Circling the Northeast by Rail

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by Seaboard92, Jun 17, 2019.

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  1. Jun 17, 2019 #1

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    Planning
    About in November of last year my friend Christian/Jake from Germany decided he wanted to visit me here in the United States for his first visit to North America over his birthday. And he tasked me with planning a routing that he would enjoy because I know the USA better than he would. So I set off to create the best possible routing possible for a road trip.

    The first draft had us taking NJ Transit from New York to Trenton renting a car one way. And going to the Black River and Western Railroad, the Delaware River Railroad, and driving back roads to Reading, PA. To spend a few days hunting shortlines and visiting museums in PA. Before taking Amtrak to Roanoke, visiting the Virginia Museum of Transportation and driving down to Chattanooga with a few stops in between before arriving at my house in rural South Carolina.

    Well a few weeks prior and before we had made arrangements for rental cars I noticed the Ocean Limited (MTRL-HLFX) was running with an all Budd set. So we cancelled our road trip to South Carolina via Roanoke in exchange for riding the Ocean Limited. And with the demise of PV travel and work for me money has been far tighter than before so I planned the Canadian leg of our trip with economy on the mind. So in order to skip a hotel night and two meals we planned to take the Capitol Limited to Toledo, and the bus to Detroit. Skipping further meals on VIA because of our business class tickets.

    The last change I made was instead of staying in Reading for a few nights I decided to be more central in Pennsylvania by staying in Harrisburg. Which made adventures to Horseshoe Curve, the North Shore Railroad Group, the Reading and Northern, and steamtown.

    Lastly to get to New York I wanted to finish the route of the Lake Shore Limited so I planned that flying to Boston in the morning and catching the Boston section to Albany would be a fun scenic circle.

    Day 0: Packing

    Well as usual I didn’t really pack in advance as many of you guys have learned in my previous reports. But this time we were done before midnight so that sounds like we made an improvement.

    Day 1: The New England Circle
    My Piedmont Airlines flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00 AM sharp for Philadelphia from Columbia Metropolitan Airport which normally wouldn’t be a problem. But for all days for alarms not to go off as scheduled that would be this day. My dad who was my ride to the airport had a weird alarm that he slept thru. Luckily it woke up my mother who promptly woke him up. Then woke me up because my alarm didn’t even go off. This is at 435 in the morning and boarding the flight is at 530.

    So we threw everything in the car and took a ride down the interstate to the airport. Usually I get to hear his military stories on the ride but because of the short time I was fairly quiet and stressed about making the flight. We arrived at the airport around 520 and I ran to the security checkpoint which was surprisingly long for Columbia. The other issue being the people ahead of me were all first time flyers so they took forever to clear security.

    Whereas I fly at least twelve plus times a year so I have my boarding pass on the face page of my passport, larger electronics towards the top of my suitcase, have the belt off before reaching the detector, and clean pockets. Which wasn’t the case with this group but I still managed to get out of security by 540. I ran thru the small terminal to the lower level tarmac gate and gate checked my luggage.

    After dropping my luggage on the cart I walked over the tarmac and boarded my Piedmont Airlines ERJ145 and took my seat. Today I was lucky on the small aircraft and had the single seat on the left side of the aircraft. It was a fairly smooth flight and if I’m right it went right over the roof of my house. Which is definitely something I enjoyed. For the most part I tried to sleep, then when that wasn’t forthcoming played Risk on my phone. We landed in Philly a few minutes early and again disembarked onto the tarmac.

    After a short bus ride from the regional terminal to the mainline terminal I was waiting for my next flight American Airlines 1972 for Boston. I needed to charge my phone because I neglected to the night before however the outlets in Philly leave lots to be desired. The first outlet I found the charger kept slipping out of it. And the second wasn’t an outlet but instead one painted on the wall. I gate checked my bag again and shortly was off on the E190 flight. This time I had an aisle seat because my window seat was taken by first time flyers who didn’t realize they couldn’t sit together. And for the most part I don’t care because we all arrive at the same time.

    Uneventful and short flight and we were on the ground in Boston. I quickly walked over to baggage claim and waited fifteen minutes for my bag to arrive and then I grabbed the first bus out. Which turned to be the airport shuttle to the Blue Line. I bought a Charlie card and proceeded beyond the fare gates and waited for the next inbound train. The blue line is rather weird in my opinion.

