I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My family went to Blenko Glass in Milton, West Virginia to help out on Black Friday. The company was started by my Great Great Grandfather William Blenko in the late 1800's. It was put next to the C&O rail line for the raw materials to be brought in on rail. The mainline is still busy with CSX coal traffic, but the materials are now brought in by truck so the siding is often used to stage MoW equipment or set out bad cars. We saw two MoW pieces while we were there. We also went to Huntington to look at the CSX locomotive shop. Here are some pictures of the best stuff we saw.
My dad and I took a trip to DC on the 11th, 12th, and 13th for a Blenko Glass event. We saw tons of cool stuff from a Penn Central hopper used as a retaining wall to the high speed Acela Express! We were originally going to take the Capitol Limited round trip but due to track work we learned that the trip down would be by bus. So I got on Amtrak's website and figured out that we could take the Pennsylvanian to Philly then get on a Northeast Regional to DC. The return trip would still be on the Capitol Limited. Here are some photos capturing the neat things we saw.
In 2011 for Amtrak's 40th anniversury they painted a few locomotives in previous paint schemes as well as a train with exhibits that went to all the major cities. We were fortunate to see the exhibit train and #406 in Phase III paint. This was previously an F40PH and was then gutted and turned into a cabcar for push-pull service.
At Philly there was a quick engine change from diesel to electric for the trip to New York. An unluckly Amtrak employee had to get down in the pit and undo all the cables. While uncoupling the loco he asked for some slack so the engine backed up while he was still between the engine and cars. Whew, a dangerous job to be sure.
I have always wanted to see an Acela train so when we saw that one would come in 10 minutes before our regional train my dad asked an Amtrak police officer if we could go see it even without tickets. He gave us a wink and told us to stand by one of the blocked gates. A few minutes before arrival he took us down the closed stairs to see it. It was flying coming into the station. It was the thrill of a lifetime for me! All of the Amtrak employees were very kind and let us take all the pictures we wanted.
After we got in we had some time to explore the station before Katie Trippe from Blenko Glass got in on the Cardinal. It was my first time seeing it and it was awesome! It is so busy that it almost seems like an airport! Unfortunatly they were doing some restoration work so we couldn't get a good picture. So we bought some post cards. This was photographed by Sonny Odom
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