“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years, how man would marvel and stare.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If a photo was taken between dusk and dawn, you will find it here. These are my “Night Visions.”
OFF THE BEATEN PATH Norfolk Southern’s Virginian unit leads CSX intermodal train Q138 by the former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Roundhouse complex and Amtrak station in Martinsburg, WV.
Part of the 2017 annual “Railfan Day” at Steam Into History. This year I was asked to help provide lighting for the event and had a mission to make it more realistic with active steam. Here York 17 looks as though it is enroute from York to Baltimore at the depot at Hanover Junction as locals look on.
My daughters wave to the oncoming train. Here is Q138 with Kansas City Southern “Southern Belle” 4771 at the front passing by the station in Martinsburg.
Baltimore Streetcar Museum’s youngest car, 7407 was built by the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company in 1944 for the Baltimore Transit Company. It was one of the last streetcars ordered for Baltimore until the MTA bought the new light rail cars. Since this car was built during the Second World War, the stanchions are painted instead of chrome coated. This car represented the height of streetcar development in the world when it was built and has the same general performance characteristics as the modern light rail cars. This car was rebuilt in the early 1990’s and is painted in its original color scheme of cream, Alexandria blue, and orange. The original paint scheme of Baltimore’s PCC cars was the result of a student competition circa 1936 at the Baltimore Institute of Art.
Rolling through downtown Martinsburg from Hagerstown, WW 86 passes the Cumberland Valley Railroad Station on King Street.
York 17 and train stop to pick up passengers just as trains have done here in the past like the one Abraham Lincoln did and from Gettysburg. The crew makes adjustments before continuing south to New Freedom, PA and Baltimore, MD. Part of the venture’s second annual railfan day was this night charter with lighting provided by Steve Barry.
MOUNT ROYAL STATION
MOUNT UNION PRR STATION
38Q passes by the former N&W station at Charles Town, WV in November 2012.
LADY IN WHITE: A northbound NS train disrupts the night approaching the Boyce, VA depot.
B&O STATION, POINT OF ROCKS: 1873 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station, Point of Rocks, MD designed by E Francis Baldwin. The scene was captured in February 2013 and lit by painting the building with a spotlight for 13 seconds at 400 ISO and f5.0
GHOST TRAIN: Travel back in time as a Norfolk and Western train slowly arrives to make a station stop at Boyce, VA. Fast forward to October 2012 and witness what seems like a ghost train arriving just in time for Halloween.
SRC 90 returns to East Strasburg on a recent Dinner Train.
A loaded coal train destined for the port of Baltimore passes under this classic Pennsylvania Railroad signal bridge at Summerhill, PA just after midnight on February 20, 2017.
The Winchester and Western switcher passes by the Clearbrook Shopping Center Convenience Store as it approaches US Route 11. Off to the right on the Lane siding are oil tankers for Flying J located a few miles to the North.
Posed under the ex B&O mainline between Philly and Baltimore at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum along Falls Road sits Brill 6119 From the BSM website “One of 150 “Baltimore” cars ordered by the United Railways and Electric Company These cars are called Peter Witt cars after the transit designer who promoted the front entrance, center exit car with a conductor’s station located just forward of the center doors…This allowed fast loading of passengers during rush hours. Due to the Great Depression economies, all the Witts were converted to one-man cars. The total order of Baltimore Witts was 150, 100 from J.G. Brill and the balance from the Cincinatti Car Company. Car 6119 was built by Brill. Restored during the 1980’s, this car design was used to collect data used in designing the PCC. Although designed as a two-man car, it served its entire life in Baltimore as a one-man car.”
30 stars decorate the cab of Pennsylvania and Southern Railroad SW7 #17 with 15 on each side to honor those American servicemen that perished in the 2011 Extortion 17 Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Travelers on Interstate 81 were treated to a show as the Martinsburg ‘s Annual Fireworks Display lights up the night sky on this July 4th.
CSX D789 passes through Harpers Ferry’s Lower Town across the 1850’s wooden trestle built by the Winchester and Potomac Railroad. The train is taking 105 cars of wheat destined for Winchester, VA just after midnight on March 26, 2017. The structure was necessary to avoid the occasional high waters that rage through the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. It was shortened at it’s east end to rebuild the right of way in order to connect with the 1894 B&O bridge by using fill and a single deck bridge.
Twenty-Seven and a half minutes elapse in this collection of four shots layered together as the Pennsy signal bridge at AR (Allegheny Range) stands tall against the backdrop of the swirling night sky and the North Star. This signal stands close to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s summit across the Eastern Continental Divide 2,167 feet above sea level and lets eastbound crews know half the journey over the mountains is complete before they enter Portage Tunnel and into “The Slide” and down the mountain.
