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admin 19.06.2014

Click on link to view picture [B1] Belvidere Junction,NJ Greyhound Post House on US Route 46.
54A in front of Red Snapper Inn, Syracuse, NY [B174] Log Cabin Greyhound Depot at Saginaw, MI.
As too many people have informed me, I haven’t posted on this site for quite a while.
For the past six years and eleven months I have been a regular commuter on Metro-North’s Harlem Line.
I slowly became engrossed in the subject of trains and their history, and by March 2010 was regularly posting interesting archival materials I had dug up every Friday. The reason my Metro-North commute is coming to an end is because another opportunity has opened up for me.
For the next few weeks, however, this site will be on a temporary hiatus while things settle down.
One of the best tech secrets of modern photography is the ability to never have to write down in a little notebook where you were when you took a photo in order to remember later. Since I’ve mentioned EXIF data, it is certainly worth mentioning this other wonderful part of modern photo.
As is customary around this time of year, it is always fun to look back on the previous year and what was popular.
Left: An Alaska Railroad train bound for Fairbanks rounds the bend north of Nenana at sunset.
The only non-railroad photo to make the top 10, New York’s skyline as seen from the opposite side of the river in New Jersey. Opened in 1899, the depot was constructed in the beaux-arts style, though the design was undoubtedly influenced by the aesthetic of the southwest.
Early view of the depot’s exterior, featuring some details that are a bit different today.
Built for the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, the building was generally known as the Santa Fe depot.
When it comes to great American architects, one must certainly mention the name Henry Hobson Richardson. Although New London Union Station strays a bit from the typical Richardsonian Romanesque style as it is constructed primarily of brick, the characteristic arches, detailing, and occasional swaths of rusticated stone can be found.
Although it is quite obvious that I am a lover of the Harlem Line, it is undeniable that there are beautiful spots located all along Metro-North’s right of way. One of my personal favorite spots is the swing bridge used by Amtrak, after it splits from Metro-North’s Hudson Line. Despite the fact that I’m not a big fan of the Pennsy, you it is impossible to not love this poster by Mitchell Markovitz. Now who doesn’t love a nice trip to America’s National Parks, the Pacific Northwest, or even California?
Now that we’ve traveled around the country through railroad art, are you planning to take a vacation to some interesting locale? In keeping with last week’s theme of exploring Connecticut, today we take a quick visit to the southern coast of the state to check out Shore Line East.
Shore Line East is operated by Amtrak, so you’ll often catch CDOT locomotives in the old New Haven Railroad scheme, Amtrak locomotives, or a horrible mixture of both (hey boss, I put our sticker on the front, and painted over the Amtrak logo!). Some views of the smaller stations on Shore Line East – Branford, Madison, Guilford, and Clinton. Of the newer Shore Line East stations, Old Saybrook is probably the nicest, and a pretty good place for capturing trains. Most Shore Line East trains terminate at Old Saybrook, though a few do go on to New London. Right after I got off the train, I took pictures of several of the train’s cars, until the train left, bound for New York and Boston. Amtrak's Buffalo-Depew Station, built in the late 70's, it is located just a couple miles from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and public transportation along with plenty of free parking is available if you plan to be out of town for awhile. Heritage Diner #8524, a former Southern Railway Diner was on this morning's train and the crew served up some great pancakes! Sitting just a couple miles West of the Rochester station, we wait, wait, and wait some more, some 40 minutes for freight traffic as well as Amtrak Train #286 to pass us! Utica Union Station, a former New York Central Station beautifully restored inside and out! This former Pennsylvania Caboose is also on display with an authentic NYC Milepost 269 marker. An Interior View of Heritage Diner #8514, this car appeared to be unrefurbished at least in the last 10 or 15 years, it still had orange doors on each end! Buses in picture, top - Great Eastern White, bottom right-Eastern Greyhound Lines 1932 Yellow Coach 670, and left looks like a Martz's Reo. Motor Coach terminal, 33rd to 34th streets, NYC, showing a head view of 1929 Yellow Coach model Y of PRT, Penn, Rapid Transit, fore runner to Penn. All of the photos I captured when on a week long trip to southern California earlier this year. The diary-type entries revolved mostly around the common topics of strange passengers I observed, occasional train delays and mishaps, and pigeons. Over time I became almost like a public figure – people would recognize me on trains, and I even had someone ask me to autograph a timetable for them once.
