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Railfanning North East Region HELP!

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  • Member since
    May, 2016
  • 1 posts
Railfanning North East Region HELP!
Posted by railgirl on Sunday, May 01, 2016 12:14 PM

Hello!

I am from Ohio and am looking to take a few week roadtrip for railfanning. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennesse, New York, and Maryland are the places I am looking at. Interested in photographing active tunnels, tressles, bridges, scenary, etc. Any suggestions on good places to go? Thanks! 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, May 01, 2016 4:47 PM

I live in the Richmond VA area, and I'd have to say the best place to railfan around here is the town of Ashland about 15 miles north of Richmond, just off Rte. 95.

It's on the old Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac two track main line, now owned and used by CSX and Amtrak.  Usually there's quite a bit of train action, at least one every 45 minutes to an hour.  I say usually because while the Amtraks are fairly predictable the CSX freights aren't.

The old RF&P station still stands in town, it's a visitor center now (with restrooms!) and has a small RF&P museum on premises.  Plenty of amenities in town with places to get a meal or a snack.  AND just down the street is Tiny Tim's Trains and Toys, a nice model railroad shop should you get the fever real bad.  They sell railbooks, magazines, and videos as well.

No bridges or tunnels in that area, but the train action makes up for the lack of same.  And you can get close enough to the trains to touch 'em, not that you should!

As far as bridges, Richmond has the old C&O James River trestle, at about two miles long it's the only river trestle in the world that gets it's feet wet without actually crossing a river!  Built in 1901 it still serves CSX freights and coal trains but the train frequency is unpredictable, you can go hours without seeing anything.  One interesting thing is you can see the old Civil War era trestle piers still in the river, however without spans or trackage now.  Oh, aside from a Porta-John there's no amenities in the James River Park parking lot by the trestle.

Hope this was a help to you.

  • Member since
    August, 2004
  • 453 posts
Posted by pajrr on Sunday, May 01, 2016 5:13 PM

Pennsylvania has to include Altoona, the Gallitzin tunnels and Horseshoe Curve. Continue as far west as Johnstown for a good dose of mountain railroading. Maryland has Cumberland, with Sandpatch grade near by as well as the CSX Cumberland yards and shops. In NY, along the CSX River Line in the Bear Mountain area has bridges and tunnels for freight on the West Shore of the Hudson River and on the East Shore is Metro-North and Amtrak to Albany. In the Altoona area traffic is pretty constant. In NY on the West Shore freight traffic tends to move in bunches. One can sit for several hours and not see a train. The passenger line on the East side is consistent, with Amtrak every couple of hours and Metro-North on hourly or more frequent schedules. The Cumberland area is fairly consistant, but be aware that the line splits just northwest of Cumberland. Not all trains that go through Cumberland go over Sandpatch Grade.

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 2,925 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, May 01, 2016 9:40 PM

One of the most spectacular photo locations in WV, is from the route US 19 bridge (with sidwalk) over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville.  It is about 700' above the river and CSX tracks.  An interesting trackside view is at the nearby old railroad town of Thurmond.

I also agree with the earlier post on the Hudson River lines.  There is also the former NH railroad bridge over the Hudson at Poughkeepsie which has been turned into a pedestrian bridge about 150' above the river and rail lines on both sides.  There is also another high bridge that is still active (CSX) at Castleton-on-Hudson, but I have no idea of access.

North of Scranton (Steamtown NHP) in Nicholson, PA, is the Tunkhannock viaduct (240' high, concrete multi-arch) that CP is selling to NS.  A little further north in Lanesboro, PA is th Starrucca viaduct multi-arch stone bridge (NS).  In Kingsley, PA, between the two, is a smaller edition of the Tunk. 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 193 posts
Posted by ROBERT M BRAEUNER on Monday, May 02, 2016 9:40 AM

Northeast, Pa, for the Chicago line, Marysville, Pa for the bridge overvthe Susquehanna and Pittsburgh, Pa for tons of bridges, a lot of  traffic and industry

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 671 posts
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, May 02, 2016 5:46 PM

Northeast PA at  the depot which is also a NRHS certified staffed musuam

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 32 posts
Posted by Warren J on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 1:08 PM

railgirl

Hello!

I am from Ohio and am looking to take a few week roadtrip for railfanning. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennesse, New York, and Maryland are the places I am looking at. Interested in photographing active tunnels, tressles, bridges, scenary, etc. Any suggestions on good places to go? Thanks! 

 

 

May I recommend Harpers Ferry WV?  Located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, this station's location sits on the Potomac side of the town but the Shenandoah is only a five-minute walk away.  Amtrak's daily Capitol Limited and MARC's weekday Brunswick Line commuter trains to/from Washington DC stop here; photography from the historic station's platform is permitted (NPS property).  As this is the main line of the former B&O, a lot of freight traffic passes through; I've even seen some BNSF-powered taconite trains pass by!

As this town is nestled in a valley between mountainous Maryland Heights and Loudoun Heights, there is a lot of natural backdrop scenery here as well as the NPS's Harpers Ferry National Historical Park of which the train station is a part.  During the thirteen years when I lived there, I was a member of a group of trainspotters who would spend a weekend day's afternoon watching the trains from that station.  What memories!

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