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Top photos from December 28th, 2006

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December 28th, 2006

D&H 7303 led on CP Galt sub on the 27th, but we were on our way south at the time and could do nothing about it. We spent the 28th in Altoona picking up NS trains, catching 17 Conrail-painted units including one SD80MAC among many trains, stopping to see Horseshoe Curve, Cresson, and surrounding sites... More to come!

Horseshoe Curve, Pennsylvania

(map) Horseshoe Curve, just oustide of Altoona, is the site of a Pennsylvanian State Park and purpose-built railfan observation platform, complete with its own cable-drawn tram to get up to it. The tracks change in elevation by 122 feet as they go around the observation deck.

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video
Horseshoe_Curve_28.12.06_7878.mpg
An eastbound manifest freight climbs gingerly down the 1.8% grade at horseshoe curve near Altoona with two units on each end all in full dynamics.

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Gallitzin, Pennsylvania

(map) Just west of Horseshoe Curve on the NS is a 3000 foot tunnel which comes out in the town of Gallitzin.

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Gallitzin_28.12.06_7909.mpg
A westbound manifest freight pops out of the tunnel on track 3 at Gallitzin.

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Cresson, Pennsylvania

(map) Cresson is the summit of the hill for which Horseshoe Curve exists. There is an engine facility where several sets of helper units park, the SD80MACs that work in nearby South Fork spend their weekends there, and NS interchanges with R. J. Corman on the wye. There is even a city-owned railfan observation platform at the tracks across from the wye.

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A westbound manifest freight passes the railfan platform at Cresson with two units on the head end and two helpers on the tail end.

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Cresson_28.12.06_7951.mpg
A three unit intermodal heads eastward up the last bit of the hill by Cresson with an SD70M-2.

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Cresson_28.12.06_7972.mpg
Two units pull and two units push an eastbound up the hill through Cresson.

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Lilly, Pennsylvania

(map) Just outside of Cresson to the west on the NS line, Lilly is a small town with a couple of good locations for railfaning.

video
Lilly_28.12.06_7993.mpg
Helpers lead a westbound freight back up the hill to set off a car with a hotbox at Cresson.

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Lilly_28.12.06_8010.mpg
Two units at the head end are joined by four helpers at the rear end to deliver a loaded coal train up the hill.

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Lilly_28.12.06_8027.mpg
A helper set heads east up the hill.

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Lilly_28.12.06_8034.mpg
A second helper set in as many minutes zips by up the hill toward Cresson.

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Lilly_28.12.06_8041.mpg
A unit trash train heads east under its own power.

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Lilly_28.12.06_8054.mpg
A somewhat delayed westbound departs Cresson for the second time after setting off its bad order car.

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Cassandra, Pennsylvania

(map) Between Cresson and South Fork, Cassandra is a small town with a disused road bridge over the tracks that is now explicitly a railfan platform, complete with a "Welcome, Railfans!" sign at the end.

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Jamestown, Pennsylvania

(map) Another small town, Jamestown is between Cresson and South Fork and hosts an in-service road overpass over the NS line.

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Jamestown_28.12.06_8087.mpg
An autorack westbound passes under the road overpass at Jamestown.

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video
Jamestown_28.12.06_8095.mpg
Two SD70M-2s make a racket as they climb the grade toward Cresson.

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South Fork, Pennsylvania

(map) Home of the SD80MACs, this junction on the NS serves as the service line for coal mines in the area, which are serviced by NS' few SD80MACs. It is about thirteen miles west of Cresson.

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South_Fork_28.12.06_8114.mpg
A three unit trash train heads down the hill as a six unit manifest freight heads up the hill by the wye at South Fork.

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South_Fork_28.12.06_8145.mpg
A helper set rushes by on track three at South Fork.

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Summerhill, Pennsylvania

(map) Summerhill is a small town between South Fork and Cresson on the route 53 railfan point list.

video
Summerhill_28.12.06_8157.mpg
A westbound intermodal train passes the railfan marker in Summerville.

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Lilly, Pennsylvania

(map) Just outside of Cresson to the west on the NS line, Lilly is a small town with a couple of good locations for railfaning.

video
Lilly_28.12.06_8165.mpg
A Conrail-painted dash 8 leads a manifest freight over the first crossing west of Cresson while a rather retired Amtrak baggage car brings up the rear.

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Cresson, Pennsylvania

(map) Cresson is the summit of the hill for which Horseshoe Curve exists. There is an engine facility where several sets of helper units park, the SD80MACs that work in nearby South Fork spend their weekends there, and NS interchanges with R. J. Corman on the wye. There is even a city-owned railfan observation platform at the tracks across from the wye.

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A unit autorack train makes the hill look easy.

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Cresson_28.12.06_8220.mpg
A helper set heads down the hill.

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Cresson_28.12.06_8227.mpg
A two unit eastbound autorack train meets a four unit westbound intermodal train at Cresson.

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Cresson_28.12.06_8250.mpg
The camera cuts out at an inconvenient moment as an eastbound manifest freight with several farm tractor loads passes a westbound intermodal train at Cresson.

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Cresson_28.12.06_8289.mpg
Two units bring coal empties down the hill.

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Cresson_28.12.06_8304.mpg
Another intermodal train approaches the crest of the hill at Cresson.

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Horseshoe Curve, Pennsylvania

(map) Horseshoe Curve, just oustide of Altoona, is the site of a Pennsylvanian State Park and purpose-built railfan observation platform, complete with its own cable-drawn tram to get up to it. The tracks change in elevation by 122 feet as they go around the observation deck.

video
Horseshoe_Curve_28.12.06_8323.mpg
Westbound helper units climb the grade at Horseshoe Curve as the day drifts into night.

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