Many folks have GPSes in their car, but they aren’t only for getting directions from place to place.
EXIF stands for EXchangeable Image File format, which is basically a way that a photo’s metadata is saved. For the past few years I’ve counted down your favorite articles and social media posts, and today I bring you 2014 in Instagram. Right: A Genesis pushes southbound on the Danbury Branch, kicking up leaves after departing Cannondale.
The beautiful Santa Fe station in Fort Worth, Texas, was almost razed and turned into a parking lot.
The two-story rectangular building is constructed of bright red brick and detailed with white limestone. Several other railroads had used the building, but by 1960 the Santa Fe was the only railroad that remained.


Bricks radiate outwards from the arches, creating a sunburst effect, and alternating exposed bricks create detailed borders around the top. Even though the Moodna Viaduct may be one of my favorites, there are plenty of other spots I enjoy on the Hudson Line, like Bear Mountain, Dobbs Ferry, and Breakneck Ridge.
As most of you are already aware, for many years Amtrak trains ran from Grand Central Terminal. There are countless examples of awesome posters and ads, but these are some of my favorites.
Maurice Logan, William and Kenneth Willmarth designed some of these lovely views of the western United States.
The awesome Amtrak posters designed by illustrator David Klein in 1973 make me want to see the entire country. As part of the important Northeast Corridor, many of the stations along the line have a long history with the old New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. Besides the Shore Line East trains, about eighteen Amtrak trains stop here daily (which is actually more than Hartford, which we visited last week).
The bane of Connecticut’s railroads are definitely the many movable bridges found along the shore line. They had to make a double spot while in Depew to accomplish this and at 8:45am, we left, running now 1 hour and 49 minutes late.
She then said she has to be able to spread out over 2 seats and rest so she chose to move to the other side of the car, I helped her with her belongings and ended up taking the window seat myself, and didn’t have another passenger sit in the aisle seat next to me for the rest of the trip!
As a matter of fact, the cafe car on today’s train was actually in its old configuration of having tables in different positions with seats, a bar in the middle and regular tables on the other end. I will say it looked like a refurbished design with a two-tone gray interior, I know for a fact that it was not a Temoinsa Refurb as those are pink and green inside.
As I have noted before, the Lake Shore was now running some 2 hours behind schedule and I only had a 1 hour and 11 minute window of time according to the schedule to make the connection in Utica. The trip was smooth, despite its lateness and the ½ hour of twittling our thumbs outside of Rochester while we waited for other freight traffic.
I took some interior slides of the station also, as this station is absolutely beautiful inside!
Tonight, there wasn’t that many people in the coach and this is unfortunately indicative of the apparent drop in ridership that this train has experienced since it went into this new schedule. This car had the orange painted doors on each end, the paint outside was badly faded and the roof was leaking in the hallway near the kitchen galley when I walked into the car. This would allow all 5 of the coaches to still remain together and people wouldn’t have to unintentionally walk through the dining car while crews are desperately trying to clean it! Train crews were friendly and informative and are doing the best with what they have to work with. Shown here is a couple of F Units used to pull their excursion trains that will return to operation in the Spring. I have been told that this was a promotional shot and was also done with fire trucks and other types of vehicles. Earlier this month I presented at the Center for Railroad Photography and Art’s Conversations 2016 conference, and picked up a few new blog followers. If you follow the site on Facebook, my account on RailPictures, or were at the Conversations conference some of these photos may look familiar. I’ve also done the reverse commute from Harlem to White Plains for almost a full year now. A GPS device can also record the very place you were standing when you took a photograph, and save it into your camera’s EXIF data.
