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Going to the Beech: Beech Grove Shops that is

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Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Trip planning

So last year when the Reading & Northern announced they were operating an excursion from Reading, PA to Pittston, PA (Scranton) my good friend Malcolm and I decided we wanted to ride that. So we promptly booked tickets on the excursion in the open air car. Not knowing my exact plans around the excursion date we didn’t book a route up and back just yet.

The loose plan was for me to go out of the way and ride the Crescent, City of New Orleans, Wolverine, and Pennsylvanian on this trip. Before we had a chance to book the tickets for the initial tour of the network the Reading & Northern postponed their trip for a later date. So we made plans for the August date and started making arrangements. As you all know even the best plans require modification due to unexpected events in ones life.

So we had to reroute ourselves to a suburb of Indianapolis, IN for one of those unexpected life events. I booked my last segment on the Crescent two weeks out from departure, and 12 hours later the Reading & Northern cancelled the excursion. So I started to make new plans to fly to visit a friend in Boston and ride the Downeaster, and NEC north which is all new milage to me. I didn’t book the flight in time so I ended up keeping my reservation on the crescent.

A few days before departure one of the members from our crew cancelled out on us so we modified our trip to go back home from Indianapolis on the Cardinal East instead of going to New Orleans as the plan initially called for. So after five or six changes to the itinerary it was time to set off.

Day 0: Packing

For a change I had no trouble with packing and had it completed well before midnight because of Covid. Usually I would spend the evening before a trip at my grandmothers house but due to Covid I am trying to avoid going over to avoid potentially transmitting it to her. She hasn’t left her house since February where as I have to go to work, or go out at least every day. So for a change I was done rather early.

Day 1: Retracing Personal History.

At eight in the morning I went to work for a half day which was rather uneventful. After work I went and picked up lunch at the new restaurant in my town which was fairly good. I couldn’t complain about it at all. Before leaving I called Amtrak to pay for my last reservation home from Manassas, VA to Clemson, SC and was given the choice to wait on hold or get a call back. So I chose to get a call back and left my house around two in the afternoon for what is normally a three hour drive to Clemson, SC.

Back between 2014 and 2016 I used to make the drive to Clemson at a minimum of once a month because my girlfriend was a student at Clemson and I chose to retrace my old route. Partly because it is the fastest way to Clemson, partly because it has two unique shortlines, and partly to have dinner with a friend near my first college.

My favorite part of that entire relationship was driving to Clemson and listening to the 60s on 6 the entire way. I even credit that part of the relationship in keeping me in that horrible relationship. So I was ecstatic to get to listen to the radio on my first real road trip since Covid took over.

I turned onto the familiar two lane roads that will lead me to bypass Columbia and all of its traffic. After about ten minutes one of my business partners called me and we talked all the way from the Blythewood area to Newberry where Amtrak finally called me back (about two hours after my initial call). After that I drove up my favorite road in South Carolina US Highway No. 76 which could be called the university highway because it passes fourteen colleges along its route across the state.

I didn’t pass any trains alongside the CSX CN&L sub and none of the signals in Clinton were lined for movement so I chose to wait for my friend Ryan at my old college. Instead of waiting by my old railfaning platform from my freshman year I explored campus. I know that things change over time but I never expected things to change as drastic as they did however.

For starters my old dorm from freshman year has been turned into classrooms, and they added a glass atrium to the building that wasn’t there previously. Secondly the flagship building on campus Neville Hall built in 1907 to a Jeffersonian design has completely changed from my time as a student. For starters the entry hall when was a student had a false ceiling like King Street Station did. before it’s renovation and office space above it. That has now been removed and the atrium has been restored.

Now an addition has been added to the back of the building more than doubling the size of the building. However they tried to preserve the original as much as possible it isn’t the same. After that I walked past the library and the garden where I started the campus wide snowball fight freshmen year. Ryan called just as I was walking down the steepest hill on campus to say he was close so I cut my tour short. I walked by the dining facility which on this campus is one of two places you could eat.

I remembered the midnight service they did for exam week while I was walking by before cutting under the Science Bridge, and the garden mentioned earlier. Noticed the new housing that has grown up around the Spring Center before looping back over to my car. Ryan and I talked for about fifteen minutes at the railfan platform at Clinton Connection before moving on to the Blue Ocean. If you ever find yourself in this area the Blue Ocean is probably the third best restaurant in town and it is really good. Cheap prices, and tons of food.

Eating inside for the first time in months was definitely quite strange. Patronage was strangely very high for a Thursday evening during the pandemic. Despite being located off an interstate most of the clientele appears to be locals. Ryan and I talked about our jobs and his life as a Shortline conductor. After we ate we stood in the parking lot for about an hour continuing our conversation which is a very southern thing to do.

Eventually we both said our goodbyes and I restarted my drive by backtracking back to downtown Clinton and getting on US 76. Ten minutes later I was going thru downtown Lauren’s and admiring the beautiful architecture of the county seat of Lauren’s County. Once past the high school it was back to rural upstate driving. They added a stop sign between my last drive in 2016 and today in the middle of nowhere between Lauren’s and Hickory Tavern. At Hickory Tavern Someone has now added a former Norfolk & Western caboose to their yard.

I continued on via the former Sundown Town of Princeton, Ware Place, and Honea Path before stoping to photograph a RS1 Alco in the weeds. Then I continued up to Belton and Anderson. In Anderson I missed my turn onto the historic main drag when my phone rang and a friend who lives in Seneca told me the nighttime only local was running down to Anderson at that very moment. It seamed like I got caught by every traffic light in Anderson but I managed to make it to the south end of Pendleton to photograph the local.

Ever since my first drive to visit Ainsley in Clemson I have been in love with this line and wanting to photograph it. It has three large bridges, and several steep grades. But I’ve never been able to photograph it as the train runs at night only. But with thirty minutes to go till sunset I managed to make it happen. I caught him on the large bridge over US 76 and Three and Twenty Creek with moments to spare, and again as he was switching out a customer further East.

It was soon getting dark and I found a spot to park on college avenue in Clemson and I went for a walk around Clemson University. Up to Tillman Hall, towards the newer student union area, passed my ex’s old dorm and walked a bit in downtown. It was really unnerving how quiet this usually bustling street in downtown was. Without the students, and with covid it was downright depressing. I heard an NS train go by while I was passing my former haunts.

After a while I went to the train station where I routinely parked my car on my visits to clemson because it was free parking. I went inside the building to use the restroom and talked to the family waiting to board the train. They were traveling in a bedroom to Trenton to visit family. They were impressed when I said why I was traveling. I then got my bags out of my car and went to the platform to wait. No trains came in the hour I was there.

