Monday, October 31, 2011

Half a Day Trip in Hamlet

A day trip to Hamlet, is in order. It was a hotbed of activity in a very short time. A freight came from the east and switched to north for the yard. While is was moving in, a second started to enter the Y and another in the eastbound. The eastbound freight took long enough for a member of the crew to go to the the cafe for take out.
Finally, two switchers came west and back to the yard.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Alexander RR Drive By

Sometimes we have a drive by. As we drive along on other business the train is in sight. We stop and we video or photograph. Here Alexander RR is in drive by. However, I turned it into a chase, as it made its way home on a Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another Might as Well in Hamlet

Another place where I might as well is in Hamlet. Around the station two lines cross. I stopped and caught these.

There were other railfans camped out. The last thing was the NS units heading for the Winston-Salem Southbound.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene outskirts Hamlet NC Aug 26 2011

Question what does a railfan do when threatened by storm?

We watch trains. Here I am in Hamlet with Irene on the horizon. This was as bad as it got.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day Trips, Might as Wells, Drive Bys

After vacation I railfan using the occasional Day Trip in which I go to watch for a day. I will go as much as an two hours for such trip. The Might as Well is a form of watching that is more unscheduled. It is usually a part of another trip for other reasons, such as shopping, or visiting someplace. As I go past a good spot, I might as well stop to see what is going on with the trains.

My favorite Might as Well site was in Richmond, VA behind Acca Shops. During the merger days of pre and early CSX is was a hotbed of SCL, RFP, C&O, Chessie, and CSX paint of the month.

Depending on where I live and the nature of railroading in the area, my might as well site will change. I now have two, withing 20 miles, Aberdeen and Hamlet stations, NC. Aberdeen has three railroads converging into a spot of less than a mile. The mainline of CSX being one. The Aberdeen and Rockfish being the second with their engine house accross the CSX main from downtown. The final is the Aberdeen, Carolina, Western. When I might as well, I take a very clear route, depending on the direction I am coming from. From the north I turn into town on a certain street. I cross the CSX main and look for headlights. I procede for a block and turn either right or left. Left take me to the engine house, but as I cross the CSX main I can see if there is anything in the house, if none, I turn right a block and back to the CSX main and around to the interchange with the ACW.

I use a run through than on my way or there might be some action. I was doing some shopping and took a quick run through and CSX was doing some switching. He is the footage:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Might as Well

Homeward bound from Fayetteville I did a might as well in Aberdeen. A run by is a chance of watching as it runs by, more of a chance encounter. Another chance encounter was the might as well. Here you might as well stop to see what is going on. I did this on my way home from Fayetteville, passing through Aberdeen, I usually stop by the A&R shops to check it out, look at what in on the siding and has some nice tag art (graffiti), and see what ACW has waiting on the siding. Here it is CSX turn as the local switches off a car for the A&R. Might as well turned into glad I did.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fayetteville trip

I took another railfan day off. I decided to watch in Fayetteville, NC. Had I got an earlier start, I would have followed the Aberdeen and Rockfish, but went directly to downtown. I was planning to first find the A&R switching, but as I crossed the CSX main, I saw in the distance the lights of an approaching train. I quickly changed direction and caught video of the local coming south.
Since my car was aimed in the direction of the Amtrak Station, I decided to hit that next and see what trains were due. It was a fortunate choice. The northbound Silver Star was due withing 40 minutes. A quick check of status on my phone showed that it was about 20 behind schedule. That gave me a chance for lunch at the Subway in the train station. I did talk with a single maintenance person and he told me that all trains were delayed due to a heat order. That was to take into consideration that the rails expand in the heat.
As always, this was not a railfan only trip. I was told that there would be no more activity, freight wise, until around 5 so I went to the mall to cool off and look around. I returned for the southbound Palmetto.
Experience tells me that an Amtrak train will be followed by a freight. Usually this freight is in the same direction. However, there was a freight following but in the opposite direction.
I decided to wait until 5:30. At 5:30, I began a slow walk to the car. I crossed the tracks and began to walk to the parking lot. I saw the headlights of a southbound, a switcher.
Now time to leave. Before I got accross the track, came a final northbound freight.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pee Dee River RR, again

I had the urge to railfan the Pee Dee, again. I went in the past. They were finishing their switching the paper mill and ready to head for home.

