Monday, July 07, 2014

A Slow Olympic Chase

Union Pacific (on NS); Pennsauken, N.J.; July 5, 2014
It's a little bit difficult, I'll admit, too get too excited when a locomotive with a special paint scheme is running second in a consist -- after all, out in front is where it looks best. But with not much else happening on July 5, I headed to Pennsauken, N.J., along with Michael Burkhart where a Norfolk Southern freight had a special unit in the consist -- Union Pacific No. 2002, painted for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Arriving at about 9:45 a.m., there was time to get the sitting freight (awaiting a new crew) as RiverLine diesel powered light rail trains passed on the adjacent track. The RiverLine is operated by New Jersey Transit between Camden and Trenton.
RiverLine and Norfolk Southern; Pennsauken, N.J.; July 5, 2014
With nothing happening imminently, we headed a couple of miles north to where New Jersey Transit's Atlantic City Line crosses the Delaware River (and the RiverLine) at the Pennsauken Transportation Center in Delair to get an A.C.-bound train with a cab car leading.
New Jersey Transit; Delair, N.J.; July 5, 2014
It was back to the sitting Norfolk Southern freight. Finally, a little past 11:00, a crew showed up and boarded the train. The train was still sitting, however, at 11:30 as another RiverLine train zipped past bound for Trenton.
RiverLine and Norfolk Southern; Pennsauken, N.J.; July 5, 2014
Finally, after a long wait, the train began its trek towards Allentown, Penn.
Norfolk Southern; Pennsauken, N.J.; July 5, 2014
From here we shot across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania to get ahead of the train. Even stopping for gas on the Jersey side, we were ahead of the train by the time we crossed the river. Arriving at Bridgeport, we waited from about 12:30 until 2:00 before the train showed up.
Norfolk Southern; Bridgeport, Penn.; July 5, 2014
We knew the train had work to do in Abrams Yard near Norristown, and we also knew a local freight was not far behind our train. We stuck around, only to find the local train was set of light diesels with no freight in tow.
Norfolk Southern; Bridgeport, N.J.; July 5, 2014
We then went to the other side of Abrams Yard to wait at Royersford. The first thing up was an eastbound train powered by a set of BNSF Railway diesels. We dutifully photographed it passing the former depot in town.
BNSF Railway (on NS); Royersford, Penn.; July 5, 2014
Finally we heard a westbound on the radio scanner! But it was not our train. An empty oil train passed the Royersford station.
Norfolk Southern; Royersford, Penn.; July 5, 2014
Finally at 4:30 p.m. our train showed up. We had only gone about 50 miles since we started in the morning, and it was five hours since the train started moving back in Pennsauken. Not very fast...
Norfolk Southern; Royersford, Penn.; July 5, 2014
At this point Mike had had enough and headed home. Since I had to go north to get home anyhow, I cut the corner on the train -- it had to go west to Reading then circle back east to get to Allentown. I cut the corner by going straight north, but did make a quick stop in Boyertown to check out the new Colebrookdale Railroad.
Colebrookdale Railroad; Boyertown, Penn.; July 5, 2014
Since the Olympic unit was not making Olympic speeds, I stopped for lunch, then drove to Macungie seeking the train. The light wasn't good there (but I did stop at the cigar store to pick up a smoke) so I headed two miles west to Alburtis. Despite all the stopping, I still beat the train by five minutes.
Norfolk Southern; Alburtis, Penn.; July 5, 2014
From here the train only had a short distance to go to its destination in Allentown. I stuck around Alburtis for another two hours but didn't see another train. Oh, well.... More photos from this day can be found here.

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