The ‘Charles Town Crossing’ (Ranson) was historically operated and maintained by the N&W, who used Union Switch & Signal appliances (as opposed to B&O’s “General Railway Signal” wares. Long story short, these are probably the last surviving examples of US&S ‘Color Position Light’ signals in the USA (so, anywhere? – Washington Union Terminal Co. still had a few). They replaced lower-quadrant semaphore signals here as early as the 1920s
An almost daily occurrence when the Winchester and Western makes its run through town. This night was no different. Seen here at West John Street a couple hundred feet south of the CVRR station as the horn and roar of the engines brings traffic to a halt.
CSX train Q137 passes by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 1891 station in Brunswick, MD designed by famed architect E. Francis Baldwin.
A trio of BNSF motors lead intemodal train 201 passes a local cemetery in Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley near Shippensburg on the Norfolk Southern Lurgan Branch in Walnut Bottom.
High hood GP9 498 built for the Nickle Plate in August of 1956 and numbered 498 and renumbered to 2498 by the N&W upon acquisition of the prior railroad.
The former Baltimore and Ohio Valley Line, from Harpers Ferry to Strasburg passes along the floor of the Shenandoah. In Charles Town the line crosses the former Norfolk and Western at grade and is protected by CPL signals on all sides. On this night a westbound grain train for Winchester approaches the crossing and illuminates the air and silhouettes the trees and signal in its waning days of service. The signal pictured is historically operated and maintained by the N&W and NS, who used Union Switch & Signal appliances (as opposed to B&O’s “General Railway Signal” wares. These are probably the last surviving examples of US&S ‘Color Position Light’ signals in the USA (Washington Union Terminal Co. still had a few). They replaced lower-quadrant semaphore signals here as early as the 1920s.
Car 417, built by the Baltimore City Passenger Railway as a horse car in 1884, later re-built as a cable car trailer, and finally into an electric car in 1895, is the Baltimore Streetcar Museum’s newest restoration. This car operates on special occasions and is reported to be the oldest operating electric streetcar in America.
Norfolk Southern Allentown, PA to Birmingham, AL manifest train 15T helps create this scene at Charles Town, WV on the former Norfolk and Western Valley Line that will soon be altered. The Color Position Light Signal will soon be replaced and perhaps along with it, the code line you see to the right as NS readies the railroad for PTC implementation and signal upgrades.
Passengers await to board their train to Baltimore on the Northern Central Railroad at New Freedom, PA but first are detained by a Union soldier while a crew member keeping time looks on. Part of the venture’s second annual railfan day was this night charter with lighting provided by Steve Barry.
Disregard the modern street signs and the out of place Wrigley’s ad and you can venture back to the American Civil War as a night passenger run rolls into Glen Rock, PA to pick up a few passengers as Union soldiers guard the train and her passengers. Part of the venture’s second annual railfan day was this night charter with lighting provided by Steve Barry.
Local H58 rolls across the thru truss Reading Bridge off Leidigh Drive on it’s way to interchange with the Gettysburg & Northern at Mount Holly Springs. Many thanks to Sean Hoyden for the use of his lighting equipment.
Built in November of 1959, 752 an ex-Conrail 7527, PC 7527, NYC 5972 continues to be a work horse on the Winchester and Western roster in the Virginia Division. This and an assortment of other first generation EMD’s engines along with a few later models grind their way up and down the rails. Weak and Weary no more!
A Winchester bound grain train passes the last of the remaining B&O Color Position Light signals in the Eastern Panhandle of WV
B&O IN STAUNTON
October 29, 2016 saw another NS heritage unit leading a train through the area. Here is NS 8102 the “Pennsylvania Railroad” leading 36Q by the N&W Depot in Boyce, VA just shortly before 11pm.
LIT UP LIKE DAYLIGHT: Q370 rolls under the B&O Color Position Light Signal Bridge at Great Cacapon, WV on Friday January 6, 2012. Thanks to Sean Hoyden for letting me have a try at this using his equipment
The lit signals at Berryville are set against a full moon.
High hood GP9 498 basks in the light in Winchester and Western’s Corning Yard. GP38 2197 rests on the adjacent track.
LEVIATHAN CREW B/W: NEW FREEDOM, PA – The crew of #63 the “Leviathan” discusses their switching moves before putting their train together on the Northern Central Railroad. Thanks to Sean Hoyden for the use of his lighting equipment and the crew of the Leviathan. http://www.leviathan63.com
WINCHESTER AND WESTERN AFTER DARK
eastbound train passes by the roundhouse and station complex
RAILS ON FIRE
H34, NS LURGAN BRANCH, MASON DIXON LINE
35Q moves high above the Potomac River on the Norfolk Southern H Line during a frigid winter sunrise.
