Thursday, January 19, 2017

Next Vacation, 2017

I got home from my Christmas doings. I did not have as many videos to edit and got them done in short enough order. I have been looking at next trip. OK, it is not that daunting. I had, during my many boring moments and my many obsessed hours, worked through many possibilities.
Two stand out and have been toyed with further. My desired routine would be a long trip in summer and a shorter one in spring and another shorter trip in the fall. I spend new years in Richmond with a day trip from there.

I went back to my overnight to Atlanta. I corrected it, but added some revisions. One revision, was to combine that Trip with my Memphis via Chicago trip, with a stop in New Orleans. It did not appear to be worth it. The Memphis trip begins with  overnight to Chicago, day in Chicago overnight to Memphis, day in Memphis, overnight back to Chicago, day in Chicago, overnight back to Washington. Memphis has a hanging monorail, one.of the few in America. There is much in Chicago to see and video. It is worth two days of watching, to take as much in as possible.

More, later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Washington, DC and Return, January 2, 2017, Postscript

After my experience I made my way back to Union Station. I had some time before dark, so I took one more ride on the DC Streetcar and had supper in Union. My last Streetcar video is included with the others:

Looking back over the trip, it was a worthwhile trip. I had only one video at New Carrollton, and saw three other trains (1 Accela, 2 Northeast Regionals) and did not get confronted by police. at L'Enfant Plaza Station, I did not get VRE but did get the Silver Star, some place other than Cary, NC or Richmond, VA. I do have enough MARC and VRE already taken, so no undue problem. I went to Wsashington to see the Streetcar so anything else is gravy. Besides, I got a trainride to Washington, in the bargain. I rarely get confronted by police and when I do, it becomes a good time because I handle it correctly. Now to think ahead for my next trips.

Conclusions: New Carrollton is not a good railfan location. L'Enfant Plaza Station is a very good station if you set up well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Washington, DC and Return, January 2, 2017, VRE, CSX, Amtrak

I left New Carrollton on the Metro. The orange line is a direct ride from New Carrollton (end of the line) through L'Enfant Plaza Station. The L'Enfant Plaza VRE Station is about a block from the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station (if you are from out of town it is more like 8 blocks, with getting lost and misdirected figured in).

I entered the station and too out my plan. As I did I heard a train coming. It was the Juice Train...the Tropicana refrigerated.

In my early days of train watching there were two Juice Trains, which alternated the trip from Florida. One was orange and the other white.

Before I got my schedule out, I heard another, it was the Southbound Silver Star, coming out of Union Station. I tried to get the video and did ok but a camera glitch (ok! My mistakes), I only got part of the train.

This station is a low level station which make it good for train photography and video. However, my location was bad because of the shed. I would have done better if I was at the appoaching end of the platform so that the shed did not distract in the video.

I heard the announcement that VRE was on holiday schedule, which meant no trains were running. At least I got something, for this stop.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Washington, DC and Return, January 2, 2017, MARC

My plans was to go see the Streetcars and than head to New Carrollton, to watch MARC, Amtrak, and Accela. I would take the 1:31 MARC north from Union Station. With a 10:56 arrival in DC, I had 2 and half hours to watch the Streetcars and have lunch before train time. I decided to get my ticket before the streetcar and found out that January 2, being Monday, was holiday schedule so I either had to leave at 12:31 or wait the 2:31, as the 1:31 did not run. I decided to play it by ear and went to the streetcars, as in my last entry.

I went to the second stop, got a video of the car coming into the sation and took a ride on the streetcar to the other end of the line, were I added to the video. I rode back to Union Station, in time for the 12:31, and decided to return, should I have time and daylight. So off the New Carrollton.

Again, Amtrak was using Sunday Schedule, so I arrived and 140 was next scheduled. Also, it was raining so I did not go to the end of the platformed where I would have a better video. I did get a video:

Because it was cold and rainy and being off my schedule, I only got one video.

This should be my last use of New Carrollton as a location to photograph trains. The situation is more of platform design. First it is a high platform. When the train reaches the platform, I can no longer see the wheel sets. My standard would have all the equipment, top to bottom. With a high platform I would go to the end of the platform. The second problem is that it is a center platform. All arriving trains use the same platform, regardless of direction. If it were two platforms, I could use the arriving end of one platform. The entire train could be seen on the other track, as well.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Washington, DC and Return, January 2, 2017, part 1, DC Streetcars, part 2

DC Streetcar: $200 Million Trolley to Nowhere, Conservative Review, reviews the streetcar as a trolley to nowhere. I have to take exception to that description. Considering its source, I feel it has other implications.

First, to say that all transit lines are a road to nowhere, is a misnomer. It may end in a nowhere place, but it travels through some places so it does connect some places. True, they could extend the terminus, of the DC Streetcar, a mile or so to connect a Metro station. It does begin behind Union Station. But, building a new transit system, we have to begin someplace and than expand. 200 million is a high cost, but spread that over lifetime and it is not all that much. As I rode it, people used it. It stopped at almost every stop to take on and let off passengers. So, there are a lot of people on the road to nowhere.

Upon looking at the ridership, and I assume, the nature of the neighborhoods it serves most, it was mostly African American. Considering the critique of the line, from a conservative source, meant that it was to expensive to serve "those" people. If it had been a white neighborhood and the African Americans were servants of the white population, they may have seen some value. Just my opinion on my observation.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Washington, DC and Return, January 2, 2017, part 1, DC Streetcars, part 1

Generally, during my Christmas time, I'll take one day and go someplace. This year, I have chosen Washington, DC, again. Last time, I wanted to see the streetcars but they had not started running. All was well planned and it rained. I took the train and the train was on time. The rain was light, drizzle. So I went to see the street cars. I took a ride from end to end and back. My video is a combination of the arrival before my ride, the end of the line, and the end of the line, after I came back later in the day.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Eve, Richmond, VA

Christmas is past and gone.
New Years is ready to be done.
To Richmond my car will ride.
With friends I will abide.
Trains, at last I will not ignore.
By a lonely track side, they, I will adore.

I arrived on Friday and New Years Ever, Sat. I did stop by Acca Shops, a favorite site to watch. I started watching there a long time ago with the RFP but others coming in, the CSX merged roads. Occasionally, you would see ghost lines, such as Western Maryland, C&O, B&O. Now, it all CSX. Where I go, was where the old caboose line was. Now there was mostly MOW, were the old cabooses would be.

There was a remarkable latch up that pulled out while I was there, but I got no video because they caught me off guard. I did pic of fresh paint of a new form at the beginnig f the latch up:

I had to meet a friend for lunch so, after lunch I went to favorite site, at the crossing of Hermitage Road and the CSX, just north of Staples Mill Station. I had little luck, and decide to leave. Just as I was preparing to leave a southbound freight almost caught me off guard, but here it is: