Sunday, July 06, 2014

The West Side of the Mountain

NJ Transit on Metro-North; Otisville Tunnel, Otisville, N.Y.; April 12, 2014
In the early spring I had a free afternoon and needed someplace close to home to seek a photographic target. Less than an hour to the northeast is Otisville Tunnel located on the former Erie Railroad in New York. Today the line is primarily used by Metro-North commuter trains coming from Port Jervis (the line turns into a New Jersey Transit line below Suffern, N.Y., so power from both railroads is common); there is limited freight service, mostly a tri-weekly nocturnal through freight for the New York, Susquehanna & Western. Since Otisville Tunnel is kind of out of the way of everything else (you really have to want to go there to get there) it was a good thing to knock off on an otherwise quiet Saturday.

Two trains meet at Otisville on the east side of the tunnel at about 3:00 in the afternoon, so that would be a good time to shoot; the afternoon sun would also be favorable for the shot. First up was an eastbound train with a New Jersey Transit locomotive pushing the train from Port Jervis (above). The train proceeded through the tunnel, made its station stop in Otisville and then headed onto double track. Once clear, the westbound train made its station stop and then headed into the tunnel.
Metro-North; Otisville Tunnel, Otisville, N.Y.; April 12, 2014
After going through the long tunnel, the train popped out into sunlight. revealing it was being powered by one of Metro-North's niftily-painted F40s.
Metro-North; Otisville Tunnel, Otisville, N.Y.; April 12, 2014
From here I drove down the mountain on I-84 into Port Jervis. This is the western end of commuter service on this line. The former Erie roundhouse still stood here well into the 1980s, and the turntable is still there. New York & Greenwood Lake has a small display at the turntable, including an Alco RS3 and an E8 passenger diesel that came from the Erie.
New York & Greenwood Lake; Port Jervis, N.Y.; April 12, 2014
Over at the Metro-North yard, we find the train we just shot with F40 No. 4909 sitting alongside sister No. 4910. The yard will have trains sitting in it for the rest of the weekend, but will be empty come Monday morning after all the trains take New York City-bound travelers to Hoboken.
Metro-North; Port Jervis, N.Y.; April 12, 2014
More photos from the day can be seen here.

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