WAITING ON A CREW:
SNOW LIGHT: A westbound train is about to exit the Gallitzin Tunnel and lights up the inside liner, heavy moisture in the air and the blowing snow.
HERSHEY HISTORY: Sitting on a spot of history where chocolate was made for over 100 years. The Hershey Chocolate, a staple from the area and helped develop the confection to the country once stood at this spot beginning in 1903 and built into sections. Now, torn down in 2013, the land is bare minus a section renovated into commercial office space and the iconic smoke stacks and power plant as seen here. A new facility was finished in late 2012 west of town and has taken on the duties once performed here.
NEW & OLD
Charles Town, WV
CEMENT PLANT RUINS: Nestled just west of Hancock on the former B&O “East End” (today’s Cumberland Sub) stand the ruins of an industry long gone near Grasshopper Hollow.
A TRAIN’S A COMIN’: Norfolk Southern westbound train is about to come around the curve as it makes the dash for Allegheny Tunnel, Gallitzin, PA and the summit.
A 3000 series CSX locomotive is parked along a local road in Brunswick, MD which allowed me to painted the Boxcar Logo using a spotlight aimed at the ground to diffuse the light.
ALL THAT SHIMMERS IS GOLD
STEEL ROAD TO THE STARS
OVERALL, VA – Along Route 340 between Front Royal and Luray, VA in the Shenandoah Valley at the Warren and Page County lines is a trestle where the former Shenandoah Valley, Norfolk and Western Valley Line crosses over Overall Run. Here at 5:30am NS 15T with an Illinois Central leader flies overhead. Lighting provided by Sean Hoyden.
GOOD FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHT: Norfolk Southern train 202 races by the village of Brandtsville, Pa on the former Reading Lurgan as it races towards Harrisburg just after sunset on Good Friday 2014.
GLINT IN THE NIGHT
NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE: Kansas City, MO that is… Cutting though the light drizzle and thick fog in South Central PA on the Norfolk Southern Lurgan Branch is “Belle” Kansas City Southern 4765 on NS intermodal 204 as it makes it’s way to Harrisburg and the Rutherford Terminal. Many thanks to Sean Hoyden for the use of his lighting equipment.
DUSK AT HOBBS
W&W NEW YEAR’S LULLABY: Holding down the fort during the 2015 New Year’s holiday are an assortment of power in Corning Yard. On the left is GP9 403 (not pictured), GP10 752 and GP9 709. On the right are the newer GP38s 2196, 2689 and 2182 under a moonlit sky.
A recent snow event the previous day makes for some “cool” scenes like this one looking North at the old Norfolk & western/Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Interchange Yard. The temperature at the time this was taken was holding at a steady 9 degrees on the evening of Friday January 3rd, 2014. The scene is lit by the headlights of my parked car behind me to the right, an overhead street light and in the distance, smoke from a house’s fireplace lit up by perimeter lights from the neighbors house. The interchange was used until the early 2000’s when NS switched the interchange to Hagerstown via Vardo yard and the acquisition of Conrail. It is now used for storing MoW equipment. New siding and interlocking work at Daniels and Shen are underway. The look you see here may change dramatically.
GETTYSBURG, PA – Commanding the Union 1st Division of the First Corps during the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 was Major General James Wadsworth. This scene was captured on a recent evening at sunset. The monument depicts Wadsworth directing troops in defense of the railroad cut west of town. The General was mortally wounded during the Battle of the Wilderness in May, 1864.
Women are from Venus, Men are From Mars and the cow jumped over the Moon. February, 2015
BEARDS ROAD CROSSING: A full moon rises over the tracks.
LOOK GOOD ON THE MARKER
A northbound lights up the right of way as the Lady in White, the Boyce Norfolk and Western Depot stands ready to greet it. 2013 marks the buildings 100th birthday and a cookout and slideshow presentation was held earlier to celebrate.
Train 86 passes through the northern parts of Martinsburg, WV in the last light of the day. The train has already interchanged with NS in Hagerstown, MD and switched some cars around at Berkeley Station Siding in order to make their CSX drop off in town a little easier.
The Dunkard Church at Antietam witnessed some of the most vicious fighting of the American Civil War on the morning of September 17th 1862. Today it sits quietly as it did before that terrible day but this time as a reminder of the battle fought in America’s bloodiest day.