During this action, I saw this graffiti, which was appropriate.

After leaving the mill, I stopped by the engine house and grabbed this picture.
On the way home, I saw the CSX working the interchange at McColl for the Pee Dee.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Drive By Railfaning

Not all railfanning is worked out or planned. I take the occasional business trip out of town. These might be to a town or area know for ins shortline. This happened recently, when I had to go to Statesville, NC. The railroad it the Alexander RR. After my business I took some time and drove to Alexander. I keep an eye out for trains, up the road and in the rear view mirror. Seeing little new, I made my way back to Statesville. I saw number 10 pulling one car, on its way home. I turned around and chased it home.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trip to San Diego, a Past Tense Perspective

From the time of leaving and the flight home, I look at how the trip went and what I might have done different. I even look at what I would do when I return. Of course, the last is "if I return." I did this with my Boston trip a year ago. I might run that analysis later.

I notice a change at the very beginning of this trip. Instead of flying into San Diego, fly into Los Angeles. From there take the train or a series of trains and light rail. A priliminary investigation shows two light rail connections to Union Station (see Metro Rail (Los Angeles County)), Amtrak Surfliner to San Diego, Metrolink to Oceanside and Coaster from Oceanside.

I could have spent more time in certain places, rather than being a drive by tourist. I am that, for the most part. There were a lot of places where all I did was get out of the car to take pictures. The most involved with anything was when I watched and videoed trains.

At Ocean Beach, I just looked at the beach. I guess that it was one of those places that I feel why go so far to enjoy when I could enjoy one within a couple of hours. There were a lot of places like that. There was very little of uniqueness to what I could do. Art museums, nature museums abound on the East Coast. Why take the time in California to go and see.

The best way to look at this is "how far would I travel to see something." The next would I just say might as well, while here. And much of that would be based on how much time I had.

As to the California trip, maybe a day or two longer, would be nice. A train up the coast, would be great. Even taking what we did, a little slower. It was a good visit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Public Art in San Diego

Another measure of a city is the availability of public art. Public art may not be public owned or on public owned property. Some are monuments, others are architectural elements and others are separate pieces unto themselves. Here are some cases of public art in San Diego.

Some artwork is set to adorn structures such as the statue in this fountain in Balboa Park or this tile work adorning the walls of the Sante Fe Railroad Station, downtown.

All towns and most public spaces have monumental art. These are statues, other sculptures, or paintings in memory of a person or group of persons such as these two. The first is that of Cabrillo, first to explore California.

Placed in Balboa Park and to grace the entrances of a museum.

Along the Embarcadero, the city has planted some interesting artwork in planters.

The first shall be last. There are several items of artwork on Shelter Island.

Friday, October 7, 2011

San Diego, Day 4, part 2, More Old Town Station

Tuesday's train watching netted only one Coaster. I missed two, being out of position. I made the mistake of not having scheduled after a particular time. My sister had a little more personal business and she dropped my at Old town for a little more watching. I arrive at least a few minutes to late to get a good view of the first Coaster number 651 northbound. I did get a piece of it as it left the station.

I had some time before the next coaster so I took the trolley downtown. I missed the inbound and outbound Surfliner. That was anticipated. I returned in plenty of time for the southbound Coaster 654.

Finally, I got my third Coaster for the Day and my fourth for this trip. Number 653 northbound is next.

While waiting for Coasters, I videoed a couple of trolleys.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

San Diego, Day 4, part 1, La Jolla

A short drive up the coast is La Jolla. A rocky coast with a small patch of sandy beach. These cliffs hold caves.

There is a small stretch of beach know as Seal Beach. The seals have left but now the seals lay on the rocks and frolic in the water.

Monday, October 3, 2011

San Diego, Day 3, part 4, Cabrillo National Park and Point Loma Lighthouse

Cabrillo Monument
Point Loma Light house
interior of lighthouse

View of Pacific from point Loma

Scenes of San Diego from the point, the bridge to Coronado Island and two views of the island including the Hotel Del.

Finally, I love the look of this interesting t.ree