• Pennsylvania Railfan Roll Call

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by kevikens
Hello, fellow railfans. I'm "kevikens" born and raised in Philly right next to the Reading's New York Shortline. My father took me to watch trains when I was a toddler and lots of steam still running and we hung out mostly at Wayne Junction. A bit later I attended Presentation school in Cheltenham right along side those same tracks at the Cheltenham station. At recess most kids played ball. I went over to the fence and watched the B&O's Royal Blue, Reading cigar band F 3's. the occasional CNJ freights and the Newtown Local which was steam until my fourth grade, then Alco RS 3's till the RDC's showed up. After a few years elsewhere I returned to the area and presently live in South Jersey where I still teach history to high schoolers ( and a lot more railroad history and technologhy than most of them want to hear about). I go across the river about once a week to railfan Pa., north to Allentown, west to Harrisburg and south to Marcus Hook. I have two daughters living in the Bay Area in Northern Ca. and every year I go out and visit to railfan that area as well but though they have reamined in San Francisco and I live in Jersey my heart has never left the Keystone state.

  by bwparker1

Brooks, Co-Moderator

  by lukerice
Howdy folks. I actually stumbled on a thread here doing a google search for an abandoned line I was interested in, seems like a pretty active place. Anyway I'm 27, married, in Monongahela, PA. I'm a big fan of the Monongahela Railway (even though it has nothing to do with my hometown, other than sharing a name), both its history and present-day operations on the former Conrail MGA mining district, also a big fan of geocaching, and I have the beginnings of an HO scale layout in my attic (talk about an expensive and time consuming hobby!) I wouldn't say I qualify as a foamer, at least not quite yet, but I love everything about the railroads.
  by biloby
hey hey!

i live in philly, grew up here..work here..eat here..etc..
growing up my grandfather on my moms side always had train sets around and all sorts of railfan gear..he worked on the PRR at some point in his career. my uncle worked for CSX , i liked him but he was kinda a jerk.
Then my pop had trains for christmas.. so thats the back story.. sorry its kinda weak.

but i always loved the trains..i grew up a stonesthrow from the tacony station for the r7.. and truthfully.. i walked those tracks for miles.

with all the freight layups around i took to taking flics of the monikers ..they captured my imagination when i was younger..
but now i mostly take "action shots" of the r's and the amtrak lines...when i get around to it.

seems its important to say what you do or where you went to school...
union plumber... some ccp some drexel.. didnt finish.

also.. i have a cat named Tacho who recently had a urinary tract blockage/infection.

i heart septa.

  by jcw122
Hi my name is Jon. I'm 18 and I'm not very sure how (I would have been 1 at the time), but I'm pretty sure I can remember when they had the rails on the Glen Loch to Thorndale branch, and I've been very interested in it ever since.

My biggest interests are the two INCREDIBLE bridges on that line (Whitford and Downingtown), as well as the numerous tunnels it runs across, especially the one in Downingtown which is supposedly haunted from a girl who committed suicide there. You can even check out the book "Weird Pennsylvania" it's in it!

I found this site after heavy Googling trying to figure out what this line was called, what the bridges were called, and who it was owned by. So glad I found this forum!

  by bwparker1
Welcome aboard!

  by tgv1138
Hey There. My name is Jim Hurley. I was born in NE Philly and now live along the R2 tracks in Glenside, PA and take the train to work everyday for the last 4 years. I'm 34 years old and the whole obsession started when my dad surprised me with an HO layout for Christmas one year. I now have 2 young boys who are allowing me to pretend that I am spoiling them. They have the wood Thomas trains, GeoTrax & a small HO layout with some Thomas trains and a few "daddy loaners" from time to time. I have HO, Lionel, N & G scale trains. I have an affinity for the extremes. I am obsessed with high speed rail as well as late era steam technology. If I had all the money in the world, I would re-build a Pennsy T-1 and take it out for excursions. I have had the opportunity to ride the Thalys, Acela, California Zephyr, Three Rivers (x2), City of New Orleans, Crescent, Maple Leaf, Auto Train (I miss the domes from back in the day), and rode Swiss Rail from Basil to Grindelwald to skii the Swiss Alps. I am scheduled to take the 1/2 hour engineer class at Williams Grove in August.

