View Full Version : Sunday along the Pittsburgh Mainline

07-18-2006, 10:44 PM
Norfolk Southern – Pittsburgh Mainline Roadtrip – July 16, 2006

The blue skies taunted me as I drove to church on Sunday, and I had to just get out and get some railroad pictures. It promised to be a very hot afternoon, but I had lots of water, my camera and scanner, and a desire to try out new photo locations. Below are descriptions and links to the better photos I took. All together I saw over 20 trains from the time I began until I finally gave it up. There was a tie and surface gang working on one of the mainlines at Duncannon that bunched up the traffic a bit (the crossovers were out of service so it was pretty much single track from Marysville to Newport).

An afternoon eastbound double stack train crossing the Rockville Bridge.

A westbound train lead by NS 9380 and 8607 is passing the end of the previous eastbound double stack train on the Rockville Bridge.

A trio of ex Conrail SD40-2s and an ex LS&I U23C 2303, dead in tow, head this westbound train across the Rockville Bridge and on to Enola yard.

This ex LS&I locomotive is like the Flying Dutchman of sea lore - it has been in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and now it is heading west.

This is what the LS&I 2303 looked like in 1976.

Another westbound train was crossing Rockville Bridge with 8 units (most BNSF), but it was behind the one turning toward Enola and was having locomotive troubles. There was also an eastbound train that had just departed Enola waiting at the west end of the bridge for everything to clear up so that it could cross. I left here and headed for a new location I wanted to try out just west of Duncannon. On my way I saw an eastbound train parked at Perdix (I think the railroad calls it Banks) as I drove by on Route 15.

This was the westbound double stack train that was on the Rockville Bridge when I left there. It has a mixture of 2 NS units, 4 BNSF orange units, and a BNSF Santa Fe warbonnet unit that had a problem with a traction motor and is dead in tow (listened in to the engineer telling the dispatcher about his troubles).

Here is a parting shot of the previous train.

Train 43, the westbound Pennsylvanian, was slightly delayed by the tie and surface gang working at Duncannon and the westbound train above.

Listening to the dispatcher it sounded like a lot of eastbound traffic was going to break loose around 5:00pm so I left here and headed to Newport to see what I could catch. As I was driving to Newport I saw a short eastbound container train go by. I heard two westbounds heading for Newport and went to get set up, but I missed the first one.

A westbound hopper train is running on the "wrong" main due to the trackwork at Duncannon - it will cross over at Newport.

I heard two eastbounds on the scanner. The light here was not well suited for eastbounds so I headed back to MP 123.8 hoping that the light would be better there. I wasn’t too successful, but I did get a photo of the first one (I missed the second one while moving to a new location to avoid some growing shadows).

An eastbound train speeding by MP 123.8 on the Pittsburgh mainline near Duncannon, PA

A mixed trio of GEs leads a westbound double stack train up the Juniata River west of Duncannon, Pennsylvania.

I then heard the Buffalo dispatcher setting up a meet at South Ferry (the east end of the Clarks Ferry Bridge) and I also heard the tie and surface gang clear another westbound - I had to make a decision - so I packed up and headed across the river to see if I could get a photo of the meet.

A southbound train is in the siding to meet a northbound train on the Buffalo line at South Ferry, across the Susquehanna River from Duncannon, Pennsylvania. The northbound train was traveling too fast (50mph) for me to get a good shot of it (I wasn’t ready for it!).

I recrossed the river and headed to where the tie and surface gang was working at the Duncannon interlocking.

An eastbound container train is crossing Shermans Creek Bridge at Duncannon.

Amtrak train 44, the eastbound, Sunday only, Pennsylvanian, creeps slowly by the tie and surface gang working at Duncannon.

After Amtrak cleared a westbound came through with a brand new EMD on the point but the light was gone at this location. I drove back to the Rockville Bridge to see if I could get a photo of a westbound crossing at sunset.

An eastbound CSX runthrough has just left Enola yard and is starting across the Rockville Bridge - it will circle through Harrisburg and recross the river on the old Reading bridge on its way to Hagerstown.

Last good shot of the day - an evening eastbound trailer train is crossing the Rockville Bridge.

With the last of the light I checked out some locations along Route 11/15 in Enola that would allow me to get good photos of yard action. One of these days I’ll park myself at a couple spots I found and see what comes up.

All in all I think I had a pretty good day. As is often the case, if I had stayed put a little longer I may have been able to get a shot of the trains that I missed, but, then again, having all of your photos from one spot tends to be boring.

07-20-2006, 03:00 AM
Very nice! I got out Sun. afternoon and caught that guy with all the BNSF's just east of Mifflin. Primary computer's in the shop though and I can't edit/submit before I get it back.


07-20-2006, 10:10 AM
Nice trip. Thanks for the shots.

07-21-2006, 01:26 PM
great trip report.i can see that you found agood traffic in this day.thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.