Old 08-04-2008, 07:06 AM   #1
asis80
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Default I've overcome the OC, 'Burghers

I believe the last time I actually went 'fanning' was back in April, read http://forums.railpictures.net/showthread.php?t=7917 and that'll give you a thought as to why. I know it's only been 4 months, but after I got a photo accepted from my "grounds" at Homestead :

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 244566
Photograph © Ben Sutton



...it all started coming back. For some reason, I felt more excited over a wedgie than I have over my first accepted photo. (My compositional skills lack, so wedgies are 99% of what I shoot). It felt great. A few days later, a lost UV filter and CPL filter, a horrible 2 day thunderstorm soak, me and jen took a nice Sunday drive up north, to the 'Burgh. Saturday night I could hardly sleep. I wanted to get up early to get that great morning sunlight. Now, let us rewind back to April, even before that, before April, when my trips consisted of chasing coal loads up and down route 88 beside the NS Mon Line. Going to West Brownsville to catch street runners.

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 231650
Photograph © Ben Sutton


Going to Homestead and forgetting the 15 degree winter weather and watching CSX and NS run by each other.

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 225813
Photograph © Ben Sutton


I loved it. Ever since I lived by a local coal feeder that saw the Blue Macs on each end amost 5 times a day when they ran the drags, which was about 4 times a week.

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 223013
Photograph © Ben Sutton

although not blue, it once was and probably was on this line (my hometown line) way back

Not until recently when I started submitting here (November i believe?) have I understood routes, road numbers, train id's, lines, branches, all that mumbo jumbo (back then), but now it's so fascinating, especially around our area of Pittsburgh.

After one of our trips to Homestead, I wanted to go even FARTHER north. I wanted to be in the 'Burgh and railfan. The weave and maze of lines keeps your mind going! It's fun to keep up with the scanner! But anyways, after receiving some great tips on areas from some great submitters here (Thanks John, Wade, Brad, Tom) I still was still a little shady on the areas. Didn't know where to go, and if anyone else who knows me I hate cops. So add that on to getting lost, I would just give up. Grumble Grumble, more Homestead. Don't get me wrong, it's a great place, but once you've been there every weekend (literally, not kidding) you shoot it out real quick.

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 230610
Photograph © Ben Sutton

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 229555
Photograph © Ben Sutton


SO ANYWAYS, I still had the want to go North. I wanted to shoot the OC, and for anyone who isn't from around this area, The Ohio Connecting bridge. Tried to find spots for it, nothing. So I settled for my first "Pittsburgh Shot"

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 229548
Photograph © Ben Sutton

Holy crap, PCA4! Confidence is building!

And then that brings us to April, where if you read the link above you know why I kinda dropped off the face of the RP.net world. I had no desire. Then my life turned around and I actually forced myself to take a small trip in the morning and go back to Homestead, it's easy, TONS of traffic. And then I got that above photo accepted. So, fast forward to today, where did I leave off? Oh yes, thunderstorms, something about losing my filters, work, all that, me and jen decided to take a Pittsburgh railfan trip. I NEEDED to get shots of the OC (Ohio Connecting) Bridge. *PAUSE*

I'll quickly explain the OC Bridge. Doublestacks can't clear the amtrak platforms on the pittsburgh line, so doublestacks take the port perry branch onto the mon line across the mon river, go up north and head back across on the Ft Wayne line on the OC Bridge to continue west, just to bypass the amtrak platforms, it's pretty neat.

Ok, *UNPAUSE*. For days I checked the weather, and every stinkin station said it was going to be CLEAR. CLEEEEAAAR! Great! Me and Jen get up at 645, head out the door at 7 and find our morning shot of the OC to get that great morning light. Ha, I wish. It was that overcast foggy type morning and I figured it's not warm enough for the clouds to break apart. So we leave at 7, get there around 8 on the North Shore and sit and wait. Track work was being done so we had something to watch as the tie loader went up and down the bridge ramps as we wait for the first train of the morning. We're sitting there and it's still mostly cloudy (Thanks KDKA, WPXI, WTAE for telling me it was going to be a perfect day!). A Northbound was coming, awesome! My first OC Bridge shot! It was so awesome, I know it sounds kinda gay, but if you've never seen or experienced the OC Bridge, it's something else.

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 245254
Photograph © Ben Sutton

and the sun came out just in time too!


We waited and waiting, eastbounds were being cleared to go south to go back east (confused? lol) and the sun just wasn't in the right place anymore and we were hungry. 1230, we at fresh (Subway) at Homestead to pass the time. We stayed until around 330 (I swear we witnessed 15 trains withing 3 hours, Homestead is great to watch trains and snap a few shots) and went to pick up my buddy. We headed back over to McKees Rocks and found our evening shot location. And what a location it is, you are river level and perpendicular to the OC Bridge. It's a great shot. Jen got a few, I got a few :

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 245251
Photograph © Ben Sutton

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 245250
Photograph © Ben Sutton


We were thinking Arby's.


After dinner, we parked up in Brighton heights, and I wanted to get one coming of the ramp, but instead got, to me, one of my favorite loco's, a standard cab EMD SD70. I always thought they were cool, he wasn't coming off the ramp but coming out of Island Avenue with 13G in tow:

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 245252
Photograph © Ben Sutton



I wanted to get a time lapse of the whole area (South/East double bounds , North/West double bounds, east's, west's) but it got too dark and since me and jen were up since quarter til 7, it being 930pm kinda made us tired, lol.


Sorry if this experience disappointed you, but this location has been one of my favorite I've never been too before And it was such an exciting day, hundreds of trains, a bustling city, and iron on the rails interlocked within it all. Anyone coming our way to Pittsburgh MUST just sit and watch, snap a few shots, and ENJOY it! Something I've overcome, both the OC and getting to enjoy it instead of looking over my shoulder every 3 seconds, was one of the greatest rail experiences I've ever had. Come visit us and experience it for yourself!


Ben Sutton
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:18 AM   #2
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Nice report...glad you are back in the railfanning world!

Those are some great shots you got, definently something to be proud of.
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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Yea nice shots and post
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
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Now just be sure not to get 'stuck' there! I often times catch myself saying "let's just go to the OC Bridge" instead of exploring new shots I have not yet taken. It's an easy thing to do with so many angles and having such great light on it when most other spots are in shadow.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
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Brad, haha, I already said as we were leaving the dock last night we're going back next saturday if it's nice out lol. There wasn't much traffic yesterday, maybe saturday will yield more. Also Brad, the docks over in McKees Rocks, where in God's name do you park?! We had to park over by Crivelli's and big lots and walk across the CSX side and then down to the docks. I mean, it's a 5 minute walk but I'd rather park somewhere there so I can keep an eye on my new car. There's too many kids riding around over there and too man people walking over in those lots for me to feel safe leaving it there.


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Old 08-04-2008, 08:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asis80
Also Brad, the docks over in McKees Rocks, where in God's name do you park?!
Ben
After crossing over CSX the road makes a slight left, after that there is a mobile home on the right hand side. Just past that on the left hand side there is a big lot before the road curves to the right.
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