:

@ Mark Boyce, Glad you liked the info. Thanks for the kind comments. BTW, your great layout keeps getting better and better.

@ Pittsburghrailfan, It's good to be of some help by relating my past experiences. Being somewhat off-base can be fun too; in my own case I always felt I was dedicated, but some of my co-workers felt I should have been committed!   Don Francis

Thank you very much, Don!

I had to read it twice to get the intended use of committed!  😄  That sounds like a former coworker of mine telling my wife that I always found something to do.  I made him look bad.

April 22, 2024 • Amtrak & CN • Troy Michigan.

On this rail-fanning trip we are at the Amtrak Station & CN Yard Troy, Michigan.

Pedestrian bridge at the Troy Michigan, Amtrak Station.

Two conductors helping the passengers arriving from Chicago.

The passengers cars leaving the station.

The last car on this Amtrak Train.

Four CN, Police vehicles. My Red F150 in the background.

Thanks for taking a look!

Train Room Gary - Hope to see you out rail-fanning 🚂

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Last edited by trainroomgary

My first time visiting Point of Rocks about a year ago.

NS 1111 RDPU on 14Z

During the week, I finally got my car back from the collision shop after a month. With an 81-degree day and sun, I decided to celebrate by driving an hour and seeing if I could find any action on Norfolk Southern's H-line, specifically the Hagerstown District. After observing a 12T or 12Z drop cars at Warren before heading north, I decided I wouldn't be getting any southbounds with the light and bounced for Shenandoah, hoping for a southbound on the Roanoke District or a northbound with a nose-out DPU. For the first time in a few months, I got lucky; 14Z, which had passed through Greenville, TN, the night before, had a new crew and headed north about a half-hour after my arrival. More importantly, the train had a rear, nose-out DPU, and an EMD to-boot, which is always a bonus on NS. I followed the train north and shot it at a few places, including these very hard-to-access position lights at control point Wilsons. Their counterparts at Stanley, VA, a mile south were replaced a little over a year ago with standard Safetran signals.  

Last edited by pittsburghrailfan

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