    The outbound train came in first by third rail and left by raising a pantograph. Which I can’t honestly think of any place I’ve ever seen like that. Shortly thereafter my train came in and we were off to Boston. I decided with Phase III No. 406 running on the Downeaster I would check out North Station. So I transferred to Orange Line at State street and went up to North Station. I photographed the Downeaster painted NPCU before returning back underground to head to South Station.

    I waited on a second Red Line Train because the first had so many rust spots I felt like it might be the safer move. Arrived a few minutes later at South Station where I decided I didn’t have enough time to sightsee much less with bags. So I railfaned around the station which is surprisingly accessible for a major station. I had lunch at the McDonalds in the station because I didn’t want to miss the only train west. Around 1235 we began boarding the Lake Shore Limited which had two P42s, a deadheading sleeper, two coaches, and a split cafe.

    We departed promptly at 1250 PM and started off west. I had a seat mate bound for Pittsfield who is a finance student at Harvard. Our two coaches were full the entire way with very few empty seats. I was the first on board so I chose a decent window seat on the engineers side. It’s a very scenic yet under rated run. We made great time. I stepped off for fresh air in Springfield as Vermonter pulled out. I was amazed at how short the platform actually was. Especially considering back in the day Springfield Union Station catered to multiple eight and nine car trains daily.

    I talked briefly to my seat mate on the way into Pittsfield. I was really surprised to see how much work the train did in Pittsfield. We lost forty passengers and picked up at least forty. I don’t know what’s in Pittsfield but it must be something special. Shortly after Pittsfield we met the eastbound counterpart as we continued westbound.

    The Post Road Branch seamed frightfully slow. Very scenic coming down into the valley but it seamed incredibly slow. We arrived into Albany a few minutes early as did the New York section a few minutes after we arrived. I watched from the platform as the two sections combined, as well as the Adirondack and Maple Leaf arrive. After a few minutes of standing and shivering from the cold wind I went over to the other platform and boarded a mostly empty Coach for my ride into the city.

    Shortly after departure we were running a hundred miles an hour down the Hudson at sunset and I attempted to take pictures of the sunset over the valley. My good friend Tyler boarded at Rhinecliff and we talked away the miles into the City. A lot of time was spent talking about politics as we are both political science majors, the state of railroading today, and our mutual hatred of the current Amtrak administration.

    We arrived into the city slightly off the advertised and went over to a nearby diner for dinner. It was fairly good and had a nice view of the Empire State Building. Afterwards we took the LIRR out to Jamaica and connected to the airtrain to reach our hotel out at JFK. Tyler and I waited for about an hour for the hotel shuttle to arrive forcing us to arrive shortly after midnight. We then met up with Christian/Jake from Germany and went to bed.

    Due to a mixup we ended up with one king bed so I volunteered to sleep on the floor using my camera bag for a pillow it wasn’t the most comfortable but it was doable.
     
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  2. Jun 17, 2019 #2

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    The Piedmont Airlines Embraer at Columbia Metropolitan Airport

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    The Blue Line at the airport station in Boston.

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    The MBTA Orange Line.

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    The Downeaster at North Station.

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    MBTA Red Line.

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    Downtown Boston across the street from South Station.

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    Boston South Station

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    The Lake Shore Limited Boston Section at South Station.

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    Three generations of MBTA motive power.

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    Two Acela sets sitting in Boston.
     
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  3. Jun 17, 2019 #3

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    A view along the B&A before Worcester .

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    Worcester Union Station.

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    I’m not sure where this is.

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    The Lake Shore Limited and Vermonter at Springfield.

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    The Massachusetts Fire Department training train.

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    A view in western Mass.

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    Both Lake Shore Limited sections.

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    The Maple Leaf arriving into Albany.

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    Our P32 rolling along the Lake Shore Limited.

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    Sunset along the Hudson.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2019 #4

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    Sunset along the Hudson

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    Sunset under the bridge.

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    The Maple Leaf at Penn Station.

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    The Empire State Building
     
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  5. Jun 17, 2019 #5

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    Day 2: Keystone and the first car problem.

    We awoke at four thirty in the morning in order to catch our regional train No. 661 for Harrisburg. We took the hotel shuttle bus which dropped us off at the Delta terminal and took the air train to Jamaica. Caught the next inbound LIRR and arrived in Penn with a few minutes to spare before boarding. We said our goodbyes to Tyler who took Metro North out of town, and we boarded our train.

