• CSX Riverline...no Horseshoe Curve Railfanning 10/13/04

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

  by trainfreak
I hope you guys dont mind me posting these shots in the NJ Railfan forum. I hope everyone likes the shots anyway.

Well Horseshoe Curve was a real experience for a first timer. We were able to get out there this past weekend (11/13) and lets just say it wont be the last time we will be out there. We weren’t let down as we saw 25 trains in just 5 hours and we even saw one loaded coal train stall going upgrade. Well here are pictures from the day out railfanning Norfolk Southern.

We were at the Altoona Train station only 5 minutes before this eastbound crawled through.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63701

Horseshoe Curve:
This was definitely a trip worth repeating. The drive was long but in the long run it was all worth it. Once again less then 5 minutes after we arrived at the curve the whine of a train coming down in dynamic breaks could be heard. This shot is from the parking lot.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63707
Next was 21G with a pure lash up of Norfolk Southern black.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63709
21G’s helpers are two SD40-2’s and they round the curve.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63715
Next up was 11A that had a high nose SD40-2 as the second unit back.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63717
11A’s helpers bring up the rear and are both in Conrail Quality paint schemes.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63900
After an eastbound Intermodal 13N came chugging up the grade westbound and is seen here with two primer C40-9W’s
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63901
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63902
Next train was an eastbound with four SD40-2’s still in Conrail paint.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63903
The lighting was terrible but NS dominates in this shot as helpers for the previous eastbound slide past and a westbound coal train goes upgrade.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63904

While driving up Sugar Run Rd to Gallitzin we came into view of the line and just our luck this eastbound Amtrak train passed us by.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63908
We got up to the tunnels where we were not disappointed. Once we got up there an eastbound trailervan was just getting underway.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63909
While the eastbound was moving past this westbound blasted out of the tunnel and cut through the shadows.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63910
We soon had another westbound double stack train as it began its trek back down the mountain.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63911
We moved down trackside where I got this shot of yet another westbound trailervan.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=63912

We got to Cresson and sat around for about 20 minutes and nothing came. Then the floodgates opened and we saw 7 trains in 20 minutes. First up was this eastbound Intermodal as he cruised upgrade.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64049
Soon after the Intermodal train cleared a loaded coal train grinded eastbound and got an approach signal. A little further upgrade he would stall and would require more locomotives to get upgrade. While he passed the first westbound blasted through.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64050
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64051
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64052
Next was an eastbound Autorack train that passed by us at a slow speed. During its passage another westbound blasted through.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64053
We went up to the Rt. 53 Bridge where we were in for a treat. The stalled coal train was under the bridge along with a stopped westbound empty coal drag. We had beaten the Autorack train to the bridge where I snapped this shot.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64057
I got on to the other side of the bridge where to our surprise a westbound trailervan train was flying down grade. You can still see the locomotives of the Autorack trudging upgrade.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64059
Getting a look at all four trains in the same shot. This was a great way to end the day.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64060
Before we left Altoona we made a quick stop at the museum and we went outside where I grabbed these shots from outside and inside GG1 4913.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64062
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64064

Overall it was an amazing day in amazing weather. I am planning to return and I hope everyone has enjoyed these photos.

  by nick11a
Really nice pictures. I have to get up there one day for sure. Sounds like you had a great time. I know I sure as hell would.

  by Tom_E_Reynolds
Nice Pics

We will just all assume that SOME of the freight in your pictures was going to NJ! :wink:

  by OCtrainguy
I spent Memorial Day weekend out in Altoona. Got out there late Friday afternoon and came back early Monday evening. It was a great trip and one I believe everyone should make. One of the first trains I saw I believe was NS 11J (westbound empty autorack that leaves Oak Island).

Saturday morning was spent on the pedestrian overpass in Altoona while Saturday afternoon was in Cresson. On Sunday, I spent the morning at Horseshoe Curve and saw several coal trains coming down the grade. Sunday afternoon I made a quick stop in Cresson before going to Cassandra. Monday morning I spent some time at the Brickyard Crossing before the rains came. I spent the rest of the time back at the pedestrian overpass.

  by trainfreak
I cant wait untill we go back there. All i know is now seeing 6 trains in a morning on the Riverline will seem like nothing after seeing 7 freight trains in 20 minutes. But ill take what i can get and as a matter of fact im heading to the Riverline tomorrow to begin shooting a railfan video im producing for my media class.

  by rcbsd45
Jeff, I too have spent several weekends out in that area. There have been some who complain that its all NS black and white now, and there is no variety. I don't know about that. Sure, the NS is the only game in town, but my attraction there has always been the sheer volume of traffic in that area. I have spent several weekends at the Station Inn in Cressopn, and I cannot say enough about it or its host, Tom Davis. if ya ever het the chance, go there. Its within(literally) spitting distance of the tracks. I try to get there a couple of times a year, and as I say, while there isn't a whole lot of power variety, the volume is amazing!

  by njt4172

Great pictures! Looks like you had a fun time. I gotta get out there again one of these days... Is it pretty easy to get rooms at the Station INN in the winter???


  by trainfreak
If you are going to be going out there in winter pack warm clothes! Even in mid November it was pretty chilly especially up at the summit is Gallitzin.

  by jayrmli
Jeff is right. Pack some warm clothes during the winter. I was there in January 2003, with about 1 foot of snow on the ground and the high temperature in Altoona was 6 degrees. I couldn't even tell you what the wind chill was.

Unfortunately, not as many trains running then as when I usually go in October, but I did get one good shot of a string of covered hoppers from the top of Tunnelhill. Had to wait an hour for that one though.


  by Pj
Worse case, Sandpatch is maybe an hour south and easy to get to. I usually go CT - Hagerstown/Hancock/Paw Paw/Cumberland/Sandpatch/Altoona/CT. A nice circle. Last time I was up to Altoona, I finally caught a train on the Bald Eagle line. 1st time in 3 years. I ended pacing the train for about 45 minutes.