The Crescent pulled in 24 minutes behind schedule and I went to my room took my mask off and relaxed. I made a phone call again to Nigel one of my business partners and we chatted till Charlotte. Seeing that Toccoa was one of my regular fall destinations for work on this route in daylight I could just about pick out every small South Carolina and North Carolina town. I stepped off for the stretch stop in Charlotte to get a photo of the locomotive knowing that I wouldn’t get a chance again. We departed on time and I went to sleep.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Bailey 2020.jpgPC Bailey Hall.jpg

Bailey Hall Before and after. Top is 2020, bottom is 2013

Jacobs Hall PC.jpg

Jacob's Hall where I had several of my political science classes.


Neville Front.jpg

Neville Hall from the Quad

PC Nevile Rear.jpg

The rear of Neville Hall in 2013 October


Rear of Nevile Now.jpg

The rear of Neville Hall now.

Clinton SC 2014.jpg

Downtown Clinton, SC back in 2013 a file photo.

Laurens 2014-2.jpg

Downtown Laurens, SC another file photo from 2014

Laurens SC Church.jpg

A Church in Laurens, SC a file photo from 2014

Laurens, SC 2014-1.jpg


Downtown Laurens another file photo from 2014
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Pickens Alcos.jpg


Two Alcos at the Pickens Railroad deadline in Docheno, SC.


GRLW 2020.jpg

The Greenville & Western at their Belton yard.


P45 Pendleton.jpg

NS P45 Gainesville, GA-Anderson, SC Turn Local at Pendleton, SC 22 miles from Anderson.


P45 La France.jpg

NS P45 Crossing over US 76 at La France, SC. The shot I've wanted for years and years.

P45 Night.jpg

Lighting up the night with NS P45.


Clemson Tillman 2020.jpg

Clemson University Tillman Hall

Clemson Student Union 2020.jpg

Sunset over the Student Union of Clemson University.

Clemson College Ave 2020.jpg

College Avenue at Clemson, SC
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Day 2: Harpers Ferry

I woke up in the small town of Arlington, VA to a text from a friend of mine who is a B777-300ER pilot for one of the worlds major airlines asking if I could help her solve a problem of hers. She was out of the country and she had sent a gift to a friend of hers before their surgery as a good Will gesture and the company overcharged her substantially. So I told her I would when I got to DC. Her and I then FaceTimed while in the Charlottesville area. She was impressed and excited by having a sink and a toilet in the roomette which she says are far better than the trains of her childhood.

I didn’t eat the contemporary garbage on this train because I brought food from home. Some people asked me here to write my observations on ridership. The sleepers appeared to be fairly empty. The train has both of its sleeper lines and my car the 2011 was fairly empty. Coach looked like it might have had a decent load however.

We arrived into Alexandria where I got off at 9:18 14 minutes ahead of schedule. I met up with Malcolm and we got in our rental car for our day trip out to Harpers Ferry. To be honest I could be easily lost in the DC area driving because I thought we were heading south as we got on I495 south and some how ended up in Maryland. That kinda confused me because last time I checked Maryland was north of Virginia. Either way we made great time into Harpers Ferry. We initially tried to find the parking lot for the trail we wanted to hike but couldn’t find it.

The trailhead was on a road really not wide enough to be considered two lanes. So we ended up parking at the Amtrak station in the town. To get back to the Maryland Heights trail we crossed the former Baltimore & Ohio bridge on the Shenandoah Sub of CSX then walking along the C&O canal to the trail. It was one of the toughest trails I’ve ever taken. Before arriving I had done research on Harpers Ferry railfaning and found one amazing spot at the top of Maryland heights and this was the only way up.

After hiking the 3.5 mile trail I understood why there was only one shot from the top of it. In that short distance we gained 1,154 feet in elevation. Looking at the map I could tell there was a significant portion of downgrade after a point 70 percent into the trail and that crest could never come fast enough. We thought we had reached the crest when we reached the artillery canons as it started going downhill at that time. But shortly afterwards it started its accent again and continued for quite a ways.

After what seemed like forever in the rain we reached the crest of the grade and started defending to the rocky outcrop that is the observation point. The downhill was just as tough as most of it is bare rock on a wet day. We only slipped twice on the way down. Eventually we were rewarded with a beautiful vista of Harpers Ferry, the Potomac, Shenandoah, and the Rail lines. We saw a CSX Autorack train go west then Amtrak Train No. 30 arrived in town about an hour behind schedule. We wouldn’t have been able to photograph it had it been on time.

Right as Amtrak was arriving another CSX westbound appeared on the bridge blocking the photo we had labored for so hard. Luckily there was a sizable bare table (empty well cars) cut in the middle of the train that allowed us to get the shot we desired. We then left the trail by first hiking up grade to descend back into the town. Once we crossed back into the lower town we found a place to eat by the station and enjoyed our meal.

After lunch we walked to the station hoping to catch a train going by but nothing was coming. But I spent a good thirty minutes talking to an engineer for Canadian Pacific in New York about trains and travel. Then Malcolm and I went to explore the city and the various spots a person could railfan from. Eventually we moved into position for the first MARC train but due to covid it wasn’t currently running so a freight train worked instead.

Malcolm photographed the Capitol Limited from the Catholic Church and I was on the platform. It came in on the side opposite the station building so I had time to reposition before it left and get another iconic shot. After the train left we got in the rental car and went to Brunswick to photograph a Marc at the Baldwin designed B&O station. In the short time at Brunswick we managed to see three trains before moving onto Point of Rocks. I am fairly confident the train version of floodgates must have opened up as we caught a train every ten minutes passing by the station.

Around 7 we left the station to return to DC to meet AU member Dr. Loewen at Union Station. We had a lovely meeting about the map he would like me to create for his project on Sundown Towns which shouldn’t be too hard for me to make when I get some time later this week. After a thirty minute meeting Malcolm and I went to a nearby Biergarten for dinner before returning to his apartment for the night.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Crescent at CLT.jpg

The Crescent Train No. 20 at Charlotte, NC.

Crew Dorm 2020.jpg

Crew dorm on the rear of No. 20

Main St. Virginia.jpg

Main Street Virginia. I believe this is Orange.

Alexandria Station.jpg

Alexandria Station with the Crescent in the terminal.

Western Maryland .jpg
Western Maryland near Frederick.

Harpers Ferry .jpg
A CSX Autorack Train crossing the Potomac at Harpers Ferry

Capitol Limited at HFY.jpg
Amtrak's Capitol Limited No. 30 arriving at Harpers Ferry, WV.