    We rode in one of the oldest Amfleet type cars which predates Amtrak. One of the Cab Cars from the original Metroliner. Taking a seat on the fireman’s side to Philly and engineers side beyond. I pointed out various NEC sights between small naps in the seat. At Philadelphia I photographed both ends of our train before reboarding and we headed off to Harrisburg. I was surprised how scenic this part of Pennsylvania was.

    We arrived a handful of minutes ahead of schedule and photographed the GG1 on the adjacent track. Before we walked over to the rental car location in a shady side of town. While walking the Illinois Terminal Heritage unit went by on a eastbound freight. When we reached enterprise we learned because he did not notify his credit card company they reduced his limit to $160. And our rental charge was about five hundred and me being responsible has paid his card off and gotten rid of it and they wouldn’t use my debit card.

    So without a car that eliminated my plan of visiting Strasburg and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. So instead we walked over to the State Capitol found a burger joint for lunch. I charged my phone while we had a relaxing lunch before we went out to the Art Market on Front Street. Most of the items weren’t in my price range but he atmosphere was lovely.

    After that we went for a walk across the Susquehanna River before settling into a train watching place on City Island at the boat launch with a view of the River line to Perryville, and the Lurgan branch which is part of the crescent corridor. Almost more entertaining than the handful of Norfolk Southern trains were the people launching their boats. Jake constantly retold the story of the family with their new boat backing into the water.

    And how when the women would say go left, she would then say the other left once her husband started backing up. I had to get into the water to help them get the boat off the trailer but all in good fun. Next was a husband and wife where the husband takes the boat for the weekend and just goes out without his wife. They did it in one try. After awhile the Training our First Responder Train went by us.

    Afterwards we walked back to the Amtrak station and took a twenty five dollar cab ride to our hotel on the south shore. Our hotel was crowded with people from a youth sporting event but check in was effortless. Afterwards we walked over to a local “grocery store” which was basically like the gas station stores without the pumps. He was fascinated with the why the small Nestle water cost more than a gigantic gallon jug marked water. He bought two gallons.

    We then went to a small pizzeria which was very friendly and they made us feel welcome. Afterwards we walked back to the hotel and I tried to make contact with the Turo car owner to no avail before drifting off to sleep.
     
  6. Jun 17, 2019 #6

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    The Long Island Railroad at Jamaica.

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    Sunnyside Yard New York.

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    Our Keystone No. 661 at Penn station.

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    Save Amtrak

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    Fire Anderson

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    Train No. 661 at Philly.

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    The Evil Empire at Race Street Yard

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    Train No. 661 at Harrisburg with a GG1

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    Norfolk Southern and a GG1.

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    Downtown Harrisburg.
     
  7. Jun 17, 2019 #7

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    The Pennsylvania State Capitol.

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    St. Peter’s Harrisburg.

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    Market Street Bridge to City Island

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    Norfolk Southern heading towards Hagerstown.

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    Christian/Jake photographing Norfolk Southern

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    A Norfolk Southern freight going northbound off the Lurgan Branch

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    The Training Our First Responders train on the Lurgan branch.

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    A close up on the Training Our First Responders locomotive.
     
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  8. Jun 17, 2019 #8

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    Day 3: Trying to salvage a bad day.

    So I slept in a bit because we were supposed to pick up our Turo car at ten so I slept in till nine which was a nice relief. I tried to make contact with the owner again and got no where. Christian/Jake came back from breakfast and we ubered across town to a sketchy feeling apartment complex. Christian/Jake walks around the parking lot and looks for the car to which he doesn’t find a car of that make or model. I look at the mailboxes and our host’s name isn’t listed.

    Hence I’m suspicious and I call him and still get no answer. Now realizing I’m in a particularly dangerous situation in a sketchy neighborhood and no sign of the reason I was there. Fresh with the memories in my head of the girl killed in a scammers ride share in my home town. So I called another Uber to take us to the Amtrak station. While waiting fifteen minutes for the nearest Uber to come I called Turo support.

    I will give them credit that their customer service is second only to Disney. They tried without success to reach our host before trying to find another car. However they weren’t successful at that. In order to salvage a bad day and to avoid spending another dull day in Harrisburg I bought us Amtrak Tickets to Lancaster where we could get a cab to Strasburg Railroad.