I went to Penn State and got a degree in Film & Video Production. I'm seriously considering starting to produce HD train videos to see if I can make that a viable career for myself. My fahter grew up in Ashland, PA and introduced me to the Lokie there a long time ago. There is a lot of coal mining history there and I have been developing an idea to document the mine at Pioneer Tunnel and the story of the neighboring town of Centralia.
  by bwparker1
Welcome aboard Jim!

  by JC1076
Hi there. My name's Jon Ferraro, I was born in Staten Island NY in '76 and lived in East Brunswick NJ for most of my life... the Raritan River RR was a mile from my childhood home, and later my family moved to the other end of town, a stone's throw from CR's Amboy Secondary (the Camden & Amboy). My father got me into railroads, although he never took any photos (a real shame, too); I had an N-scale layout when I was little and then after we moved the model railroading never really took off again.
I got into rail photography when I was in college... most of my photos are posted at rrpicturearchives.net with a large number of them taken in and around Buffalo NY. I moved to Philadelphia a little over three years ago and now my girlfriend and I live in Havertown. I work for the federal government and have been trying to get back trackside in my free time, but as of now I'm a bit lost in regards to the wheres, whens, whats, etc. I'd like to get to know the Philadelphia area and meet up with some railfans around here, and learn as much as there is to know.
As far as favorites, the PRR is my #1, but I've got an interest in just about anything on rails, especially pertaining to the places I've called home... the Raritan River, the CNJ, NYC, LV, LIRR and NH. My great-grandfather was a yardmaster on the L&N, my grandfather worked on a track gang for the New York City Transit Authority, and my father has told a million and one stories of Bay Ridge Yard, the LIRR and the New Haven, and the list goes on and on...
  by jonnhrr
My name is Jon Dandridge. I was born in England, east of London near a suburban line that was then 100% steam, got hooked on trains at age 3 and haven't changed since. I spent my formative years in Boston (hence my screen name of jonnhrr) but ended up going to college at Lehigh University in Bethlehem. A couple of my dorm friends were model railroaders and railfans and we spent many Saturdays checking out the action on the then Lehigh Valley and RDG lines through Bethlehem, including several excursions into Philly on the RDG RDC's to check out Reading Terminal, SEPTA, and Penn Central. Our most memorable trip was the Reading RDC to North Philly then Broad Street subway (still running the original cars form the 1920's) to Market Frankford line to 69th Street and rides on the Red Arrow, including a rare Brillliner ride.

After a brief sojourn in the US Air Force spent mostly in Mississippi and New Mexico (where I got familiar with L&N and ATSF) I returned to Lehigh to get my Masters then settled in Downingtown PA after accepting a job with Lukens Steel in Coatesville. By then Penn Central and the RDG had morphed into Amtrak and Conrail, but there was still plenty to see and photograph, with the GG1's running out their last miles.

I then got married and had kids which took me away from railfanning although I now had excuses to go to Strasburg or Blue Mountain and Reading "for the kids to ride the trains" or course. Lived in Swarthmore most of that time. I still miss being able to walk to a station with half hourly service all day to the city.

In 2001 due to family and job reasons we moved up to Massachusetts. We still get down to PA occasionally as one of my sons has been thinking of relocating back there and spent last summer living in our old town and commuting on SEPTA. He has become somewhat of a railfan, his particular favorite is the Silverliner II/III's now running out their last miles.


  by bwparker1
Welcome aboard to Jon and Jon. TO the second Jon, are following any trains in MA?

- Brooks
  by Cadguru
Hello All!