Each photo taken with your camera has this data, which usually records the date and time the photo was taken (provided you have this set correctly in your camera), the camera make and model, and the settings used to capture the photo – usually the mode setting, ISO, aperture, and exposure. One of the reasons why I fell in love with my main camera, the Canon 6D, is the built in GPS. Thankfully, the property was purchased by real estate investor and developer Shirlee Gandy. Fine details can be found on both the exterior and interior, including several lion heads that surround the building, and attractive plaster design work surrounding the inside archway. The area around Spuyten Duyvil is also especially nice, and I spent an afternoon there a few weekends ago photographing and recording both Metro-North and Amtrak trains. The C stands for Columbia – and was first painted on the rock in the early 1950s, with the approval of the New York Central Railroad.
After some significant work in the late ’80s, including fixing up this old swing bridge, Amtrak was able to finally consolidate its New York City operations in Penn Station and vacate Grand Central. Though some of the railroad historical buildings are still around (like the freight house, now restaurant in Old Saybrook), most of the Shore Line East stations are of relatively new construction (the exceptions being New Haven, which we’ve visited before, and New London, which deserves its own post at some point in the future). Three tracks run through Old Saybrook, and the station consists of a side platform, an island platform, and an overpass connecting the two. This is now the new standard paint scheme for Amtrak and will be spread to most all of the equipment as it is shopped or repaired.
Just about 2 miles from the Rochester Station, we got stopped to let a slew of freight traffic as well as Amtrak Empire Service Train #286, pass us while we sat there, twittled our thumbs and waited for about 30 minutes before we could move again!
I think the last time I rode in one of these must have been back in 1997, so it was an experience having one on this train as most of them have been refurbished with a smoking room added on one end. Because of our lateness, the only way this connection was going to be made was if Train #63 was also running late, that didn’t happen as I witnessed Train #63 whiz by us somewhere near Rome, NY doing about 80mph! Marble walls and original wooden benches for passengers to sit on while waiting for their train or bus. We left Syracuse at 7:11pm, I wanted to get to the Dining Car right away but for some reason, nobody came and took my ticket right away, so I sat and waited for about 15 minutes, still nobody around to take the ticket, by then, the dining car server came into our coach and I asked him if they were still open, it turns out that they were just about to close the car down when we left Syracuse but he told me to wait and see what was still available. The bartender told me she normally worked on the Northeast Corridor so this was a different train for her than what she was used to, but she liked the type of café car we had much more than the Capstone Cars used on the Corridor. I have no exact figures but I think it’s safe to say that this new schedule was a definite step in the wrong direction to improve this train. To better illustrate how OLD this car looked, the windows still had those old shades in them! Tops was my employer at the time this travelogue was originally written, as I worked for them for nearly 7 years.
Most of Amtrak's Long Distance Trains originating in New York will have one of these cars in the consist.


I was 12 years old then, and now have over 5000 Greyhound and predecessor companies photos, including pooling carriers, and about 200 post cards, dating from mid 1920's. The general running theme for the collection is Flight & Light, as many of the photos were either captured by drone, or at sunset.
In some cameras you can set specific copyrights (my camera adds my full name and website address to the EXIF data) or other messages. The Sony SLT-A99, Nikon D5300, Canon 7D Mark II, Pentax K-5 IIs, and Pentax K-S1 are all examples of DSLRs with built-in GPSes. While I’m often out photographing, the good majority of the photos I take never make it onto this site.
After investing over two million into the building to properly restore it, it was reopened as the Ashton Depot, a lovely banquet hall that hosts weddings, corporate events, and other such festivities.
Coxswain of the heavyweight crew team, Robert Prendergast, came up with the idea and approached the railroad for permission.
His most known works were for Trans World Airlines, but he also produced work for Holland America Cruises and travel website Orbitz.
Because it was started as a temporary operation, little money was spent on Shore Line East stations.
In Shore Line East’s case, the challenge to operating more service to New London is that trains must cross several movable bridges, bridges that the Connecticut Marine Trades Association fights to keep open for boats, as opposed to closed for trains.