Meet at HFY.jpg

A CSX Stack Train meeting Amtrak No. 30 at Harpers Ferry.

Amtrak departing HFY East.jpg

Amtrak No. 30 the Capitol Limited departing Harpers Ferry across the Potomac.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
HFY Bridge.jpg
Looking towards the Maryland Heights

Downtown HFY.jpg
Downtown Harpers Ferry, WV

Abandoned B&O HFY.jpg
The abandoned B&O Main in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Catholic Church HFY.jpg
A Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry. Site of the next photograph.

HFY Coal Train .jpg
An empty CSX Coal Train headed west from the church plaza.

HFY Tunnel.jpg
The Capitol Limited entering the Harpers Ferry Tunnel

HFY Tunnel Amtrak.jpg

The Capitol Limited emerging from the Harpers Ferry Tunnel.

Amtrak Arriving HFY.jpg
The Capitol Limited No. 29 arriving into Harpers Ferry.

Amtrak HFY Departing West.jpg
The Capitol Limited sitting in Harpers Ferry while waiting on station work to end.

Amtrak departing HFY West-2.jpg
The Capitol Limited departing Harpers Ferry. Note I caught the rare second both grade crossing lights are on at the same time.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Brunswick MD.jpg
Brunswick Maryland downtown

MARC At Brunswick .jpg
Marc arriving at Brunswick, MD

CSX Old Main Coal.jpg
CSX Coal Drag taking the Old Main at Harpers Ferry eastbound.

Point of Rocks Old Main coal .jpg

CSX Pushers on the rear of a coal drag bound for Baltimore, MD.

MARC Express PoR.jpg
MARC Express train at Point of Rocks.

MARC PoR.jpg
MARC Arriving at Point of Rocks, MD
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Day 3: Potomac Eagle

We got up fairly early and found another rental car to start our day. Then we quickly went out towards West Virginia. Our road today was US Route No. 50 which is a very scenic drive across Northern Virginia’s foothills. Once we left the DC sprawl behind around Stone Ridge we went from suburban sprawl to rolling farms.

Right towards the end of the DC Metro are three traffic circles and once passed that it’s all smooth sailing. I handled DJing today so we had a mixture of Broadway Music and music from Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. We made good time to Winchester where we stopped to admire the B&O station before we got lost in its charming cityscape but confusing due to lack of signs back to US 50. Such a charming little town however that I would love to visit longer in the future.

After departing Winchester we paused at the Winchester & Western Railroad Shops at Gore, VA before making the final assault up the mountains into West By God Virginia. We arrived into Romney around 11 AM with plenty of time to catch our train so we photographed the equipment before looking for lunch. We were going to eat at the town diner but they closed early right as we walked in.

So it ended up being a McDonalds drive thru kind of day. One of my friends I hadn’t seen since high school was going to join us for our ride on the Potomac Eagle. So while Malcolm found our seats of which I don’t think I ever touched because I love an open vestibule. I waited on the platform for her to arrive.

However Romney doesn’t have any real cell service so I had no idea how far out she was. I knew it was close though on her making it or not. I’m not a hypocrite so I did not have them hold the train for her. When I’m working a train I will not hold a train departure for a late arrival because my thought is it’s unfair to the other 200 plus passengers who arrived on time so I will not ask anyone else to delay their train.

Turns out we still departed ten minutes late and had she known that she very well could have made the train. On the way out of town we passed two Amtrak baggage cars and a heritage diner before crossing the South Branch of the Potomac. The only super great curve to photograph the train is the south end of that bridge so I took a few photos which was when I learned the 18-55 lens on my camera had stopped working properly. So I made due with my 55-300 for the gorge and occasionally with the smaller lens. We passed another Amtrak diner at their shops on the way into the Trough.

The ride is very scenic definitely one of the more scenic on the East coast and it’s an area known for Eagles. I saw one Bald Eagle in flight but I did not get a photo of it due to the camera issue. Malcolm and I stayed in the Coach vestibule till after the turn around point. As part of being travel agents we review different tourist railroads, hotels, mainline routes, airlines, etc so we had an all access pass to the entire train. As someone who’s worked a service before on a train I assumed the first class service was upon departure from Romney and I did not want to walk thru the service which is why we waited for the halfway point.

So we first walked by deluxe Coach which is a heavyweight car set up with tables. They receive a cold sandwich and a bag of chips for their meal service. While the load in Coach was about forty to fifty percent the kid in deluxe Coach was nearly empty. The next two cars were first class both in Budd built Ex PRR congressional coaches. Now both are table cars and they receive warm foods such as roasted turkey breast, sugar glazed ham, braided beaf tips, and a vegetarian pasta.

The load in first class was about 20 percent with one car completely devoid of passengers. The next two cars are Superior Club both have identical lounge interiors that are nice but need some updating. One is an Ex C&O Lounge the other Ex Pere Marquette. One car is full and the other is devoid of passengers. The food service is a three course meal with soup/salad, a entree like beef tenderloin or steamed salmon (along with two other options), and a dessert. We talked to the cook and the train master for a few minutes about the train, the menus, mechanical items, and a few other things.

After that we stayed in the first class vestibule in one of the Budd cars. I don’t think people utilize the vestibules much because there was a gigantic cobweb on the side with the river that appeared to have been there awhile. We eventually arrived back into Romney about twenty five minutes behind schedule and met up with Danielle from my graduating class. We then went to a local Italian restaurant to catch up.

I feel really bad for her because she’s been stuck in an abusive marriage for the last year but she’s made it out she’s safe now and that all that matters. So we had a lovely dinner that consisted of a lot of questions about who from high school is where, and what they are doing. Along with just basic catching up which was really nice. Even though I hated high school and most of the people I went to it with it was nice to catch up. Danielle was one of the few people I liked in high school and I’m glad to see she is doing alright for herself. Next time she’s in my area she’s going to stop in and visit.

After we left the restaurant we drove under the most vibrant rainbow I’ve ever seen for a good hour. It was breathtaking and at several places high over valleys you could see it touch the ground on both sides it was wonderful. We stopped at the Winchester & Western to photograph the locomotives under the massive rainbow. Shortly after that the rainbow disappeared as we neared Winchester. We made a stop in Winchester to get headlamps for our hard hat for the next big task we had.

One thing I hate about big box hardware stores is it’s impossible to find an employee knowledgeable in what you are looking for. After twenty minutes we finally found the headlamps. When we left we drove in a gulley washer all the way across the N&W Shenandoah Valley line and then it cleared up for the rest of the way into DC. It was a relatively uneventful drive with us mostly singing instead of talking which I’m perfectly ok with. We then went back to his apartment which we had trouble reaching due to a BLM protest shutting down the streets at his apartment.

