Along the Main Line—December 4, 2014.

Tracking the Light presents 14 recent images—a work in progress.

Not any old mainline, but The Main Line—the former Pennsylvania Railroad west of Philadelphia. This is hallowed ground in the eyes of PRR enthusiasts.

My brother and I spent several hours examining various locations from Overbook to Bryn Mawr.

A training special (not listed in the public timetable) approaches Narberth on December 4, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.
A training special (not listed in the public timetable) approaches Narberth on December 4, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.
A training special at Narberth on December 4, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.
A training special at Narberth on December 4, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.
A SEPTA training special departs Narberth on December 4, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.
A SEPTA training special departs Narberth on December 4, 2014. Lumix LX7 photo.

We were rewarded by a training special operating in midday with SEPTA AEM-7 2306 and a push-pull train. These trains are typically only used at rush hours, so it was nice to catch one off peak.

Narberth. Lumix LX7 photo.
Narberth. Lumix LX7 photo.

SEPTA_Narberth_PA_sign_P1100450

The Main Line loves its trees.
The Main Line loves its trees.

The Main Line is a throwback to another time. The line still retains many of its visual cues from year’s gone by, including classic Pennsylvania Railroad position light signal hardware.

SEPTA locals pass at Narberth. Classic postion light signaling still protects the mainline.
SEPTA locals pass at Narberth. Classic postion light signaling still protects the mainline.
SEPTA local approaching Wynnewood. Lumix LX7 photo.
SEPTA local approaching Wynnewood. Lumix LX7 photo.
SEPTA training special inbound near Wynnewood. Lumix LX7 photo.
SEPTA training special inbound near Wynnewood. Lumix LX7 photo.

Among the challenges to photographing this line is the proliferation of trees along the right of way. While these can make for nice props, they also cast shadows which complicate photography.

From an operations standpoint, I would think that having so many line-side trees would be a serious problem. Not only will these cause wheel-slip in the autumn that will result in difficulties for suburban trains trying to meet tight schedules, but falling branches and trunks will interfere with the catenary.

Would the PRR have tolerated so many trees along its primary east-west trunk?

 

SEPTA local at Wynnewood.
SEPTA local at Wynnewood.
Advertising on a Silverliner V. Lumix LX7 photo.
Advertising on a Silverliner V. Lumix LX7 photo.
Old PRR-era station at Haverford. Lumix LX7 photo.
Old PRR-era station at Haverford. Lumix LX7 photo.
An Amtrak Keystone blitzes Bryn Mawr. Lumix LX7 photo.
An Amtrak Keystone blitzes Bryn Mawr. Lumix LX7 photo.
Bryn Mawr. Lumix LX7 photo.
Bryn Mawr. Lumix LX7 photo.

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Tomorrow exploring Philadelphia by rail!