Thursday, March 21, 2013


Every few months I get to spend some time in Altoona with nothing better to do that shoot trains.  Last week was one of those times.  There are several good spots along a mile or so of the mainline that I like to use as urban backgrounds for some of my photographs.  All of the pictures shown in this week's blog were shot between 9th and 7th Streets.

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General Motors, Electro-Motive Division (EMD) MP15DC
The 1500 horsepower switcher is shown here working at Norfolk Southern's Juniata plant, seen in the background.

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Following the MP15 is a former Conrail SD60M, which was also built by GM-EMD.

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Broadside of the MD15DC.  I've taken photos of the switcher at different sites in the Altoona and Duncansville area.

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These are both General Electric ES44AC working as helper engines.

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Two SD40E helper units heading west after detaching from an east bound train that had just rounded the Horseshoe Curve.  These are EMD-NS units.  They were built by EMD and modified by NS at their Juniata plant in Altoona, PA. 

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SD60I heading east.  These are old Conrail engines and have been in service since 1999.

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EMD-NS SD40I helper units.

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EMD-NS SD40E passing under the 8th Street Bridge in Altoona, PA.

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EMD-NS SD70M followed by two D9-40CWs heading west with a line of intermodal containers.

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This is the tail end of the train in the previous picture.  These two EMD-NS SD40E will be detached from this line of container cars in Cresson or South Fork, which is on the west side of the Horseshoe Curve.

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D9-40CW coming out of the edge of ever changing cloud cover into the sunlight as an empending snow event that hits the area.

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On the morning that I was shooting these photographs I was surprised to see this GEB32-8CW (Pepsi Can) at the head of the daily passenger train instead of the normal GE P42DC unit.  It is passing under the 7th Street Bridge.

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After coming to a halt in order for the passenger train to get ahead of it, engine number 9354, a D9-40CW, starts to slowly pull away and head back on to the mainline.

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In the background, General Electric ES44 AC heads west as it passes the train in the previous photograph.

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Our last two photographs show yet another D9-40CW as a snow squall descends upon the area. 

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