We tried hard to understand what they were yelling but being several stories up in a building we really couldn’t tell. I stayed up late to do our laundry and eventually went to bed late at night.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Winchester B&O.jpg
Winchester, VA's B&O Station

Winchester, VA.jpg
Downtown Winchester, VA

Potomac Eagle-1.jpg
The Potomac Eagle at Romney

Potomac Eagle Romney .jpg
The Potomac Eagle at Romney, WV

Algoma Central .jpg
An Algoma Central locomotive that now powers the Potomac Eagle.

Amtrak 8559 .jpg
Amtrak No. 8559 from the auction.

Entering the Valley .jpg
Entering the South Branch Valley of the Potomac River

Potomac Eagle leaving Romney .jpg
Leaving Romney behind

Potomac Eagle Scenery .jpg
Potomac Eagle Scenery

Potomac Eagle Scenery-2.jpg
Potomac Eagle Scenery
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Potomac Eagle Trough.jpg
The Potomac Eagle in the trough

Trough .jpg
The Trough at the south end

Superior Class .jpg
Superior Class

Potomac Eagle-3.jpg
The Potomac Eagle heading back to Romney

Amtrak 8524.jpg
Amtrak No. 8524 being returned to service.

Potomac Eagle Arriving Romney .jpg
Arriving back at Romney, WV

Potomac Eagle Amtrak .jpg
Potomac Eagle's Amtrak special.

Rainbow Romney.jpg
West Virginia's rainbow.

Winchester & Western .jpg
There is a train under the rainbow

Winchester & Western Rainbow .jpg
Another view of the rainbow over the Winchester & Western
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
South Carolina
Day 4: Crossing Pennsylvania on the Broad Way

We woke up around five in the morning for our six AM regional that would take us to Philadelphia, PA. It was a short uneventful walk to Union Station from his apartment. Our regional didn’t have a track announced until ten minutes prior to departure. We went as far forward in the consist to find our seats figuring that most people wouldn’t chose to walk that far and it would be emptier. Of course before we left I took a photo of the locomotive prior to departure as I wasn’t planning on taking one in Philly.

It was a fairly uneventful ride up the corridor and our car was about 50 percent full which was more than I expected for an early morning departure. I’ve always wondered what that building on the engineers side at Baltimore Penn station was. It looks like a rural train station. The Beach Grove Switcher was at the Wilmington shops which was a bit of a disappointment. We arrived in Philadelphia exactly on time and I felt I had time to photograph our locomotive before our septa train.

After I took a rapid shot of the locomotive we went to check our luggage. There was one person ahead of us in the line checking his bike to New York, NY and his check in process took what felt like forever. Then it was our turn and we were checking our bags on to Chicago and it took some time to find both reservations and link them to get our luggage checked.

I left Malcolm in the middle of this process to buy our Septa tickets for our morning adventure. By the time I got our last Septa day pass Malcolm was coming up the ramp and we made our West Trenton line Silverliner with moments to spare. We went to the second of two cars and set up next to the rear door to enjoy a quasi observation car. One of my good friends is a retired Septa engineer so I took several photos of control points to quiz him to see how much he still remembered.

He remembers all of it even though he retired several years ago. It was a short ride out to West Trenton where we detrained for a few moments and photographed the Reading System station building before catching the next inbound thirty minutes after our arrival. Again we rode at the rear to Trevose where we detrained. At Trevose we caught an Uber over to Warminster Septa Station so Malcolm could ride a new line. We had a thirty minute layover at Warminster station where we had a Silverliner V for our inbound trip. We took the seats behind the railfan seats with a nice view forward.

I honestly preferred the Warminster Branch more than the West Trenton Line because I really enjoyed the rural branch line flair on it. On all three commuter trains we were two of max 8 passengers. We made it back to 30th Street fifteen minutes before Train No. 43 the Pennsylvanian’s scheduled arrival. My plan was to get lunch at Silante across the street but I found it to be permanently closed so I had to make do with the pub inside the station. It was rather exciting because the pub employee when I walked back was yelling and cursing at a shoplifter who stole a drink I think.

I wasn’t really sure but it was definitely some entertainment while waiting for my food. After I had grabbed my food I went up to the Metropolitan Lounge and waited for our train with Malcolm. The lounge only had one other woman who was going to a regional or an Acela around the same time. I’ve never liked boarding trains at 30th Street because I’ve always felt like it was a madhouse. And this was again not a disappointment for that theory either.

As we boarded the train every seat in the first car we went to was full, and people were all over the aisles looking for seats all the way up until departure. One thing that can be stated for sure is ridership is doing well. It took us ten minutes to find two seats together. So there was no locomotive picture in Philadelphia for me because of that.

Then we started our journey westbound over the Broad Way. Something that irked me is the woman in front of us had a child without a mask on that was constantly trying to climb over the seat into my lap. Even without the virus this would have irked me as I don’t really like kids. Especially kids that I don’t know. The entire time I was trying to eat my lunch from the pub this child was crawling over his seat. I did my best to ignore it and eventually it lost interest long enough for me to eat.

After that we had a relatively smooth and scenic ride westbound. We lost six minutes at Lancaster because someone wasn’t ready to detrain and we had started pulling out before she realized she didn’t go to an opening door. The last car was still on the platform. But it took her six minutes to walk down the train to get off.

Eventually we pulled into Harrisburg where I took a photo of our train next to the GG1 that Richard Anderson was throwing off the property that hasn’t moved yet. Then it was onto new milage for me. After we crossed the Rockville Bridge I went to see if there were any seats anywhere else on the train. So we wouldn’t have to be crammed in a full car with a child climbing over the seat back. Turns out the last Amfleet I was empty minus two other people. So we grabbed our things and made ourselves at home in the Amfleet I.

Even though I prefer the Amfleet II’s because they provide more legroom and have the larger windows there is nothing quite like having a space with no one else around. The Pennsylvanian and the Palmetto share the consist and apparently they share that component too. The palmetto usually has an empty car after Richmond, and the Pennsylvanian has one after Harrisburg. Malcolm and I each had a seat pair each which made it easy to switch sides for photos.

I was hoping to see the shortlines at Lewistown and Tyrone but no such luck of them being visible. The line itself though is very scenic and pleasing. I thought long and hard about which would be my favorite route west if the thru cars were running to the Capitol between the other three NEC to Chicago trains. This very well could be the leader of it comes to pass. What I like is it’s a scenic route but it also isn’t that slow either. We made up all of our time by Altoona and departed there on time.

