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Old 06-19-2005, 01:36 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Railfan Trip 6/18/05

Today I went trackside with my brother (Conrail6707) and a friend of mine. This is just a report for now, I will post pics as soon as I get the horse-drawn buggy to the camera shop to get the slides developed and scanned.

All units are NS unless noted.

The trip started by leaving to go trackside at about 5 AM. In our first encounter with the tracks just west of Allentown, we saw headlights for a westbound (Which turned out to be the 23M) . We immediately began to chase it to the nearest crossing where good shots can be obtained (Miraculously, we did not get a single red traffic light on the dreaded "Lehigh Street Auto Mile" which has foiled many of my train chases through here). The train went through about 15 seconds after I had got out of the car. It had Dash 9's 9541 and 9249, and passed at 5:49AM. After hearing the 24V call the eastbound signal at Alburtis (About 5 miles west), we decided to stick around. 10 minutes later at 5:59AM, the 24V went by our location with SD70 2567 and BNSF SD40-2 6880 (Heritage 1). It sounded really cool to see two standard cab EMD's in 2005, and they sounded awesome. Since we thought nothing else was coming, we continued west, though about a mile west we heard the 18N calling the eastbound signal in Macungie (3 miles west), so we pulled up to the nearest crossing to get a shot. He passed us at 6:08AM with C40-8W 8445 (still in blue) and C39-8E 8684.

After the 18N passed, we continued west, this time not running into any eastbounds until we got about 20 miles west in Blandon, where the double track merges into single track (Or vice versa for eastbounds), where we heard the 212 call the signal in CP Laurel (A few miles west) so we chose to stick around there and wait for it to pass. At exactly 7AM, 212 went through, the power was Dash 9 9509 and Dash 9 8458 (Still Blue), with the usual string of autoracks on the front (Including a Chessie autorack). As soon as the 212 passed, we heard the 262 calling CP Laurel, so we stayed and waited. 262 showed up at 7:13AM with Dash 9's 9687 and a 9900 series primer.

When 262 passed, we continued west, only stopping at 7:22AM just east of Reading for the 18G, which had Horsehead Dash 8 8376 leading Dash 9 9462, SD60I 6745 in Conrail Blue, and fresh Horsehead GP40-2 3029.

Next, we continued west until reaching Wyomissing Junction, just west of Reading. The first train we caught there was the 21J, led by Dash 9's 9512 and 8905 at 8:08 AM. Next up was 19G led by 9341 and 9497 at 8:22 AM. Not long after 19G was the 21E at 8:36 with Dash 9 9524, Dash 8 8344 in Conrail, and Dash 9 9930. The fourth, final, and most interesting train seen at Wyomissing was the 34A, which had SD60 6592 leading C40-9 8805, C40-8W 8420 in Conrail, SW1001 2102, SD40-2 3210, C40-9 8836, SD50 5443 still in Blue, and SD70 2539 as power, and passed at 8:55AM.

About 45 minutes after 34A passed, we moved to CP Belt in Reading, hoping to catch the Reading & Northern's Reading Turn. When we got there at 9:54AM, the 34M was sitting there with Dash 9 9787 and SD70M 2619, he left a couple of minutes later. Next, at 10:16 was the H47 led by HATX GP40 518 and GP38-2 5358 in Blue. Following the H47 at 10:20 was the Reading Turn (RBMN symbol QARG-18 ) led by RBMN SD40-2's 3051 and 3050. 21M was next at 10:54 powered by Dash 9's 9204 and 9392, as well as BNSF Dash 9 5036. After a lull lasting nearly one hour, we caught the Reading Turn (now RGQA-18 ) at 11:47 with the same two SD40-2's as before, but with 3050 leading. It stopped for about a couple minutes and as it moved, we sprinted for the overpass 100 feet away and got shots of him leaving.

After the Reading Turn left, we moved east, but stopped in CP Laurel at 12:12PM to catch the 11J, led by Dash 9 9752 and CRIX SD60 2128 in UP paint. We then continued east, only to stop in Blandon to photograph the 38G at 12:29 with Dash 9's 9210 and 9315 as power. We then continued on our way east, only to stop again, this time in Lyons, to catch the 213 at 1:19. He had a very interesting lashup, BNSF Dash 9 4537 leading CN SD50F 5425.

After continuing east to Macungie, where we planned to spend a couple more hours before calling it a day, we were greeted by another traffic lull, this one lasting until 3:46, when the lashup of the day appeared, WC SD45 6615 and NS SD40-2 3329 (The one and only Maersk Sealand unit) on a light power move, both of which were facing backwards. What a lashup! The power was being sent to Reading to be wyed, and would return to Allentown later in the evening, and it would have probably been put onto the 15T or another westbound in the evening with the 3329 leading (Unless they took another unint from Allentown yard to be used as a leader, which is a possibility). 8 Minutes later, the 24W went east with Dash 9's 9390 and 9432, and 2 minutes later, at 3:56, 35A went trough led by two BNSF Dash 9's, numbers 4355 and 4824. After the 35A passed, the final train we saw was the 16T at 4:15, led by Dash 9 9572 and two other Dash 9's.

Hope you enjoyed the report!
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