I grew up in Scotch Plains, NJ along the RV NJ Transit Line, then lived in Stirling along the Gladstone Branch.
Moved out to PA 6 years ago and you can catch me standing by the tracks at Bethlehem Steel, camera (and now scanner) in tow.

I used to stop in Clark, NJ and watch the Conrail Trains roll by, but now love the Lehigh Valley. I wish the Easton passenger station would be restored!
  by Schaffner
Hello everyone.

I grew up in Warren County, with the ex Pennsy P&E behind our house. In the late 70's and early 80's I remember Conrail freights and then the years of dormancy before it was resurrected as a short line. I also remember LONG trains on the ex Erie Lackawanna. Had occasion to make trips up to Westfield, NY to watch mainline action on Conrail's ex-NYC and the N&W and over to the B&LE just to the west.

After high school I went into the Air Force and I spent four years of the early 90's in stationed in Colorado. The building I worked in at the Air Force Academy actually overlooked the DR&W/AT&SF "Joint Line", so I could watch coal trains and mixed freights from my desk. The highlight trains were those of the Santa Fe, with some interesting motive power (GP30's, etc) and the occasional caboose, in the 90's!

Came back to PA, went to college and eventually got a job in Erie, in a building right next to the old Water Level Route. However, I don't have a window facing the tracks so the only time I see the frequent trains is when I'm walking through a part of the building that does. I'm lucky enough that in my wondering over to the Harborcreek area to often catch General Electric testing some interesting exports on the the EEC test track. However, I'm waiting for the day for them to build another electric so I can see them test one of them to the end of track, which is still full electrified.

Also get to see another interesting operation up here: There is a new biodiesel plant here, and when the ship their finished product to the docks to be loaded in ocean going tankers, they use several dozen tank cars as a "rolling pipeline" as there is no pipeline from their plant to the docks.
  by D&H557
Hello fellow railfans !! My Name is Doug, and i am a rail freak. It started at a young age, when my dad would take me to Valley forge to catch freight trains. The passion got bigger and bigger as years went on. I started getting into HO scale models, as we had a layout at my uncles house. It was an L shaped layout, maybe 10x14 or so. It was in an attic, so it was not the best place for one, it was hot in the summer, and cold in the winter. We ended up working on it more then having fun with it. Since then the layout was torn down, but the boxes of engines and rolling stock, are still in my closet. when i say boxes, there is about 6 large boxes full!!!! I really got into the hobby, and bought lots of kits, and units. My dad also had a ton of stuff, that i ended up getting, due to he did not have room for it all. Besides the modeling part, we did alot of day trips to reading (when the Blue montain and reading ran every weekend). We would head up there early, and catch trains on the Blandon Lowgrade, head over to BMR, check out there operation, then in the afternoon hit Wyomissing Juction. Could see up to 30 trains between the 2 places. We also would hit some shortlines (blackriver and western,strasburg,New Hope and ivey) and pretty much anywhere there was trains. The late night trips to Wilsmere Yard, were another great time. We would spend hours down there at night, and see lots of trains (orange Blossum,Juice train, and a few fast movers as well). Time went past, and i got married, and popped out 2 kids. In that time i lost touch with the train chaseing, but i would always stop if i saw a train, and the thought never left. I ended up getting divorced (don't worry, trains had nothing to do with it) and now i am back in the train game!!! I also have included my kids, and they LOVE trains!!!! I took them once, and they are hooked. It gives me time to spend with my kids, and gets me back into a thing that i loved as a kid. I have had them to Blue montain and Northern (it helps my best friend works for the railroad) and i have got them up close and personal with the 425, and some sd40-2, and a few other units as well. I also have taken them to the west chester railroad, and strasburg, they seem to love it all. So thats my story, anytime someone is in the area, and wants to run after some trains, look me up!!
p.s--love the forums!!!!
  by Randy Earle
Hello! My name is Randy and I grew up in Erie County. I railfan in Meadville most of the time. Used to work with railroad crew transport and spent a lot of time driving crews from Meadville to Oil City.