We stopped almost at Horseshoe Curve so the conductor could walk the train after a detector failed to go off and we were shortly in our way after a ten minute delay. Malcolm and I both rode the rear for Horseshoe Curve to enjoy the sight of this monumental railroad historic site. I remained at the rear thru Galitzen before returning to my seat for the rest of the ride. We passed what looked to be a Russian Orthodox Church at Johnstown which looked rather cool.

From Johnstown on into Pittsburgh it was just the two of us in the rear car having a good time. We were racing the Sunset into Pittsburgh as the city slowly descended into the golden hour. We arrived into Pittsburgh 11 minutes late at 8:10 PM which is pretty good. While Malcolm went to store his bag for a few hours I tried to access the nearby bus station park garage to photograph the train leaving the station for the wye to no luck.

After Malcolm rejoined me on the street we looked for a place for dinner settling on a German Biergarten on the roof of the Hotel Monaco. I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting a place with a schnitzel but their hamburger was good enough. We barely made it in before they closed the kitchen. It was a nice place though with a nice view. The added plus was that the weather was really nice.

After we ate we decided we barely had enough time to ride the Duquesne Incline so we called an Uber over to the incline. With the pandemic service has definitely slowed down in response time. We got an Uber after a fifteen minute wait and went to the incline. We asked him to stay while we went up and back with him getting a good tip as a reward. So we went up the incline which was much cooler than I was expecting to be honest.

I’ve done plenty of funiculars in Europe and for the most part they don’t impress me. But the view from the top was amazing. I believe we cramped the style of a Latino couple who were on the same wagon as us because they didn’t feel comfortable making out on the way up the incline. We detrained at the top of the Incline to enjoy the view for a few short minutes (one round trip of the incline) then started our way down. The car is is beautiful on the inside and definitely shows that it’s from the early 1900s.

When we reached the bottom of the incline our Uber driver was long gone and we had to wait another twenty minutes for a new one who wasn’t nearly as friendly or charming. But we made it back to the Amtrak station by eleven so Malcolm could get his bag back from storage. After that we waited in the upper level of the station closest to the track so we could at least see a train or two.

It was incredibly cold in the station building because the hvac unit was blowing at full blast. One of my friends shared her vacation photos with me which I enjoyed seeing while we waited amongst the Amish, and other fellow pandemic travelers. The train arrived three minutes behind schedule which is pretty good seeing it left Connelsville 20 minutes late. We boarded our Superliner and took our roomette on the upper level.

Malcolm took his shower before bed and after he returned we turned the lights off as we rumbled westward towards Chicago.
 

Seaboard92

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Train No. 162 WAS.jpg
Train No. 162 at Union Station Washington, DC

Amtrak Wilmington Shops.jpg
Amtrak's Wilmington Shops with the Beech Grove switcher.

30th St Approach .jpg
Departing Philadelphia 30th St. Station towards Center City.

Passing a Silverliner.jpg
Passing an inbound train from our outbound.

Jenkintown .jpg
Jenkintown Station. Which for those fans of the Goldbergs on ABC this is the station closest to where the actual family who the show is about lived.

Septa West Trenton .jpg
SEPTA at West Trenton Station

Reading West Trenton.jpg
The Reading West Trenton Station

Septa Trevose.jpg
Our SEPTA Train departing Trevose on the West Trenton line

Septa Warminster.jpg
SEPTA Silverliner V at Warminster

Warminster Branch.jpg
The Warminster Branch
 

Seaboard92

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Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,636
Location
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Septa Sprinter.jpg
A SEPTA Sprinter

Philadelphia .jpg
Center City Philadelphia from the old Reading Main

New Acela .jpg
The new Acela equipment.

Pennsylvanian Scenery .jpg
My favorite spot on the Keystone corridor. No idea which town this is though.

MDT Airport .jpg
Passing Middletown Airport's wrecked Air Force prop plane.

Two legands .jpg
Two legends of railroading.

Rockville Bridge.jpg
Crossing the great Rockville Bridge

Susquehanna River.jpg
Looking downriver towards Harrisburg

Pennsylvanian Scenery -2.jpg
More scenery along the ex PRR line.

Horseshoe Curve .jpg
Horseshoe Curve need I say more
 

Seaboard92

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Horseshoe Curve Rear .jpg
Horseshoe Curve from the rear window

Abandoned PRR Station .jpg
An abandoned PRR Station

Russian Orthodox PA.jpg
I love the Onion domes in Johnstown

Kennywood .jpg
Kennywood in the distance

Pennsylvanian at PGH .jpg
The Pennsylvanian No. 43 at Pittsburgh, PA

Sugar Creek .jpg
Sugar Creek at Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh .jpg
Downtown Pittsburgh, PA

Rooftop Bar.jpg
The view from the rooftop Biergarten
 

Seaboard92

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Dusquene Incline View.jpg
Looking at Pittsburgh at night

Golden Triangle .jpg
The Golden Triangle and Fort Pitt

Pittsburgh Night .jpg
The view from the Dusquene Incline is worth a trip.

Dusquene Incline Car.jpg
The inclines vintage car going for another trip down the mountain.

Cap Limited at PGH.jpg
The Capitol Limited No. 29 at Pittsburgh, PA
 

Seaboard92

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3,636
Location
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Day 5: The Longest Day

I awoke for a brief moment as we crossed Sandusky Bay at moonlight which was beautiful and probably the first time I remember seeing the Bay on all of my trips. Then went back into a sleep haze till just about Toledo. As all of you know if there is a stop to photograph the locomotive I’m all about that and I will wake up specifically for it so I stepped off at Toledo for a few minutes and grabbed a photo of our head end. Once back on board I took my shower knowing it would be a long day.

After my shower I enjoyed watching the sunrise over Northern Ohio and Northern Indiana. I attempted to get my Ventra App working for Chicago so I could purchase a commuter train ticket knowing my connection would be tight if I wanted to railfan for a bit. But I couldn’t get it working. Malcolm stirred around Ligonier, IN and was fully awake by Goshen. We pulled out his iPad and watched Last Week Tonight from the night before about American History. About this time we were passing one of my favorite stretches on this section the area by all of the strip malls and big box stores along the former New York Central Main.

While it is very simple, common, and very plain view it reminds me of my childhood in ways. When I was a child my mother and grandmother would go shopping in complex’s like these along the former Seaboard Airline mainline so in a way it’s similar. Especially because almost all big box stores look alike. I wish the big box stores we went shopping in were against a busy line line this. Despite being on the NS East-West mainline since Harrisburg there really hadn’t been that much freight traffic. Two freights on the Ex Pennsylvania, and maybe five on the EX New York Central.

