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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal


Date: 06/20/22 18:00
Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: march_hare

CSX's former NYC Water Level Route mainline follows the Erie Canal across the lowlands of central and western NY.  In several places, the two bits of old infrastructure are immediately adjacent to one another.  One of the better locations to see this is at Lock 10, a few miles east of Amsterdam, roughly mile 170.

My son and I really like this place--there's a park right next to the lock, the trains are reasonably frequent, and you generally get pretty good warning on the scanner, at least for eastbound trains.  Here we are in August of 2020, still very much in Covid mode, still feeling a bit cooped up, but grateful for a temperate, slightly breezy day in a location where our chances of infection are very nearly zero.

1 & 2)  Here's a demonstration of the Water Level Route's name. At 1:06 PM, an eastbound auto rack train passes, with a single unit on each end.  Roughly 170 miles out of New York metro, the train is making an end run around the Appalachian highlands, moving along nicely with only two units, top and tail.  He hasn't hit a significant grade yet in his run, and he won't hit one ahead either.  170 miles out from NY on the Pennsy, or the former B&O, you wouldn't be moving a train this big with two units.

3) A half hour later at 1:39, two kayakers have finished locking through eastbound and wave to the lock tender as they exit  You can see a boat approaching upstream in the distance.

There's more...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/22 18:19 by march_hare.








Date: 06/20/22 18:08
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: train1275

Nice and a favorite shooting ground !



Date: 06/20/22 18:09
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: march_hare

4)  Wait another 10 minutes, and the two upstream boats are in the lock chamber, securing themselves to the snubs, as the lock gate starts to close.  It's 1:48.

5). I've always wanted to get either a video or a still sequence that shows a train going by just as the lock doors open or close.  I've shot here dozens of times, and have never pulled it off.  It"s 1:54

6)  Missed it by this much!  A Westbound Niagara Falls Amtrakker scoots by at 2:00








Date: 06/20/22 18:16
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: march_hare

7)  The scanner squawks, and it's clear that two Amtrakkers are meeting up by the Amsterdam station, a few miles to the west.  The Lake Shore Limited, at this point a triweekly train, rolls by at road speed.  That's not all that fast, since it will be taking a diverging route onto the passenger main at CP 169, a few miles ahead.  I'm grumbling to myself about missing a cool meet by..just...this..much!  2:04 PM, just a few minutes from a cool, cool shot.

8)  The railfan gods are at least with us a little bit.  After denying us a passenger meet, two CSX trains show that it can be done.  Now it's 2:41, we're hungry, and the dispatcher is giving away the railroad for an hour or so.

Off to home.  But not a bad harvest for two hours trackside.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/22 18:21 by march_hare.



Date: 06/20/22 18:18
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: march_hare

Ooops, forgot to attach the last two pix. 






Date: 06/20/22 18:28
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: march_hare

Oh, another thing.  If you care to visit, the north bank of the river is accessible also, right off of NY Route 5.  Not a bad eastbound shot in the morning. 




Date: 06/20/22 18:38
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: sixaxlecentury

Nice shots. 

I always wanted to get a photo of a train on the Lock 19 bridge.  




Date: 06/20/22 20:37
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: Gonut1

I'm guessing a new bridge will be sliding inplace? I've experiencd similar in Philadelphia, PA on Septa rebuild of ancient PRR and Reading bridges.
Thanks for interesting NY posts. So many 100 year old bridges are still in service.
Gonut



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/22 20:39 by Gonut1.



Date: 06/20/22 22:52
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: refarkas

Well done with interesting variety - Your photo eight of the meet is excellently timed.
Bob



Date: 06/21/22 03:56
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: Drknow

The Canal is fascinating to me and I hope to someday actually see it and would like to boat it.
I read a few years ago of the possibility of some freight traffic returning to the Canal, has this come to pass? TIA.

P.S. what’s the story of the old truss bridge over the lock?

Regards.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/21/22 06:17
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: march_hare

The truss bridge is part of the lock and dam itself.  The  canal at this point is in the Mohawk River, which is prone to extreme variations in flow throughout the year.  Big, honkin ice jams in the winter and spring. The truss is a support for a series of mini-dams, which can be raised or lowered as the river flow goes up and down.

In the winter, navigation closes altogether, and the dams are lifted out of the water to allow the worst surges of water (rain-on-snow events, mostly) to pass through .  Here's a shot at Lock 13 showing what that looks like.

During the winter season, an enormous steel beam is lowered in place just above the upstream end of the lock, to protect the gates of the lock from ice damage.  That beam is removed in the spring, and placed on land, just a few feet away.  Most summertime visitors have no idea what it's there for.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/22 06:37 by march_hare.




Date: 06/21/22 12:10
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: UP951West

Thanks for sharing these well composed shots .  I found them enjoyable on this hot summer day . Well done. 



Date: 06/21/22 13:29
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: Pattenburg

Your photos along the Erie Canal reminded me of an 'ol trivia question which is: How many vehicle tunnels pass beneath the Erie Canal? The answer is one and it is found in Medina, NY. I learned about it when visiting the Medina Railroad Museum, a place that had an awesome HO layout. 






Date: 06/21/22 18:38
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: ns1000

Thanks for the pics...



Date: 06/21/22 19:26
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: Milwaukee

That's a cool piece of trivia about the Culvert Road.   Thanks for sharing the photos of that.



Date: 06/22/22 17:01
Re: Trains and Boats on the Erie Canal
Author: Drknow

Thanks again for the information!
👍👍

Regards

Posted from iPhone



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