Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Xmas Train Trip, the Plans.

Even as I still have pictures and video ready to post in this blog, I began planning for Xmas. Of course, I will spend time with family. No trains, here. I spend the day or two, before New Years, visiting old friends and hangouts in Richmond, Va. I could, and have taken a day trip, using Richmond as anchor. As I plan, I explored various option. The best options would be north.

Washington DC would be reasonable choice. Watching trains in DC or Alexandria would be good. I would see the VRE (Virginia Commuter Rail), In DC and out to New Carrollton, I could see North East Corridor trains under electric, Amtrak, Acela express, and Maryland commuter rail. Up to Springfield, MD would give Commuter with diesel.

An examination at other plans make this option the least favored. Although a good day-trip it would  be better on a stopover.

Another destination would be Baltimore MD. A direct train will go into Baltimore. For fun, l might transfer to Acela  in DC,stop at BWI. From BWI my trip would be by commuter rail into Penn station, Light rail to Camden station and return to DC  via commuter rail out of Camden. I might take the VRE to Fredericksburg and than back to Richmond on Amtrak. Of course trains would be watched at each transfer point.

Camden is only 20 minutes, walking distance from the B & O Railroad Museum. It would be a shame to be that close an not see that. A look at the possible timing with such excursion makes that difficult. A stop by the museum would not give me any real time. My final plan was a direct to Penn station, and light rail with a walk to the museum. Than return watch light rail for about 30 minutes an than back to Penn station and to Richmond.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sat, Stop at Tweetsie RR

After a nights rest, onward to Tweetsie Railroad at Blowing Rock, NC. Parking lot yielded good pics and video. Who says we can railfan alone. Within a short order, I was joined by more than a half dozen other railfans who had the same idea. First the video:
Now the slides:

Thurman's and new river gorge part 2

After seeing the Amtrak, I drove to Thurmond. It was an active place, at one time. They beautiful station has been restored an manned by the park service.

The remainder of the town has likewise been maintained by the park service.

Some years ago the movie Matawan was filmed here.
The town of Matawan has been updated too much since the time of the coal strike that occurred there. It is still an active RR junction. Amtrak stops here, and numerous CSX freights. The Coleman RR meets here with CSX. This CSX led train is a Coleman local.

Returning to Prince for the westbound capitol. Limited, I followed the Colman and found these pictures of the equipment at rest.

Throughout the day, I crossed the new river and took pictures.
Than there was the coal camp at Glenn Jean. This was the bank of Glenn Jean.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Beckley and the New River Gap, part 1

It was in the after noon that I toured While company store. That was originally a part of this days touring so. I got an early start on the major views around Beckley. My first objective for this day, was to go to the small town of Prince, WVA. I began my time in the New River gorge. First, I drove to Prince, WVA. Prince has the distinction of having the last C&O Train station, ever built. It is amazing in its modern look. In the floor is a mosaic of chassis, one of two cats that became C&O's symbols, Chessie and Peake. The grand scene at one end of the building, was meant to be changed from time to time but, never was.

My morning was highlighted by the Eastbound Cardinal that arrive a bit late.

And a morning freight

More views of the town, including this store front, an old company store, I think.
I made another side trip up the gorge to Thurmond. That evening I returned to Prince to see the southbound cardinal.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Back to WVA, Whipple Company Store

Back to West Virginia to the coal country, first around Beckly. There is a town, owned and operated by a coal company (as all coal camps were). Here is preserved a wonderful example of the Company story. I would highly recommend a tour of the store. I was doing a Google Map tour of coal camps, when I came across this gem. The tour takes from one to two hours.

see Whipple Company Store & Appalachian Heritage Museum

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cleveland, last hours

The next morning, I checked out of my hotel and went to Brookmark to watch train for a while. There were several NS freight.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Encountering Police while train watching

While watching and videoing in Cleveland, I had a encounter with police. This is nothing unusual, I encounter police every so often while watching trains, usually while watching light rail. Let's look at my encounter with police in Cleveland OH. I was shooting video at one of the stations, of the light rail. After a short time, two police came up and said they had a call that I was taking pictures. They wanted to talk just to ensure security. They did mention terrorism. My reply was "actually, I am taking video, for private use."
What I did was to first, reduce the cloak of suspicions, by correcting that I was taking video, not just pictures. In one short phrase, I, without suspicion, gave my reasons and motive. I was taking video for personal use.
In fact, we talked for the next 10 minutes or so, joking and laughing together. One issue that railfans deal with is being confronted by railroad employees, railroad supervisors, railroad police, and state and local police. Numerous videos have appeared on YouTube, often  entitled something like, police harassment of railfans.

It seem to me that the rail fan was a bit rude and suspicious.
Most cases, it has been because of a call they had, that prompted their talk. Sometimes it has been unusual situations. When they talk, it is no different than when they confront a gathering or even suspicious behavior.

And this video, they were Watching after dark. Any police officer would have been suspicious of any activity at that time of day. I might also note that at least one of the officers was curious about train watching. He asked if you could identify equipment and other things.
Most of my encounters with police have been friendly, respectful. In fact, most police and others seem to be apologetic. While in Mattapan, Mass. I needed to use the men's room. The police station was close by so what better place to ask. They allowed me to use theirs. We got to talking and I admitted that I was taking pictures and video. I asked what policy was there. We joked around a bit and they finally said that I could take all the picture I wanted, just stay safe. If I got any grief from anyone just refer them their way.

In another, I was going to the office of the RR. A railroad security came up, in his car, and told me that I was trespassing. I told him that I was just going to the RR office to see their policy of picture taking and trespassing. He answered that there was no one in their office, so I turned to leave. His first question was where I parked, which was in a public parking. As I was leaving he followed in his car but we continued to talk. He told me where the trains were and were the best place to take picture.

Yes, they do check us out. What about other people. They seem to treat us the same. They are even friendly when we are.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On to Cleveland

After the mountain of touring Pittsburg, I took my drive to Cleveland OH. Why Cleveland, you ask? They is light rail, subways as well as Norfolk Southern RR. Cleveland I only 3 hours from Pittsburgh and only three hours back into WVA. I arrive late in the afternoon and found my Hotel for the night and had several hours before dark. I went to Brookmark Subway station to catch the train to the ideal place to take video. That evening I took a lot of video which I edited into the following video:
and this:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Public Art, Pittsburg

As those familiar with me, I love to note art open to the public. This is more that architetual detain. Here are a few I found in Pittsburg.