I remember when riding the Cap or Lakeshore there would be one every five minutes. After Elkhart Yard we left the room briefly to get our ultra modern and contemporary breakfast which for me was a cereal in who’s design I don’t believe has been updated since the early 2000s. It was so modern it please the millennial in me. In all reality it was not really that good nor was it filling. After we returned to our room I put Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on for Malcolm.

He has never seen this cute NBC show staring Jane Levy as Zoey. The show has such a cute theme after a CT scan Zoey hears everyone’s innermost thoughts as gigantic musical numbers. As a person who loves theater, and working in the theater I really love the technical side of the show. The attendant had us switch rooms for a few minutes so he could clean the room. But other then that that’s the only time we saw him the entire run.

Malcolm thinks it would not be fun to live with Zoey’s talent whereas I would love getting private concerts multiple times a day. We were already passing Englewood when the show ended. Then we prepared to detrain. For the first time in all my trips on the Capitol Limited we arrived not just on time but 29 minutes ahead of schedule. Usually when I ride the Cap we are three hours late arriving. After filing by the locomotive on the way into the station I went straight to the Metra ticket machine and bought a round trip to Franklin Park.

I had just enough time to make a Metra departure to one of my favorite railfaning spots of Franklin Park. In all honesty I don’t know why people rave about this spot because I never have good luck. It was an uneventful but empty ride to Franklin Park. Maybe 10 people total on the outbound Monday morning train. The first train I photographed in Franklin Park arrived shortly after I did a Canadian Pacific freight with a Union Pacific engine trailing.

It however was a massive train and slow because it had to flag every crossing in town. Due to its length and slow speed I missed an eastbound Metra on the far track. I’m not sure how passengers trying to board that Metra made it on board or not. The next train is my best catch I’ve had at Franklin Park a Southern Pacific GE leading a Canadian Pacific train. After it passed a Metra eastbound went by the. It was quiet for awhile. I couldn’t really plane spot due to the low cloud cover.

I then walked back to the station to wait for my eastbound Metra but it ended up being delayed due to single tracking and a meet with the westbound that came in before it. The westbound had a former Pacific Surfliner engine however. Then I had an uneventful ride back into the City. I went up the Madison Street stairs to walk over to Northwestern Terminal to grab a quick bite to eat at Popeyes. I remembered it was there and figured that would be fast and easy which it was.

I then quickly ate and returned via surface streets to Union Station. I rejoined Malcolm in the lounge who railfaned at Roosevelt Road because his meeting got canceled after my commuter train hd already left. We were then boarding the Wolverine No. 352 formerly known as the Lake Cities for Pontiac, MI. Up until the 90s this train actually ran to Toledo via Michigan. After getting the luggage situated I took a picture of our charger for our eastbound journey.

Shortly thereafter we were threading ourselves out of Union Station and her coach yards and over the Chicago River. After that we took a leisurely pace to Gary averaging about forty miles an hour. Once passed Gary we started creeping up. Malcolm and I wanted to try something knowing that the Wolverine often arrives in New Buffalo, MI very early on a daily basis by ordering to go food from a nearby restaurant to eat on the train. At Porter we turned onto new milage for me onto the Michigan Central.

Once clear of the interlocking we hit the Century mark on our way up the shore of Lake Michigan. We ordered our food once out of Porter. We arrived into New Buffalo 19 minutes ahead of schedule. So Malcolm walked to “the Stray Dog Bar & Grill” to pick up our food. Meanwhile I took a few photos of the locomotive and went all the way to the beach on Lake Michigan which is less than a quarter mile away. On my way back a large amount of people were walking towards the train station so I thought they were walking for our train but apparently they weren’t.

It is a rather convenient beach to visit from Chicago via Amtrak. I still had time to spare on the platform before it was time to reboard and head East. The fairly packed train seamed to have emptied out but picked up an entirely new load of passengers at New Buffalo to make up for the amount off. Malcolm and I began eating our great lunch as we were crossing under the Pere Marquette route. It was a really good burger some might even say because it was locally sourced hip and contemporary.
 

Seaboard92

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Malcolm and I are then thinking we should compile a list of restaurants within walking distance or that do delivery to all longer stops. The run over to Niles was fairly fast but we didn’t arrive early enough for me to photograph the train there so I was content with the station building. Michigan is a far more interesting state scenery wise than its neighbors to the south. At Kalamazoo I went to the cafe to get a cup of ice and watched as we crossed over a diamond that I hoped I would get to ride over going north one day.

After Kalamazoo the train again emptied out but picked up a completely new crowd as well. I honestly didn’t expect a train this short to flip its seats that often. Next up was Battle Creek where there was a brief stretch stop. The Battle Creek Station is actually on the former Grand Trunk & Western instead of the Michigan Central because that route has been abandoned in Battle Creek. After a quick stop it was time to head East after our crew change. We lost five minutes at Battle Creek so I wasn’t hopeful for a Jackson stretch stop.

We continued to head East occasionally approaching the century mark and I called our ride to tell him an updated status of our train. We pulled out of Jackson on time for Ann Arbor. Again the state is fairly pretty and enjoyable to cross. At Ann Arbor we dropped a lot of people off and even more by Deerborn. We were fairly empty coming into Detroit. The section from Deerborn to Detroit ten miles scheduled for thirty two minutes but that’s because it’s slow as we Thread ourselves around multiple junctions.

Detroit is a City much like Chicago it has multiple rail lines threading around it. We got caught waiting for a freight in Detroit Which delayed ist twenty minutes. Then it was time to head northwest on the former Grand Trunk & Western. So we ran north at a reasonable pace. We never crested 40 on this line. We made a few suburban stops before landing in Pontiac where it had begun to rain. I took a quick photo of our train before it was time to meet with Nigel for our drive south to Indy.

Now you may be wondering why we didn’t just take the Cardinal direct to Indy or take a Greyhound from Chicago. For me I am trying to get as much of the Amtrak network ridden as possible before a potential move when the German border reopens. As once I move abroad visiting family will matter more than riding the routes I’ve yet to ride. And Malcolm now has two segments left to ride instead of three. Of course depending on November will decide if I stay in the USA or not.

So we started our drive headed south to Indy but first we went west on Michigan 14 to the outskirts of Ann Arbor to get on US 23 to avoid downtown Detroit and Toledo. Nigel and I had Malcolm taking notes of our conversation pertaining to why we were going to Beech Grove. That and laughing lots and lots of laughing. I can be quite funny but when you put Nigel in the equation I can be even funnier than usual.

