Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 20, 2012 Daytripping, NS, Piedmont, etc.

I am still planning the Boston trip. It is finished except for minor changes. I have been bound to SE NC and have gotten burned out on CSX. There are a few short line within an hour but I have burned out on those as well. What I need is a dose of Amtrak, or NCDOT, or NS or anything different. I finally settled on a trip to Salisbury, NC. I got there a good 40 minutes before the 12:40 northbound Piedmont, so I stopped to get a sandwich to eat, while waiting. I got just as a NS freight went by, but not in time to get into position to video it. I missed it. I did get into position for the Piedmont, northbound.

I went to Spencer, to both see activity at the Museum and at a crossing just north.

I was waiting on the south bound Piedmont due in Salisbury at 2:10 and should cross here around 2:00. I saw headlights in the distance. Curiosity got the better of me so I look to see which track it would arrive on. When I stood on the track, saw headlights on both tracks. The Piedmont was passing a local freight.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Boston Out and Back Trip, Planning, cont.

My Boston out and back trip has many hurdles and twist to straighten out. I did not take my video camera to Boston 2 years ago. It did not fit my itinerary, at the time. The reality is that I did not have my current video camera. It was my old mini disk model and did not have the stability my present one does. I did not want to carry a tripod. I said before, I video moving trains and take pictures of anything that does not move. Another issue at the time concerned tripod usage for video. It would be a nightmare to carry for the little that I would use it.

Now, I have gotten use to hand holding the video camera. Besides, I no longer have the desire to have both video and stills for all railroad equipment. Newer cameras have automatic shake reduction that make almost perfect hand helds and most software will, likewise reduce it. This taking of video add one more variable to the mix, batteries for the video camera. I figure that my current power usage should have one more battery to be sure. I will not have need for a charger nor a real place to charge. There may be some place for stills.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Out and Back, Planning

As I approach spring, I have a couple of trips in planning. One is a, relatively simple, out and back. The other is a part of vacation to visit family. I did a series of Northeast Corridor trip plans. I used different scenarios of such trip. I mentioned them in a previous post. I than turned my planning to simplier out and backs. Out with a day watching and than return. One is to Boston. I have been to Boston. That trip was both railfanning, tourist, and rembering my past, when I lived there, in the mid 1980's. However, the emphasis on this trip is the train rides and watching trains. There is a major layover in between Washington DC and NYC. Antrak website says the train change should be in Washington. The change is seven hours. What to do?

I think that changing trains in Alexandria VA would be good and there I could watch the VRE. Or I could go to NE Washington and watch the Maryland transit, along with Washington traffic. The decision could be both. I could add some watching of DC Metro. Some on the out bound and some on the inbound. There are other alternatives. Many watchers look to the VRE stops in DC. Union Station had those drawbacks. The platform covering restrict view. If sneaky, you can go to the end of the platform. Security may not let someone go out that far. I use to do that, however. I found another spot what I will try on the northbound. After looking at Google street view, it is a good alternative. I did some watching 25 to 30 years ago, from this location.
This location is at the corner of D Street and Washington Ave, SW Washington. There is a park on the this corner set up from the street by more that eight feet. This give an unobstructed view of the railroad as it comes out of the tunnel south of Union Station.

So, here's the plan, I will change trains change in Alexandria, take the subway into Washington and return  to Alexandria to take the overnight train to Boston. I know, It might be easier in DC. The overnight train, leave Alexandria at 8:19 and Washington at 10:00. I will be dark at both points so I would not have time for more pictures or video. I can't see waiting in DC until 10:00 and would prefer to be settled in on the train, at the earlier hour. I have plenty of time to take video and get back.

In Boston, I have the full day planed. Three subway lines, two light rail, two commuter rail lines. More on this, next time