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Showing posts from February, 2022

Snowfall over a forest by drone, near Syracuse, NY.

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We've had snow almost continuously on the ground here in the Syracuse area since just after New Year's. The snow has melted off a bit at times, but new snow always seems to fall. The day before I took this photograph a significant amount of the snow on the ground had melted off so that one could actually see the grass in places. However, that was short lived, and more snow fell overnight and the next morning.  Looking north over the forest behind my house. With a break in the snowfall and some sunshine breaking through the clouds, I set up my drone to practice using it some more and capture the forest behind my house again. As I was sending the drone up, the sky clouded up again and snow started falling. I quickly snapped a few shots and brought the drone back down to the ground. The river seen through the trees on the left side is the Seneca River. Photograph taken on February 18, 2022, near Syracuse, New York.

CSXT 3087 leading CSX train I004-18 at Warners, NY.

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 Last Saturday, after catching CSX train X626-18  led by Union Pacific locomotives at Memphis, New York, I caught CSX intermodal train I004-18 further to the east at Warners, New York.  I004-18 eastbound at Warners, NY. CSXT 3087 leading I004-18 east of CP300 at Warners, NY. Above, I004-18 is eastbound on Track 2 of the Rochester Subdivision and is cresting a small hill. This spot is just to the east of control point (CP) 300 (milepost (MP) QC 300.7), near Warners Road. Through the trees and brush on the right side of the photograph you can see a red signal on one of the westbound control point block signals . The westbound signals are about 3,100 feet from me.  The old NYC milepost 300 still stands about 500 feet east of Warners Road. Across the tracks and about 300 feet east of my position is the old New York Central milepost for mile 300. The Rochester Subdivision was once part of the NYC's Water Level Route. The miles on the Rochester Subdivision count up going west from Grand

UP 6024 and UP 7834 leading CSX train X626 at Memphis, NY.

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Foreign locomotive power on CSX trains seems to have increased recently. For a short period of time last year CSX was removing as much foreign power as it could to save on repaying horsepower hours to other railroads. Over the past couple of months CSX trains on the Rochester Subdivision have had foreign power from other railroads, including BC Rail (a Candian National operated railroad), BNSF , Canadian National (CN), Canadian Pacific, Illinois Central (IC, and CN owned), Kansas City Southern , and Union Pacific (UP). Previously, for a few months CSX was pulling foreign power and replacing it with its own locomotives. X626-18 at Memphis, NY. UP 6024 is on the point of CSX train X626-18 at Memphis, NY. This past Saturday I was lucky and caught CSX train X626-18 being led by UP 6024 and UP 7834. I caught X626 as it rolled east at 40MPH on Track 2 of the CSX Rochester Subdivision, at Memphis, New York. The "X" designation means this is an extra section of train Q626 . I got th

Snow squall in Central New York

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On Saturday, parts of the Western and Central New York regions had a snow squall blow through. The squall came through from the west to the east and only lasted about ten to fifteen minutes. It brought white-out conditions and wind gusts up to 40MPH. It hit the Syracuse area just before 10AM EST. Typical snow falling at the start of the snow squall. The snow squall started out with what I would call typical snow fall for the area. However, within minutes of the snow starting to fall the squall brought white-out conditions. The tree line of the forest is fifty feet from my vantage point. According to the National Weather Service, a snow squall is an intense snowstorm with high wind gusts that is much shorter in duration than a blizzard. They are often accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature which can cause the snow to freeze, leading to dangerous driving conditions. The snow and winds were so intense during this snow squall that the visibility of the forest behind my house, which

IC 2706 and BCOL 4648 on CSX train K684 at Memphis, NY.

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Two Wednesdays back, I was lucky enough to catch a CSX train with Kansas City Southern locomotives leading a military train through the Central New York region. As luck would have it, I was able to see and photograph another CSX train this past Wednesday with foreign power. This past Wednesday, I caught K684-14 with Illinois Central (AAR reporting mark IC) 2706 and British Columbia Railway (AAR reporting mark BCOL) 4648 on a loaded ethanol tank car train. BCOL is also known as BC Rail. CSX train K684-14 at Memphis, New York Except for a CSX signal maintainer, everything was quite on the railroad when I arrived at my usual spot at the Erie Canal Trail parking lot in Memphis, New York . The signal maintainer was working on the block signals to the west at milepost 303.5 of the Rochester Subdivision. The parking lot is off of Bennetts Corners Road, which is MP 302.54. A CSX signal maintainer's vehicle is parked to the west at the block signals at MP 303.5. I listened as the train'

A view looking over a forest in Central New York

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Being curious as to what the view was like looking over the top of the forest near my house , I sent my drone up into the air to capture the view.  A view from about 100 feet above the ground looking over the top of the forest. This view is due north from about 100 feet/30 meters above the ground. The tree  lying on the ground , near the bottom right of the photograph, is about 70-80 feet tall. In the middle-left of the photograph, through the trees is the Seneca River. The river is about 800 feet away from the camera. At the time the photograph was taken the river was mostly frozen over. Image details:  Captured in DNG format, using a DJI Mini 2. Edited in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. Drone altitude, 420 feet/128 meters above sea level. Photograph taken on February 8, 2022, near Syracuse, New York.