We stopped in Toledo area for dinner at the only place open a Waffle House which felt like any other. Not particularly great but it’s consistent grub. Then we continued south. Initially we were supposed to arrive at three in the morning at our hotel the Crowne Plaza Union Station nur the GPS found a way to cut an hour of that off by taking US 24 down the former Wabash Toledo Line to Fort Wayne.

Malcolm fell asleep somewhere just west of the Indiana state line however Nigel and I stayed awake the entire time. And we literally were laughing our way into Fort Wayne and then laughing our way down I69. The part on the interstate seamed to take forever but anything in the middle of the night feels like that. We were making good time because we kept cutting the 230 arrival time down to eventually arriving around two in the morning.

Malcolm went and checked us in the hotel while Nigel and I unloaded all of our bags which basically used half of the back seat. Then we got our room keys and reported to track one in Union Station where our heavyweight sleeper was waiting for us. Malcolm and I have gotten quite good at throwing bags up onto trains so we put the bags in the vestibule and went to our room. Then the three of us passed out.
 

Seaboard92

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Cap Limited at TOL.jpg
The Capitol Limited No. 29 at Toledo, OH

Rock Island Obs Elkhart.jpg
A Rock Island observation car made up as a New York Central one

Gary Union Station .jpg
Gary Union Station

NS Green Engine .jpg
Norfolk Southern's Green yard switcher.

Chicago Skyway .jpg
The Chicago Skyway

Amtrak Loco Shop .jpg
The Amtrak Locomotive shop at Chicago

Amtrak Veterans NPCU.jpg
The Veterans NPCU at the Chicago yard.

Chicago Yard .jpg
The Chicago Yards

Cap Limited CHI.jpg
The Capitol Limited No. 29 at Chicago, IL

Metra CUS.jpg
A Metra MD-West Service waiting departure.
 

Seaboard92

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Metra OLS F40.jpg
Metra's Operation Lifesaver locomotive at Western Ave Yard

Metra departing FPK.jpg
Metra Departing Franklin Park, IL while a freight drifts its way closer

CP at FPK.jpg
Canadian Pacific arriving into Franklin Park.

SP at FPK.jpg
A patched Southern Pacific locomotive leading a train out of Franklin Park.

Metra at FPK.jpg
Metra inbound at Franklin Park

Metra F59PHI FPK.jpg
A Metra outbound negotiating the crossover at Franklin Park

Arrival FPK Metra .jpg
A Metra outbound arriving at Franklin Park

EX Cascade .jpg
A former Cascades locomotive. You can tell by the brown fuel tank.

Diesels of a different slope .jpg
Diesels of a different slope.

CUS.jpg
Chicago Union Station
 

Seaboard92

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Messages
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Location
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Wolverine CUS.jpg
Wolverine No. 352 at Chicago

CHI Yard.jpg
The Chicago Yard

Big Game Train .jpg
The Big Game Train preparing to take the California Zephyr West.

Dash 8 AMTK.jpg
Amtrak B40-8s

Dan Ryan Expressway .jpg
The Dan Ryan Expressway

EJE.jpg
Elgin, Joliet, & Eastern power

Industrial IN.jpg
Industrial Indiana.

Lake Michigan .jpg
Lake Michigan at Michigan City

Wolverine NBU.jpg
The Wolverine at New Buffalo, MI for an extended stop.

Wolverine NBU Head on .jpg
Looking from the crossing at our Wolverine No. 352 at New Buffalo.
 

Seaboard92

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NBU Beach Club.jpg
New Buffalo Beach Club

NBU MI.jpg
New Buffalo Michigan

NBU Lunch.jpg
Our lunch from New Buffalo

Niles MC Station.jpg
The Niles Michigan Central Station

Michigan Scenery .jpg
Scenery in Michigan

Michigan Pond.jpg
A pond near Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Station.jpg
The Kalamazoo Station

Wolverine BTL.jpg
Our train at Battle Creek, MI

Jackson MI.jpg
Jackson, MI skyline

Jackson Yard.jpg
Jackson yards
 

Seaboard92

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Location
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Michigan Scenery-2.jpg
More scenery in Michigan somewhere.

Detroit.jpg
Detroit, MI

CN Sunset.jpg
A Canadian National local

Sunset .jpg
Sunset from onboard the Wolverine.

Wolverine PNT -2.jpg
The Wolverine No. 352 at Pontiac, MI

Wolverine PNT.jpg
Another view of the Wolverine at Pontiac, MI
 

Seaboard92

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Location
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Day 6: Work Day 1

We were to report to Beech Grove at 630 so we could get the maximum amount of items done in our two day work session. Well we were a bit slow moving but we were out of the room by 615. To get to the yard we plugged it into the GPS and it took us via I65 to I465. That was a harrowing exit to Beech Grove because the ramp from I65 put us four lanes over from where the exit was and a short distance to move over. Indy roads were packed at this early hour.

We then stopped for breakfast at Burger King where the item I wanted wasn’t available so I had pancakes. Which were actually fairly good. We ate in the car before reporting to the shops a bit behind schedule. We signed in with the Amtrak police and got our badges to wear while on the property. Then we drove over to our car on the East side of the property with all of the other retired and out of service rolling stock. On the way in we passed a superliner without paint and I have to say it looked even better without the paint.

On the other side a viewliner I without paint also looked fairly good. Our car was on the second track in the storage yard. After I conducted a safety briefing for our work crew I went to place my blue flag to prevent equipment from moving while we were working. Then I returned to our area to start working. The three of us threaded a hose under the rail of the adjacent track, and around a pile of trucks sitting in the adjacent lot to the carpentry shop. One of the days goals was to find our roof leak, and to see if the water tank had a leak.

After we had the hose threaded and connected we ran an extension chord to the same building so we could have some lights on while working. Then we started the harder work. Disconnecting the batteries from the battery box so they can be serviced. Malcolm was busy prepping work on the inside, and Nigel was busy assisting him so it was just me. Occasionally one would pop out and they could throw a tool under the car to me on the opposite side so I could get the batteries disconnected. Once I had the batteries disconnected I loaded three of the heavy lead acid batteries on a dolly and rolled them to the end of the cut of cars. Overall there were 10 battery banks.

After some time Malcolm and Nigel moves the rest down to the end of the cut. In order to keep the battery box open I used a metal rod to keep the box open while I fought to get them free. The car had last seen regular use in 2002 so 18 years of grime, dust, rust, and funk has built up making everything just a bit harder. After that task was done the next item on the list we had written was to look for and fix the roof leak over the roomettes. We didn’t have a super great ladder to get up there but have no fear a short person is here.

