The Never Ending Journey, Part 2: More Photos from 2016

2016 has been bookended by two major moves for me – early in the year I was settling in to a new place in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area, and at the end of the year I find myself settling in to a new place in the Buffalo, New York area. Busy seems to be an understatement when you find yourself traveling through at least 18 different states, and spending the equivalent of nearly three months in different hotel rooms. Of course, throughout it all I kept my camera by my side. This post roughly continues where Part 1 left off – but I’ve aptly attempted to bookend it with Harrisburg, and the Buffalo – a true reflection of 2016.

Snow falls on the Keystone Corridor in Middletown
Snow falls on the Keystone Corridor in Middletown

Another cloudy day as the Conrail heritage unit passes over the Rockville Bridge
Another cloudy day as the Conrail heritage unit passes over the Rockville Bridge

I lived in Camp Hill for nearly a year, and I finally made it a point to take a photo of the old station...
I lived in Camp Hill for nearly a year, and I finally made it a point to take a photo of the old station…

Continuing off from the previous Never Ending Journey post, my road trip back from Atlanta led us to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where I heard that the Secret City Scenic would be ending operations. Sadly, their operating agreement was not renewed, and they would no longer be permitted to run trains. Since we were not far, we dropped in to see the final excursions, and snap a few photos.

Last run of the Secret City Scenic in Oak Ridge, TN

The crew of the Secret City Scenic on their final day of operations
The crew of the Secret City Scenic on their final day of operations

Last run of the Secret City Scenic in Oak Ridge, TN

Last run of the Secret City Scenic in Oak Ridge, TN
Zooming off into the sunset…

From Oak Ridge we headed up toward Cincinnati, making a quick stop in Lexington, and across the river from Ohio in Ludlow, to watch some more trains.

The "famous" skyline of Lexington, Kentucky
The "famous" skyline of Lexington, Kentucky

The Cincinnati Southern Bridge from the Kentucky side
The Cincinnati Southern Bridge from the Kentucky side

The Cincinnati Southern Bridge from the Ohio side
The Cincinnati Southern Bridge from the Ohio side

Approaching the Cincinnati Southern Bridge to leave Ohio
Approaching the Cincinnati Southern Bridge to leave Ohio

Cincinnati Union Terminal at night
Cincinnati Union Terminal at night

From Cincinnati we headed home, though we made a few quick stops in Columbus, Pittsburgh, and at Horseshoe Curve…
Sunset over the Scioto River in Columbus
Sunset over the Scioto River in Columbus

The old train station building in Pittsburgh
The old train station building in Pittsburgh

Looking up - ceiling in the Pittsburgh train station
Looking up – ceiling in the Pittsburgh train station

The Pennsylvanian eases onto the famed Horseshoe Curve
The Pennsylvanian eases onto the famed Horseshoe Curve

From there, we had little rest before heading out yet again on a trip for Norfolk Southern – this time to Norfolk. On the way back we caught some photos of the AEM-7 Farewell trip.

Norfolk Southern's coal loading facility in Norfolk
Norfolk Southern's coal loading facility in Norfolk

Farewell to the AEM-7

Farewell to the AEM-7
Farewell to the AEM-7

As you likely noticed, the AEM-7 photos were shot by drone, and I made it a point to try and use that darn thing as much as possible in 2016 – including a few flights over the farms of Pennsylvania, and even a flyover of Amtrak’s yards in Chicago.

Farm flyover in Pennsylvania

Farm flyover in Pennsylvania
Farm flyover in Pennsylvania

Flying over the yards in Chicago
Flying over the yards in Chicago before sunset

Probably one of the most memorable trips I got a chance to go on, to get some photos to promote Amtrak’s engineering jobs, was to see Hell Gate Bridge up close and personal.

Of course, when you're waiting for an Amtrak train the first to show up is CSX
Of course, when you're waiting for an Amtrak train the first to show up is CSX

Acela zooms by

Climbing up the steel span of Hell Gate bridge
Climbing up the steel span of Hell Gate bridge

A unique trainwatching viewpoint
A unique trainwatching viewpoint

Pictures, or it didn't happen

From there I headed up north to Albany to catch the Toys for Tots train, which included a rare opportunity to sleep overnight in the “President’s Office Car”, Beech Grove, as well as a look behind the scenes in the Rensselaer shops.

Checking out the Rensselaer shops

Checking out the Rensselaer shops

Checking out the Rensselaer shops
Checking out the Rensselaer shops

The Toys for Tots train at sunrise, about to leave Rensselaer
The Toys for Tots train at sunrise, about to leave Rensselaer

The Toys for Tots train arrives at Port Henry
The Toys for Tots train arrives at Port Henry

Toys for Tots train in Keeseville
Toys for Tots train somewhere in the forest – but google maps tells me it’s Keeseville

Now approaching the Canadian border... the Toys for Tots train prepares to return to Rensselaer
Now approaching the Canadian border… the Toys for Tots train prepares to return to Rensselaer

Also notable for the season was a wonderful trip to sunny Florida, some warm respite before the final move to Buffalo.

Amtrak's Silver Star arrives at Kissimmee
Amtrak's Silver Star arrives at Kissimmee

Behind the scenes of Disney World's steam trains
Behind the scenes of Disney World's steam trains

Back to NYC and the new holiday lights on the Park Avenue Viaduct
Disney World’s train station is designed to look like the old Saratoga Springs station in NY, then back to NYC and the new holiday lights on the Park Avenue Viaduct

The Christmas tree lighting at Buffalo Central Terminal

The clock at Buffalo Central Terminal

The Christmas tree lighting at Buffalo Central Terminal

A rare Christmas tree lighting at Buffalo Central Terminal

Well, that pretty much wraps up my year. Hopefully 2016 was good to all of you – bring on 2017!

7 thoughts on “The Never Ending Journey, Part 2: More Photos from 2016

  1. Emily, I truly enjoyed reading about your latest adventures. Your photography is exquisite. You really have an eye for composition. Your photo selection is impressive as you seem to be able to take a great photo no matter how mundane the subject matter or location might appear to the average photographer such as myself. I know this because many of the photos I just looked at I wouldn’t have taken myself. However I see I have been missing much by not opening my eyes to what’s around me. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Welcome to WNY! We have a real celebrity among us, now!
    BCT was recently famous too, with two different film crews using it this summer, some of their cosmetic repairs are evident in the last and third-to-last photos. Just don’t hang around there without an invitation, BPD is touchy about it (due to area crime).
    Lots of trains here (about 70-90 per day), but only 8 of them are passenger.
    Good luck and Happy New Year!

    -JCB

    PS, if anyone talks about keeping a shovel in their car(s) they’re not kidding, I even keep a spare snow brush in my work locker, it comes in handy!

  3. Surprising news, that you moved to Buffalo. Couldn’t master the ‘Deutsch’ in PA, eh? Well, Buffalo needs a LOT of help in the railroad area. The politicians have ruined the area for eons! BCT needs to be re-vitalized. I hope you can help! Do get the extra shovel, and snow-scraper! I can help you with Polski translations.
    Bill

  4. Absolutely great photos Emily! As an Aussie train photographer and writer, I’m always jealous of the places you get to. I don’t think I’ll ever afford to travel America to chase trains, so I’ll just keep trying to emulate your work here in Australia. Let me know if you ever release a photo book in printed form. I’d love to buy a signed copy!
    Cheers, Phillip

  5. Emily,

    You didn’t really climb up there on the Hell Gate Bridge with that guy, did you?

    Regards,
    Fred M. Cain

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