    On board Amtrak No. 666 I made calls to all my local friends trying to see if anyone could help us out. Our problem being we had tickets on a RDC car the next day departing at nine an hour away. And the rental car places don’t open till eight. And no buses were running at the right time. Luckily my good friend Chris Lockwood from the real New River Train agreed to drive up six hours from Huntington, WV to help us out. In exchange I bought him excursion tickets, gas, food, and hotel.

    So fresh with that knowledge the scenic but long $35 cab ride to Strasburg from Lancaster wasn’t as bad. Christian/Jake had trouble trying to understand our driver who I believe was probably driving under the influence of marijuana. But we were desperate and take what we get.

    We arrived at the Strasburg Railroad and if it weren’t for the cars in the parking lot it could have been the early 1900s or late 1800s with the wooden cars, and steam locomotives. I bought our tickets on the 1 PM train with an entry to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania next door. We boarded a wooden car shortly after the train arrived in and took our seats.

    And for the first time on this day I was able to relax and unwind as Amish country scenery drifted by at 15 miles an hour. All too soon that ride was over and we walked across the street to the museum. We then ambled around one of the best museums of railroading I’ve ever been to. They have a good variety of equipment inside that’s in perfect shape, and plenty of different locomotives and cars open for tours during our visit.

    After our visit we walked to the Caboose Motel and watched the inbound Strasburg Railroad train pass us before calling an Uber to take us back to Lancaster. Our ride this time was a large truck actually and the driver was so nice. We struggled explaining what the Amish are to Christian/Jake who thought they were a tourist attraction. But it was a very enjoyable ride. We purchased our tickets at the Lancaster Station and proceeded to wait on Train No. 667 which was running about fifteen minutes behind which was no big deal.

    Especially with Chris still several hours away. We settled in for the brief but enjoyable ride back into Harrisburg before settling into railfan on the Mulberry Street bridge. I don’t think it’s the safest area but we were left alone for the most part. And we saw roughly five trains before I moved us to City Island Park where I felt far safer. Chris arrived at the tail end of the Harrisburg Senators baseball game fireworks show.

    We then drove over to a diner across the street from Enola yard and had a decent dinner it wasn’t my favorite place of the trip but it was Christian/Jake’s. It was an enjoyable evening and we spent time catching up with Chris. Afterwards we went back to the hotel and I slept on the floor again because I felt Chris deserved to have the bed after driving so far.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2019 #9

    Seaboard92

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    A center cab along the Keystone line.

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    A NS local at Lancaster.

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    The railroad museum of Pennsylvania.

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    Francis L Sutter an Amtrak certified PV based at Strasburg.

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    The Strasburg Railroad arriving.

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    The small train at Strasburg.

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    Strasburg Railroad leaving Strasburg.

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    Amish Country.

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    A steam engine alongside the Keystone Corridor.

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    Heading back into Strasburg
     
  10. Jun 17, 2019 #10

    Seaboard92

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    The Strasburg Railroad backing down between two cuts of cars.

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    Inside the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

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    Second generation diesels and electrics.

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    The only remaining E7 left in the world.

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    Steam facing off against an E60

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    Two massive Pennsylvania Steam engines.

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    The first and second generation of NEC power.

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    Inside the museum at their train station set.

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    The Solari Board from 30th Street Station.

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    The Strasburg Railroad.
     
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  11. Jun 17, 2019 #11

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    A Keystone at Lancaster.

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    The Keystones at Harrisburg.

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    Norfolk Southern at Harrisburg Station.

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    Keystones at Harrisburg Station.

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    A Norfolk Southern local at Harrisburg.

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    Fulton Bank Building Harrisburg.

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    Sunset on the Susquehanna

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    Downtown Harrisburg from City Island.

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    Sunset from City Island.
     
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  12. Jun 17, 2019 #12

    Seaboard92

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    Day 4: The Reading and Northern

    All of us woke up after a restful night around seven and went to Chris’s truck and started driving for Pottsville, PA on Christian/Jake’s 30th Birthday. We stopped at a drive thru on the way in and made remarkably good time and we’re sitting on board todays train ride 30 minutes prior to departure. About this time the Turo Car host from the day before sent a “Got Ya” meme.

    Shortly after departure we started talking with the people around us and I learned they like the same XM DJ that I do. Which made for pleasant conversation. We made a quick passenger stop at Schuylkill Haven, and Port Clinton before starting our long non stop trek up the mainline. Today’s train was made up of an RDC-1, and an RDC-3 with its baggage room turned into a cafe car. We made remarkably good time with about sixty passengers aboard.

