Just the art
Whoa-whoa, STOP! Lookit that background! (The train is 64R.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)
My brother and I visited Altoona, PA again to chase and photograph trains.
Rather than conjure a gigantic epistle about our foray, I’ll just fly all the art, and let the captions tell the story.
“Art” is an old newspaper term. It’s photographs, graphs, anything not words.
I’ll just say the weather was awful.
We couldn’t shoot on Allegheny Mountain. Up the mountain was into low-hanging clouds = fog.
It also was drizzling; no sun at all.
Our light was low. I was often down to 1/100th of a second – I shoot shutter priority. I need 1/500th or 1/1000th to stop an approaching train.
The whole reason we came — 12G descends The Slide atop Allegheny Mountain. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
“The Slide” is Pennsy’s ramp up to New Portage Railroad’s tunnel, which was slightly higher than the original Pennsy tunnel. The Slide is 2.28%.
Pennsy got New Portage Railroad, a state effort, when it failed.
What I need is morning sunlight. 2.28% is fairly steep — trains only operate downhill.
The last time the sun shone, shortly after Jack arrived Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
Thursday afternoon in Cresson — helpers on 23Z. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
What we were up against — 64R pokes outta the gloom atop the mountain. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
We drove to The Slide near Gallitzin (“guh-LIT-zin”), where we got the gloom photo above.
It seemed the fog was flowing west-to-east, so we suspected the entire West Slope was socked in.
Back to Altoona below the fog.
“How come we always come here?” (11J.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)
“Let’s go up to Brickyard.” (66Z crosses Porta Road.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)
Brickyard Crossing is the only grade-crossing in Altoona. It’s actually Porta Road, but a brickyard was adjacent That brickyard is now closed, but railfans and the railroad still call it “Brickyard.”
“If it’s cloudy, Brickyard works.” (35A approaches Porta Road.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)
“If the sun is out, it doesn’t work; too backlit.” (35A gets help up The Hill.) (Photo by BobbaLew.)
66Z (a second time) passes Alto. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
“Alto” was the last remaining tower on the railroad; it’s ex-Pennsy.
It controlled movements in Altoona yard. Helpers get added to go up Allegheny Mountain. They also get taken off trains they helped descend.
“Alto” is now closed, and dispatching is done from Pittsburgh.
25V passes Alto up The Hill. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
We headed railroad-east, stopping at a walkup footbridge over the tracks east of Altoona’s Amtrak station; where i took the following picture.
Helpers pass Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
Railroad-east toward Tyrone, PA.
10G railroad-east of McFarlands Curve. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
66Z a third time. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
22W approaches Tyrone Station. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
We finally found tiny Fostoria village, thanks to GoogleMap satellite-views. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
“Vote for Kenobi (as in Obi-Wan), our only hope.” (Photo by BobbaLew.)
Overheard at the Mighty Curve: “Happiness is love, peace, and Donald Trump.” (Photo by Jack Hughes.)
From Fostoria down to Lower Riggles Gap Road.
Amtrak’s 07T, its westbound Pennsylvanian, approaches Lower Riggles Gap road overpass. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
20Q approaches Lower Riggles Gap road overpass. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
—Chase complete, as I said even before my wife died: “Back to reality.”