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Philly NRHS - Railfan Pictures of the Week


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The Philadelphia Chapter of the

National Railway Historical Society

Established in 1936


Railfan Pictures of the Week - 12/21/2003

CSX Trenton Line Woodbourne and Langhorne Stations December 19 2003

Q417, the Selkirk NY to Camden NJ train, is usually a nocturnal visitor in the Philadelphia area, but lately has been showing up in the afternoons. It replaces two trains that ran under Conrail, SECA (Selkirk to Camden) and OICA (pronounced OY-ka, Oak Island/Newark to Camden). The second train is the subject of a trick question: if you were a train going from Newark NJ to Camden NJ, how many times would you cross the Schuykill River, which is not even in New Jersey???? Answer to follow.

CEFX 3175 leads an HLCX unit and two CSX units through Woodbourne Station (with the tail end still moving through Wood Interlocking) as it passes under the NS Morrisville Line.
A surprise on the train was a string of Amtrak ballast hoppers that were dropped off at Woodbourne Yard, presumably heading for Morrisville and the NEC.
One thing Q417 and its northbound counterpart Q418 are known for is the number of covered hoppers that can be found in the consist. Into the late 1990's you could often find cars still in Reading and Pennsylvania Railroad reporting marks heading for or coming from the sand quarries in South Jersey. The Flexi Flo cars pictured here are wearing the reporting marks of their fourth owner, having been built for the New York Central and later in service for Penn Central and Conrail before being sold to Merchants Despatch Transportation Corp. and stenciled MDTX and then NRBX. They still wear their Conrail numbers. During the later years of Conrail, another place you were sure to find them was in Lansdale Yard in Lansdale PA, on their way for maintenance at Tank Car Corporation of America in Oreland PA. You can find some other photos here.
After setting off cars at Woodbourne Yard, Q417 proceeded west, pictured here as the last unit is passing the Langhorne HBD, which still calls out "CONRAIL LANGHORNE PENNSYLVANIA ... NO DEFECTS ... TOTAL AXLE COUNT THREE FOUR SIX .... TRAIN SPEED FOUR TWO .... OVER."
Just on the other side of Bellevue Avenue is SEPTA's Langhorne Station, where passengers on outbound trains must use the wooden platforms to cross Track 1 to get to the station and the track fence keeps people from wandering into the path of a freight train.
Oh yeah, the answer is TWICE within about two miles, at CP River and then on the Columbia Bridge east of CP Belmont. The train also crosses the Delaware River twice, at West Trenton/Yardley and the Delair Bridge.
All pictures December 19 2003 c. 2003 John P Almeida
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Website created June 12, 2002

Last Updated December 21, 2003