Thursday, November 05, 2015

20 Years Ago -- A Trip For A Hot Dog

New York City Transit Authority; West 8 Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.; April 1, 1995
It seemed like a good choice -- the Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society was looking for a spring trip using regular service trains. The trip would originate somewhere in northern Delaware or southeastern Pennsylvania. I suggested we go to Coney Island to get a hot dog from the original Nathan's Hot Dog stand. So on April 1, 1995, a group of us set out to travel through Manhattan to Brooklyn in search of a hot dog.

Our trip began at the SEPTA station in Marcus Hook, Pa. -- at the time, SEPTA service into Delaware was quite limited. We boarded a Silverliner IV and headed to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, where we would change trains and take another SEPTA train to Trenton, N.J.
SEPTA; Marcus Hook, Pa.; April 1, 1995
At Trenton we changed to a New Jersey Transit train to continue into Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan. We were riding in the lead car of a set of Jersey Arrow self-propelled multiple unit cars, and as the conductor was taking tickets he soon realized he had a group of railfans on board. He checked with the engineer and soon he was cycling members of our group through the cab for photos from the head end.
Amtrak; Elizabeth, N.J.; April 1, 1995
Once in Manhattan we worked our way into the subway system. We knew we wanted the F-Line out to Coney Island. As it works out, the F-Line also serves the oxymoronically highest point on the subway system at Smith-9th in Brooklyn, just after leaving Manhattan. The elevated line provides great views of the Manhattan skyline, so we paused for photos here.
New York City Transit Authority; Smith-9th, Brooklyn, N.Y.; April 1, 1995
We continued on the F-Line to the West 8 Street station near Coney Island. This is a multi-level station that also has some good photo angles. We paused here for a few shots before finally heading to lunch.
New York City Transit Authority; West 8 Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.; April 1, 1995
Two more stops and we had arrived at Coney Island. The Stillwell Avenue subway station marked the end of our outbound journey.
New York City Transit Authority; Stillwell Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.; April 1, 1995
Finally, it was time for our hot dog! We did take time to shoot subway trains approaching Stillwell Avenue across the street.
Nathan's Hot Dogs; Coney Island, Brooklyn, N.Y.; April 1, 1995

After lunch we spent some time looking at the Stillwell Avenue terminal. A lot has changed in the intervening 20 years -- the terminal has been expanded and modernized. The BMT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit) signage on the outside that we saw is still in place in 2015.
New York City Transit Authority; Stillwell Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.; April 1, 1995
NYCTA; Stillwell Avenue

Now it was time to head home. Lunch was late, and it was already mid-afternoon. As I recall, we opted to take the B-Line back, but long shadows precluded photography. At New York Penn, a few of our group opted to hop on Amtrak to Philadelphia to expedite the ride home. Most of us, however, opted for the NJ Transit/SEPTA combination back to Marcus Hook. Arrival back at the hook was after dark, but it certainly was a memorable trip to get a hot dog!

Nathan's Hot Dogs; Coney Island, N.Y.; April 1, 1995

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