Beech Grove and Corridor Clipper at tail of Capitol Limited - May 2, 2021

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MARC Rider

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I took my C&O Canal hike from Weverton to Harpers Ferry today. First time in over a year. I had planned to get into Harpers Ferry in time to see the Capitol roll in and film it using my new camera. Alas, I left home a bit late and didn't get on the trail until 10:45. The Cap is scheduled to arrive at Harpers Ferry at 11:30, but Transitdocs said it was running late and wasn't going to arrive until about 12. Thus, I had a fighting chance to make the train, except that I dawdled around on the trail (the co-located Appalachian Trail/C&O Canal Towpath) playing with my new camera, and, also, I don't walk as fast as I used to. I got to the footbridge across the Potomac at very close to 12, and I couldn't believe how crowded it was, especially with people hauling bikes up the stairs, which slowed things a bit. I crossed the bridge and was walking down to the underpass when I heard the horn of the train sound as the Cap passed the grade crossing west of the station. I did get up to the embankment where the obelisk marking the true site of John Brown's Fort stands, and I was able to see the locomotives pull in, then run past the station and finally stop on the bride. There was only one stop, I don't think any sleeper passengers disembarked. I didn't get a view of the train coming in from the station platform, but I did see it.

A few pictures, but the view from where I stood didn't give me the clearest shots. I took a movie of the train pulling out, but even with the fancy-schmatzy image stabilization built into the camera, the movie was pretty jittery, given that I was shooting with a telephoto. I should have propped the camera on the walking stick to keep it steady. Well, live and learn.

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The tail end of the train. Note the two Amfleet-type cars on the tail.

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A still from my video clip. The car on the tail was Beech Grove! The other Amfleet-type car was 10005, Corridor Clipper, a catenary inspection car. Not sure what that was doing on the Capitol Limited, as the only catenary they run under is at Union Station in Washington.

I did check out the station after the train left.

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A shot from the station platform. Are the rails that poorly aligned, or is that just an artifact from my telephoto lens?


I walked around Harpers Ferry for a couple of hours, ate lunch, and walked up to Jefferson Rock.

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Thomas Jefferson came here in 1783 and said the view was "worth a voyage across the Atlantic."

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He was probably referring to this view not the previous one. I don't think the church or the bridge was there in 1783.

On the trail, heading back to the car, I got to inspect the condition of the infrastructure on one of our country's major east-west transcontinental rail lines. (CSX, former B&O main line)

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Well, at least some of the 19th century construction is holding up pretty well:

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To get back to the car, the Appalachian Trail crosses the CSX main:

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Sometimes when I've done this hike, there's a big long CSX freight train parked on the tracks. Usually in a way that isn't blocking the crossing. But I've always been a little paranoid that one day, at the end of my hike, I'm going to come here and find a train blocking the crossing. Would calling the number shown on this sign provide any help?

It was a nice hike on an almost summer-like day. When the breeze was up, it was delightful. When the breeze died down, the bugs came out and started flying around my face, and it got a little close and sticky. The high was about 85 F. This is a nice hike, combining nature, scenery, history, and trainspotting. And the parking and entry to the National Historic Park is free.
 

Seaboard92

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Next time you are in Harpers Ferry my favorite hike there is the Maryland Heights. You can get a really amazing photo of the Eastbound Capitol Limited especially if it is on time because the light will be fantastic from the top of the bluffs on the Maryland side. You get both the Potomac, and Shenandoah Rivers with the historic town in the photo. However the trail is a killer trail it's a calf buster.
 

Bob Dylan

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Next time you are in Harpers Ferry my favorite hike there is the Maryland Heights. You can get a really amazing photo of the Eastbound Capitol Limited especially if it is on time because the light will be fantastic from the top of the bluffs on the Maryland side. You get both the Potomac, and Shenandoah Rivers with the historic town in the photo. However the trail is a killer trail it's a calf buster.
I used to Love going out to Historic Harpers Ferry when I was in Washington.( and I'm not a Hiker but the Trail is nice!)
 

AmtrakBlue

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Those cars were in Chicago for a few days though I don’t recall reading why they went out there.
 

MARC Rider

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Next time you are in Harpers Ferry my favorite hike there is the Maryland Heights. You can get a really amazing photo of the Eastbound Capitol Limited especially if it is on time because the light will be fantastic from the top of the bluffs on the Maryland side. You get both the Potomac, and Shenandoah Rivers with the historic town in the photo. However the trail is a killer trail it's a calf buster.
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Here's a view of the crowd up on Maryland Heights yesterday. I've been up there a number of times, but I'm really out of shape, and so I decided to forgo that excursion yesterday.

The trail up to the Heights is steep, but it was basically an old wagon road that the Union Army built to haul cannon up the hill, so it's fairly wide and smooth, with no precipitous drop-offs. The last few hundred yards to the overlook is a little rocky, and the overlook is really rocky with a sheer cliff and no guardrails. But the view is great.
 
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