    We went over the High Bridge and I took a really cool photo from the open window inside a tunnel before we passed the construction site. Where the first new mainline railroad bridge over a major river built since the 1950s is being constructed according to the crew. We retrained at the Central Railway of Pennsylvania (Central Railway of New Jersey’s subsidiary) station in Jim Thorpe formally Mauch Chunk, PA. We went over to a local bar and had a nice bite to eat before boarding the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway (Also the Reading and Northern) for a quick scenic ride to Old Penn Haven.

    The ride in the open air car was nice and enjoyable paralleling the ex Lehigh Valley Railroad most of the way. After we returned the three of us explored Jim Thorpe also known as Pennsylvania’s Switzerland before returning to our RDC train. Shortly before departure the crew learned the HVAC unit on our car had gone out. However with all open windows the car wasn’t bad on the return trip. For the most part we all did our own thing on the return trip which was alright by all of us.

    After we arrived back into Pottsville I asked the conductor when they would leave to see if we could chase it and I was told as soon as possible. So we made a bee line six miles to Schuylkill Haven where we photographed their freight train and then the RDC pausing at the Reading Station decked out for Memorial Day. After that we drove to Port Clinton and caught the RDC at the headquarters of the Reading and Northern. Then we drove back to Harrisburg.

    Everyone wanted steak so we went to the cheapest steakhouse we could think of the Longhorn and had a lovely dinner. Chris and I had to explain the American injustice in why we must tip waiters to Christian/Jake. After that we drove back to the hotel and relaxed a little bit before going to sleep.
     
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  13. Jun 17, 2019 #13

    Seaboard92

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    Our RDC at Pottsville Union Station

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    Open windows on an RDC!

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    A former Milwaukee Road Super Dome

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    Reading and Northern GP30s

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    Reading and Northern freight power.

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    Looking out the open window in a tunnel.

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    The high bridge.

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    A gigantic lake along the line.

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    Jim Thorpe PA

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    Our RDC at the Central Railway of Pennsylvania Station in Jim Thorpe.
     
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  14. Jun 17, 2019 #14

    Seaboard92

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    Jim Thorpe

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    The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.

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    The bridge construction site on the Lehigh River.

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    Running around the train

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    Arriving back into Jim Thorpe.

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    Jim Thorpe street side.

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    Both Reading and Northern excursions passing each other.

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    The high bridge.

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    A former Reading System Station.

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    Reading and Northern freight power.
     
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  15. Jun 17, 2019 #15

    Seaboard92

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    Reading and Northern freight train

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    Arriving into Schuylkill Haven.

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    The RDC at the beautiful Schuylkill Haven Station.

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    The RDC at Port Clinton.
     
  16. Jun 17, 2019 #16

    Seaboard92

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    Day 5: Finally the Great Pennsylvanian Road Trip

    This morning Chris has to drive back to Huntington but he took us to the airport and we were finally able to get a car. So I set my GPS for the Lycoming Valley Railroad which paints all of their equipment in a Reading System inspired paint. We drove up the Susquehanna River for a good while. We stopped in an Aldi because Christian/Jake wanted to see if our Aldi’s were different than his.

    So he grabbed us a quick breakfast there and we were on the road again. We accidentally found a train on the North Shore System’s Union County Industrial Railroad after that which we photographed before driving into a blinding rain storm. Shortly thereafter we photographed the Lycoming Valley Railroad at their shop before turning east to go to Steamtown National Park.

    We had some really nice conversations on our backroad route to Scranton. Upon arrival in Scranton we watched a triple unit Alco set pull a freight train out of Scranton before arriving at Steamtown National Park. We arrived at steamtown where both of us split off for most of the day. And I wandered around the railyard photographing what I’ll dub the junkyard of passenger cars and steam locomotives.

    We checked in at the visitors center and both of us joined the guided shop tour which felt like it would drag on forever. Especially when a former colleague started calling my phone repeatedly to tell me something. I texted him to figure out what was up. Turned out he won two railcars at auction and wanted to know if I wanted one.

    Of course I want a railcar because I really need a hole in my head. So I unfortunately ignored most of the tour choosing to text on my phone everyone I know to see if I could find financing. And after the tour ended I started making several calls. Which just so happened to coincide with the Delaware and Lackawanna ALCOs switching in the yard making talking on the phone rather difficult. I made a point to walk back towards the City of Lima and Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society private cars to look at them.

