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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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The Railroad’s Raucous Arrival. White Plains: Part 1 Trains History

Amid loud booms of celebratory artillery fire and the rousing tunes of a brass band, hundreds of onlookers jockeyed for a spot alongside gleaming rails, cheering and popping champagne corks. The crowd’s cries rose to a crescendo as the mighty iron horse cantered round the last curve and roared into full view, steam billowing behind her. The day was Saturday, October 26th, 1844, and at long last—thirteen years for the rails, nearly three hours for the train—the New York and Harlem Railroad had reached White Plains. The new station to which the train had arrived was a simple wooden affair,...

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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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Behind the Scenes at the Subway’s Power Control Center Trains Photos Videos

Throughout the city there are countless nondescript structures that garner little attention from passersby. Hidden within one of them is the Power Control Center of New York City’s subway system, which like many important pieces of infrastructure today tries to keep a lower profile. A venerable hive of activity, the Power Control Center occupies an enormous room with long rows of seafoam green control panels running its length. Clusters of desks are arranged in the middle between the panels, with a perfect sight line to monitor the flashing lights and relayed information. The PCC’s expansive control panels display a schematic...

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