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Railfan Trip Reports > A different kind of day trackside...

Date: 07/15/07 05:01
A different kind of day trackside...
Author: Pattenburg

In that this Saturday was devoted to being a tour guide for my friend from Virginia. I first met Bill back in April, 2005 at Stanton Station (NJ) while we awaited the arrival of RB&BB’s circus train. During this wait, our conversation focused on the Lehigh Line. I offered him an invitation that if he our schedules coincided, I would serve as a guide to some of the significant locations along this stretch of track.
Two years and two months later, we were able to get together for a day of rail fanning. The first train spotted was an eastbound NS intermodal, symbol unknown, at West Portal around 8 AM. NS 19G was holding the siding at CP 67 until this train passed and would then be on its way west. A little while later at Pattenburg, another NS eastbound intermodal loaded with COFCs was seen, possibly 24V.
After talking about the tunnel’s history, we drove over to Lansdowne Junction. I showed him what remained of the LVRR's roadbed to Pittstown and the history associated with that spur. The sound of NS 18G approaching would be reason enough to momentarily halt our conversation and watch it pass by. Motive power was PRR 8378 (C40-8W, ex-CR 6159) and NS 9882 (C40-9W) bringing this load of mixed freight east.
Next stop would be Three Bridges to see if NS was running any trains through here. The signal at MP 48 was green over red but no NS trains would be seen. Black River & Western was busy though switching cars for NS H76’s Sunday pickup and we went over there to watch them work. For both of us, seeing BR&W 8159 (SW1200, ex-CP 8159) still wearing the CP paint scheme was a nice surprise.
The final stop of the day would be Manville. CSX Q300, led by CSX 7533 (C40-8) and an unidentified second unit, would finish working Manville yard and head east with fifty-eight cars at 12:35. A little while later, CSX Q438, with CSX 5335 (ES44AC) leading a second unidentified diesel and seventy-five cars of mixed freight would head east.
While there were lulls seeing trains, there never was a lull when it came to talking about them. Bill would reminiscence about trips on Amtrak, his favorite railroads such as the D&H, Bangor & Aroostook and CSX. I would counter with my historical knowledge of the Lehigh Line, trips to Shenandoah Jct. and Kingman (AZ). As you can imagine our conversation covered a variety of railroading, non-railroading topics and geography.
Could not have asked for any better weather than what we had on this Saturday. Seeing at least one train at each stop was a bonus. At day’s end, this all added up to an enjoyable day to be trackside. Hope you day was just as nice.

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