    After awhile we left the museum and started driving back to Harrisburg shortly before they closed. It was a pretty easy uneventful drive down the interstate back to the Harrisburg region. I rerouted us to Rockville so he could see the Rockville Bridge. And we waited forever for a train in the rain till one showed up going eastbound. Afterwards we went to Christian/Jake’s favorite diner in Enola again before returning our rental car and ubering back to the hotel.
     
  17. Jun 17, 2019 #17

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    3,061
    Location:
    South Carolina
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    Driving up the Susquehanna River.

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    The Union County Industrial Railroad

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    Lycoming Valley

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    Welcome to the open road.

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    Welcome to the open road.

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    Scranton, PA.

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    A Big Boy at steamtown.

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    A Steamtown Alco

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    A yard scene at steamtown.

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    A Reading System F unit
     
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  18. Jun 17, 2019 #18

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Carolina
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    Illinois Central 790

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    Nickel Plate Road Berkshire.

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    Grand Trunk and Western Steam.

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    City of Lima sleeping car.

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    Ringling Brothers circus sleeper.

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    Steamtown’s deadline.

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    The Delaware and Lackawanna ALCOs

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    Steamtown National Park

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    ALCOs of two generations.

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    Lackawanna Station in Scranton.
     
  19. Jun 17, 2019 #19

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Carolina
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    Rockville Bridge.

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    NS on the Rockville Bridge.
     
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  20. Jun 17, 2019 #20

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
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    Location:
    South Carolina
    Day 6: Northeast Cities

    We awoke up three thirty AM so we could take an Uber from our hotel to the Amtrak station in time for Train No. 640 that we were taking to Philadelphia. Boarding for the five am departure occurred at 4:50 AM and we departed on time. It was a fairly uneventful ride till the end with very few delays. They had a strong thunderstorm the night prior so the Keystone Connection catenary has been blown down. So we took the rare milage NY Subway that was a part of the original Broadway Limited’s route and backed into 30th Street.

    We arrived roughly twenty minutes late into Philadelphia where we decided we would walk to Independence Hall with our luggage. So we walked across the River and towards City Hall. Pausing every once in awhile to take a photo before passing Reading Terminal and arriving at Independence Hall around 755 in the morning. A homeless amazon employee approached us asking if we could food pantry to which I happily researched. Had I been thinking I would have given him some money but I was a bit scatter brained.

    We then took SEPTA back to 30th Street Station and arrived twenty minutes prior to our departure on the Carolinian No. 79. We had a time trying to find seats together for our short trip to Baltimore, MD. It really wasn’t a memorable ride because I’ve done the route hundreds of times and it was average. We arrived in Baltimore a few minutes early. Stored our bags for $10 at the baggage station before buying tickets for the MTA to visit the B&O Museum.

    We watched the Carolinian depart from the light rail train before we departed. I learned our ticket we bought did not include the bus transfer so we couldn’t get the bus to B&O without getting change. Went to a McDonalds and attempted to buy a dollar menu item with a $20. And they refused to take the $20. For the charm city I really wasn’t feeling the charm. So we walked to the museum because none of the local businesses would break my twenty. After a long somewhat sketchy walk we reached the B&O Museum in 90 degree heat.

    We paid for admission including the Mile One Express ticket. And then we wandered around the roundhouse. In my honest opinion I think the museum is a bit disappointing because it feels like they are trying to be a civil war museum when in fact they are a railroad museum. That and most of the equipment I care about is in horrible condition in the elements. Honestly there are two solutions to that have fundraisers to raise money to restore the equipment or better shelter it. Or B sell it off to other museums or individuals with a credible preservation plan.

    The Mile One Train was remarkable for the feat of being unremarkable. All of the cars still have their MARC interiors despite having a nice paint scheme on the outside. And one window had a bullet hole which is also interesting. The museum was fun as always but I still find it a bit over rated. We ubered back to Pennsylvania Station and proceeded to wait for about an hour for our Regional Train No. 125 for Washington, DC.

    Again I made several phone calls due to the pending railcar purchase to work on financing because things always occur at bad times like when you are traveling. The train arrived about twenty one minutes behind schedule. And again the only really remarkable thing was how unremarkable the trip was. The train arrived in DC 22 minutes late because we paused several times due to track work and to let a late Acela around us.