As someone who has always been vertically challenged I’ve always had to be creative. Usually it’s in reaching the top shelf of a super market but in this case it was reaching the top of a Budd railcar. So a few minutes later after examining my options I was standing on the roof with Malcolm. Having Nigel toss tools up to us. I believe I found the roof leak where Amtrak has put a new plate fix over a certain spot that had a roof dent. So we started lubing the screws but only five of the 19 screws actually came out. Which meant we had to get creative.

Some of the screws weren’t coming out just because they were stripped. So those I used my screwdriver to wedge under the plate, and a hammer shove it further. The. Lifted up causing the screw to rise where I could pull it out. After getting all but three screws out it was time to bring out the big guns. I sent my extension chord down to Nigel who tied a cutter to it and I pulled it back up. So after a few minutes of sending sparks flying we had the panel removed. At that point the Amtrak yard crew came to me to ask me to lift our blue flag so they can move other cars on that side of the yard but not our track. So I climbed down and sent Nigel up with steel wool to clean the dented area.

So I went and lifted the blue flag and put our switch out of service for the day then I returned to the car to continue working on it. I went back up to the roof to caulk the leak and hope that would stop it. I like doing my roof work in the morning before it would get too hot but this day was nice high of 72. So after that was finished and resealed I watched the switch crew move the Ocean View and several other cars be switched into one cut. Then we went under the car to mount our D22 tank to the car where tensions flared a bit.

But that isn’t a big surprise when you only have three people lifting a super heavy g object with pulleys and brute strength in a tight clearance area. What I wouldn’t have given for a pit. But we eventually got it up with a bit of cursing thrown in for good measure.

The next thing we did was order delivery from Applebee’s so we wouldn’t have to leave the yard for lunch to maximize our times. After that we took a bit of a walk to recover from sitting under the car for an hour trying to jostle the tank up and looked at some of the other cars that have been sold. Quite a few still in Phase III paint.

Soon after that our lunch arrived and the four of us ate lunch in our vestibule to be out of the sun. We enjoyed our hour long lunch break before getting right back to work. I forget what task I gave Malcolm and john owen to do but they did something. Nigel and I had the all important task of getting the brake cylinders off so they could be dissembled, cleaned, and repacked. We started on the truck on the B end which turned out to be incredibly hard because the first thing to be done was to remove the handbrake.

But in order to do that one had to fix the box it was in. Something had dented it so the release lever wouldn’t pull up. So Nigel and I had to wrestle with a crow bar to pry enough space for it to open. Once that was completed I went to release it and it didn’t release. So john owen, Nigel, and I spent an hour of time lubricating the chain, tightening the handbrake and releasing it. After an hour of work we finally got it to full release.

Once it was in full release Nigel and I crawled back under the trucks and proceeded to start working. What makes it difficult is that everything we’re working on is above ones head, you can’t sit up or you’ll hit your head, and you are laying in the ballast. Couple that with the two of us working in tandem together inside the gauge of the track there is no room to move side to side or vertically. The first thing that has to be done was removing the brake hoses from the cylinder which required using a socket wrench and a fence post for added leverage.

Once the hose was free trying to find a place to tuck it under the car so it wouldn’t be hanging in our face. Then removing the cotter pins which were coated in 18 years worth of dust and grime. In order to get those off I used a mixture of Vice grips and different sized hammers to tap them out of the pin. Once the the cotters are out you can remove both pins. But because of the 18 years accumulation the pins don’t readily come out. Instead you end up hitting them from the bottom till you have to get a plug to push them further along.

And as what happened the cylinder shifted once the pins cleared it and usually caught he plug forcing us to have to free the plug as well. Now some pins had no trouble coming out. Both of us celebrated when we hit one and it bounced all the way clear and fell down next to us. That was a real victory. Most of the time under the car Nigel and I kept telling each other stupid jokes just to make ourselves feel a bit better about being crammed under the car and that uncomfortable.

At one point Malcolm did give us a mattress from the car we were throwing out we could use to lay on which was good because it kept rocks from trying to go for the promised land. Then after we got the third one down we took a break for a bit because you need it. Anytime your under a car for extended periods of time standing up and walking around is a good thing. So we walked around and looked at the dystopian film set that could be these cars in the deadline. Literally though tables and chairs flipped over, windows missing, people writing their names in the dust on surfaces, trash and junk thrown about. Literally a dystopian movie set in these old retired cars.

Near our parking spot are two superliners that received heavy damage from a fire, a few Phase III Superliners, and a hodgepodge of everything else. It it is definitely humbling to be standing and walking around these hills of industry put out to pasture. I returned to Nigel doing some more heavy lifting with the brake tank. Honestly I expect that to be on his tinder profile at some point. I then crawled back under the car and got the last cylinder down on the B end side of the car and after that it was time to call it a day around 1800. So about an eleven hour day.

So we then got back in Nigel’s car and signed out before driving by the Indiana Railroad yard on the way to get tacos by the state house. The four of us looked like we had crawled out of a vat of oil as we sat down in the nice Mexican restaurants outdoor patio. We then made some jokes about the work we had just did and made a list of things to be done next on the car the next day. After we enjoyed our dinner Nigel and Malcolm drove back to the hotel but I wanted to see Indianapolis. So I walked back a few blocks and detoured around to take photos of various cool buildings.

Honestly Indy is a rather cool city definitely an underrated one for sure. Eventually I made it back to the hotel and had my shower before settling in for the night aboard our heavyweight sleeper.
 

Seaboard92

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Location
South Carolina
Ocean View.jpg
The Ocean View at Beech Grove

Phase III Superliner .jpg
One of quite a few phase III superliners

PP at Beech Grove .jpg
The car we are working on. EX Union Pacific "Pacific Park" soon to be renamed to something else.

PPC Logo.jpg
The Pacific Parlor Car Logo

PPC Sonoma Valley .jpg
Sonoma Valley Pacific Parlor Car

PS Baggage Car.jpg
A rarity in the Amtrak world a heritage car that isn't a Budd.

Rooftop view .jpg
The view from when I was fixing our roof looking to our east.

Rooftop View -2.jpg
Looking west while fixing the roof

Superliner Hulk .jpg
A wrecked Superliner sitting inside a fenced area. And no I did not go in the fenced area.

The dystopian movie .jpg
It is literally a dystopian movie set in here.
 

Seaboard92

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Dec 31, 2014
Messages
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Location
South Carolina
AMTK 2510 .jpg
I was supposed to buy this car actually because I won it at auction. However it had some major issues mechanically I decided to forgo the sale because of.

Beech Grove Deadlines.jpg
Welcome to the deadline

EX NYC Diner .jpg
An EX NYC Diner

HiLevel Next to us .jpg
Our neighbor for the day.
 

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