AMTK 717 leading the Maple Leaf on the Rochester Subdivision

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A few Sundays back, I was over at Memphis, New York , waiting for a train or two. Shortly after arriving I heard Amtrak's Maple Leaf (train P063) get the okay from the CSX defect detector at milepost 291.9 in Syracuse, New York. Memphis is at milepost 302.6, just under eleven miles away, so it wouldn't be long before the Maple Leaf showed up. Led by AMTK 717, the Maple Leaf rolls west on the Rochester Subdivision at Memphis, NY. Just under ten minutes later, I saw the headlight of AMTK 717, a General Electric P32AC-DM , appear over the tracks just beyond the Warners Road overpass (milepost 300.10) in the far distance. The Maple Leaf was heading west on Track 1 of the CSX Rochester Subdivision and was kicking up a bit of snow as it hustled through town at 77MPH/124KPH. Its next station stop would be Rochester, New York. Then on to the New York cites of DePew, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls. Photograph taken on February 6, 2022, at Memphis, New York.

KCSM 4879 and KCS 4053 leading CSX train W810-03 at Warners, NY.

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Recently, CSX and Kansas City Southern (KCS) have been moving some equipment of the 10th Mountain Division back home to Fort Drum, New York. Over the first two weeks of February, five trains carrying military equipment have made their way through the Central New York area. All five of the trains going to Fort Drum have been led by Kansas City Southern and  Kansas City Southern de Mexico  locomotives. Since foreign power on CSX's Rochester Subdivision is rarer now than in the past, I headed out last Wednesday to catch the fourth train. KCSM 4879 & KCS 4053 lead W810-03 at MP 298, at Warners, NY. The trains were reported to be moving equipment back to Fort Drum, from Fort Polk, Louisiana. They traveled over the KCS from Fort Polk, Louisiana, north to Kansas City (KC), Missouri. Then, from KC the trains head east over the KCS to Rose Lake, Illinois, just north of East St. Louis, Illinois . From Rose Lake the trains continued northeast on CSX through Indianapolis, Indiana; Clevel

Chasing CN 2110 and CN 2593 on the Centralia Subdivision

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 Back in May of 2014, my dad and I followed Canadian National's (reporting mark CN) Centralia Subdivision south through central and southern Illinois. After driving south to Makanda, Illinois, we wound up chasing a manifest freight train, led by CN 2110 and CN 2593, back north to Irvington, Illinois.  CN Centralia Subdivision The Centralia Subdivision runs between Sandoval Junction (milepost 247.2), at Sandoval, Illinois, to the station name of Illinois (milepost 263.1) at Cairo, Illinois. Sandoval is about six miles north of Centralia, and Centralia is about 60 miles due east of St. Louis, Missouri. Cairo is the southernmost town in Illinois and sits at the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River. The Centralia Subdivision was once a part of the Illinois Central Railroad (reporting mark IC) and became part of Canadian National when CN purchased the IC in 1998. The subdivision is part of the CN (ex-IC) mainline running between Chicago, Illinois , to New Orleans, Louisia

AMTK 108 leading the Lake Shore Limited at Warners, NY.

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 We've had snow on the ground here in Central New York since early January. With the forecast calling for a series of warmer days, before another round of snow, I decided to head out on Monday to capture a few railroad photographs before the current snow melted.  Lake Shore Limited at Warners, New York I wound up photographing two trains this past Monday. The first train was Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, led by AMTK 108 and AMTK 121. AMTK 108 is one of Amtrak's 50th Anniversary locomotives, and it's painted in Amtrak's Phase VI paint scheme. The Lake Shore Limited is eastbound at MP 298 of the Rochester Subdivision. I caught the Lake Shore Limited, train P048 on CSX, at Pottery Road on the eastern edge of Warners, New York. Above, P048 is rolling east on Track 2 of the Rochester Subdivision, at milepost 298 . MP 298 is just to the west of Pottery Road. The train is about ten minutes away from arriving at the Syracuse train station. The other train I caught this past

UP 1995 the CNW Heritage Unit on UP's Chester Subdivision

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Back in April of 2008, I was able to photograph Union Pacific's (UP) heritage locomotive, UP 1995. UP 1995 was leading train MNLAS-22, a manifest train from North Little Rock, Arkansas, to the Alton & Southern's Gateway Yard, in East St. Louis, Illinois. The train originated at North Little Rock on April 22, 2008, and arrived at Gateway Yard on April 23, 2008. UP 1995 and UP 9419 lead train MNLAS-22, north of Fults, IL. I first caught train MNLAS-22 just to the north of Fults, Illinois, as it rolled north on UP's Chester Subdivision. At the location of the photographs above and below the train was about halfway between Fults and Chalfin Bridge, Illinois. The Chester Subdivision runs from Dexter, Missouri, to East St. Louis, Illinois. In Illinois, the line runs across the flat farmland that lies to the east of the Mississippi River. In the photographs taken north of Fults, Illinois, the distance between the spot the photographs were taken to the river bluffs in the backg

Fort Ontario overlooking Lake Ontario, at Oswego, New York

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Back in September of last year, my family took a day trip up to Oswego, New York, to see Fort Ontario. Oswego, New York, is situated on the southeastern side of Lake Ontario, about forty miles north of Syracuse, New York. The star-shaped fort sits on a bluff offering great views of Lake Ontario.  Looking north at the US flag and Lake Ontario from the top of the rampart. According to the State of New York's Parks Department the fort is the fourth fort to stand on the site and was built in the 1840s. It was occupied by the United States Army from the time it was built until after World War II. During the war, the fort served as the only refugee camp in the United States for victims of the Nazi Holocaust. A section of Fort Ontario's stone outer defensive wall. Fort Ontario's outer defensive wall is constructed of stone blocks and as mentioned earlier, forms a five-point star. Behind the stone walls are the earthen ramparts, with an earthen parapet atop. When up on the rampart

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