One of the greatest things, in my opinion about train travel is the chance to eat a meal in the dining car, you meet lots of interesting people and the scenery out the window constantly changes.
After we moved again, our conductor made an announcement saying we got held up due to freight and passenger train traffic! This was done to facilitate running the Café Car to Boston but is now a headache for the dining car crew as the dining car is now located centrally in the train and passengers walking throughout the train must walk through it to get to or from their coach or sleeper. Train #48’s schedule was barely modified only a minute here, another there, no big deal.
They had no Filet Mignon but did have Barbecued Chicken so I had the Barbecued Chicken and a huge side of Rice Pilaf. For me personally, I have never rode in a Capstone Car so I would be excited to see what one was like, well, someday maybe.
As I have read, the State of Ohio is really upset about this change as this train had decent ridership and a decent arrival time in Toledo which it no longer has. This isn’t good PR for Amtrak, this car should be refurbished, lets hope the money becomes available to do so. Throughout it all I was entranced by the landscapes, the endless waves along the beach, and the clouds that occasionally caused havoc but at the same time created diverse opportunities for intriguing photos.
If you have a GPS device linked to your camera, GPS coordinates for when the shot was taken (including the altitude in some instances) are also recorded. After it was granted, the C was painted about 60 feet by 60 feet square, and has been maintained ever since. Originally constructed in 1900, the bridge was damaged and taken out of service in 1982, and was reopened in 1991. Ben Nason also designed an array of posters for the New Haven Railroad, including the Cape Cod poster below.
Klein’s undeniably gorgeous work made railroads once again appear glamorous, just as they were in yesteryear. However, once the service became permanent, proper stations were constructed, the first being Old Saybrook in 2002. I would ride from Buffalo to Utica on Train #48, then sit in Utica and photograph the station and such for an hour before catching Train #63 back to Syracuse, do my shopping, maybe get in some trainwatching, then ride Train #49 back home. I had an aisle seat when I boarded and the passenger who was in the window seat was nowhere to be found when I boarded. When I arrive at Utica, I’ll have to get my ticket exchanged so I can use Train #281 to get back to Syracuse. Probably the biggest change I noticed in this train was its setup which I explained before.
There is a small restaurant inside along with a snack bar as well as a local office of the Department Of Motor Vehicles. This would mark the first time I’ve rode this train under its new, heavily modified schedule.
I had to eat it at my seat though since the car was closing down, which didn’t bother me entirely because the chicken was absolutely delicious!
I bought a Bud Light and a barbecue rib sandwich and took it back to my seat, put on a MiniDisc of Smooth Jazz Music and enjoyed the rest of the ride in a nice relaxed setting!
Let’s just say, this was a lot more difficult to do than originally planned as this trip ended up having one missed connection and a radical change in plans at the last minute.
Amtrak staffs this station and checked baggage service is available on the Lake Shore Limited from Utica. I ran into Dunkin Donuts and had a few donuts while watching come CNN Headline News while waiting for the train. At 9:37, we arrived at Buffalo-Depew Station where my journey would end for tonight, after a very long but productive day where I was able to accomplish what I set out to do and involve riding Amtrak with it.
The good thing about these devices is that they add the GPS coordinates directly to the photo’s EXIF data.
Because of 49’s new schedule, I would not only get home at a decent hour but be able to have dinner in the Dining Car.
I took the plate back to the Dining Car and once again tried to find a member of the train crew to take my ticket, I eventually found someone and she gladly took my ticket, and apologized for the delay. Not only has my photography greatly improved since the first Harlem Line tour, various things have also changed over the years at many stations.
I had an orange juice to drink, the meal was delicious, though the server made a minor error and gave my home fries to the passenger sitting next to me who didn’t order any! So expect that tour in the next few months, as well as a whole lot of new railroading adventures.
I was seated with 3 other passengers, one from Cleveland, one from New Hampshire and one from New York City, we must have stayed in the dining car for nearly an hour as it was actually when they were closing up as breakfast was over, and nobody else needed our seats.



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