    We arrived at 3:32 PM and our connection was scheduled to depart at 4:05 PM and because we didn’t have lunch due to time constraints and no one wanting a twenty dollar bill we had a short amount of time to get it. I annoyed Christian/Jake by zipping around DC like the rest of the commuters. Well in all honesty DC is my home terminal because most of my PV gigs originated and terminated in DC so I know my way around.

    Zipped up the escalator and then down to the food court. Placed an order for my usual from Bojangles and was back up to the Club Acela in ten minutes. No sooner had we arrived at the Club Acela we were off to the regular platform to board the Capitol Limited. I deposited my bag in our sleeper which was a Superliner II transition car. I walked up to the locomotive for a minute to see we had heritage Unit No. 822 on the point while a switched pulled a track inspection car off the regional I took into DC.

    I noticed they were loading multiple pallets of boxes into the baggage car which I can only assume was company papers being shuffled around. After that I walked back to my room and proceeded to devour my chicken. Where I learned Christian/Jake travels with his own silverware. Something I’ve never seen someone travel with before. The train didn’t depart till 4:18 PM which I assume the late departure was from the baggage loading.

    We then proceeded to lose an hour in MARC territory so I assume we were trailing a MARC Brunswick Line Train. Two different SCA’s came to take our contemporary meal order which was a bit confusing. Shortly after Gaithersburg we moved into the Sightseer Lounge which was fairly full right out of DC. We joined an older man who was quite interesting to talk to.

    That’s what I love about trains it facilitates conversations that you won’t get elsewhere. We basically solved all of the worlds problems between DC area and Cumberland. We had an extended stop in Martinsburg because some homeless person jumped on at Harpers Ferry and locked himself in the restroom required a police extraction. Other then that a fairly uneventful but scenic ride up the B&O mainline. I stepped off on the brand new Cumberland platform for a few minutes. And afterwards we are our contemporary garbage.

    Christian/Jake and I stayed in the sightseer lounge for a bit before he decided he wanted to go to bed. I stayed awake till Pittsburgh and jumped off of the fresh air break there for a few minutes before sleeping in the top bunk of a superliner for the first time. It wasn’t god awful but I prefer the bottom.
     
  21. Jun 17, 2019 #21

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Carolina
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    A PCC car in Philly.

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    30th Street Station.

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    SEPTA in Philly.

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    Philadelphia City Hall

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    Reading Terminal

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    Independence Hall

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    A photo inside a photo.

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    Maryland MTA

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    The B&O museum’s roundhouse.

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    Some of the oldest steam engines in our country.
     
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  22. Jun 17, 2019 #22

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Carolina
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    Two F units at the B&O Museum.

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    Chessie System

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    A B&O Slumbercoach

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    A streamlined Hudson

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    The President Washington

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    One of the run down second generation diesels.

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    Another second generation locomotive.

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    A statue reminding us that we are all similar in the human race. At Baltimore Penn Station

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    Train No. 125 at Baltimore.

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    The Capitol Limited at Washington.
     
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  23. Jun 17, 2019 #23

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Switching a FRA car off 125

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    MARC chargers in from Baltimore.

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    Contemporary Garbage.

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    Cumberland Maryland.

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    The Capitol Limited at Pittsburgh
     
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  24. Jun 17, 2019 #24

    MARC Rider

    M

    MARC Rider

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,247
    Location:
    Baltimore. MD
    I worked in an office in the Fulton Bank Building during two college vacations in 1974 and 1975. I was working for the state Department of Environmental Resources in a kind of internship job, and that particular part of the department was housed in the bank building. Although most of the time I was out of the office, driving around the countryside collecting water samples. Lots of other memories of Harrisburg, as my parents moved there in 1975 and left in 1979. More recently, we would sometimes drop my daughter off at the Harrisburg station to take the Pennsylvanian to Huntingdon and college. It saved a good bit of time, as a 100% train ride from Baltimore requires a connection in Philadelphia and can take 8 hours. The through drive was about 3 hours. Dropping her off (or picking her up) in Harrisburg only took an hour and a half.
     
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  25. Jun 17, 2019 #25

    anumberone

    anumberone

    anumberone

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Impressive! I woke up at 2 am, couldn't sleep, thought I would read a couple of post and call back asleep. After reading and looking at your photos I'll be awake for two days. Very interesting, thanks for sharing.
     

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