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Trainspotting in Flight Observations Photos

Beyond a few short jaunts on Metro-North weekly, and an occasional Amtrak train to Philadelphia, I haven’t been on trains very frequently this year. I have, on the other hand, been to LaGuardia Airport too many times. Plenty of people seem to have little love for that airport, but I don’t really mind it. Though the newly built sections and renovations are actually quite attractive, my favorite part about the airport tends to be the views you get while in the air. Subway tiles and mosaics at the new LaGuardia Airport. Many New York landmarks are reproduced in tile, including...

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Grand Central Stargazing: Secret Signatures on the Ceiling Observations History Photos

In its century-plus of existence, over a billion travelers have traversed the hallowed halls of Grand Central Terminal. But how many of that intrepid number, as they gazed up at the magnificence of the constellations overhead, knew that the ceiling held a secret? I’m not talking about how the constellations are “backward”—doesn’t everybody know that? Nor am I referring to the fact that the ceiling today is not the original fresco from when the Terminal opened its doors. No, I’m talking about the secret signatures that span the mural, encircling stars and hiding inside the appendages of the towering beasts...

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Wednesday Wandering: Blocks of the Waterbury Branch Trains Observations Photos

Some of you out there have been wondering if I still take train photos. While several of my more recent posts have been of a more historical nature, I am still frequently out snapping photos of trains. Many times the photos aren’t necessarily worthy of their own post, so I thought it might be fun to post some of them on Wednesdays, so you can all see where I’ve been wandering about. This past weekend I found myself dodging the raindrops and capturing the blocks of the Waterbury Branch. With the signalization project coming to a close not too far...

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Hudson Line back on track… sort of Trains Observations Photos

Last week’s Hurricane Ida brought massive winds and torrential downpours from Louisiana on up to the northeast, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. In New York significant flooding adversely effected our entire transportation system—making highways and railroads resemble something more like waterlogged canals. Stuck vehicles were abandoned up and down the Bronx River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway, and the entirety of Metro-North service was suspended.

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White Plains, Reflections Trains Observations

It has been nearly six years since I was a regular commuter on Metro-North. Though my origin point varied—starting off at Brewster, eventually moving to Goldens Bridge, then trying out Southeast, Pawling, and even Wassaic, and eventually finishing off with a reverse commute from Harlem—my destination point was always the same. White Plains. Earlier this month I visited the station, and it felt like I hardly knew the place. Gone were the yellow taxis with their interesting names—no more Desire of Nation or Very Fine Money Fishing—in their stead some run of the mill white taxis. There’s a bright remodeled...

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Metro-North Rail Train at Riverdale Trains Observations Photos Videos

Throughout my travels, I frequently find myself fascinated with various types of railroad engineering. During my five years at Amtrak, I got the chance to observe quite a few distinctive machines devoted to the process of building railroad tracks. Particularly memorable were Portal-Krane 1, which maneuvered large pre-constructed switches into position during Penn Station Renewal, the catenary maintenance cars that lift technicians into position to service the wires on the Northeast Corridor, and the various rail grinders and welding machines used to replace Continuous Welded Rail (CWR). Closer to home but in a similar vein, Metro-North’s rail train has recently...

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