Amtrak Action Under Wire; Northeast Corridor in December 2015

Consult your schedules, watch the signals, listen for the hum of the rail, and stay poised.

This is the heart of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, a raceway for passenger action. In between the fast flying Acela Express runs and Amtrak Regional trains are hourly all-stops SEPTA local runs.

Trains Under Wire.

On the morning of December 19, 2015, Pat Yough and I visited SEPTA stations north (east) of Philadelphia on the former Pennsylvania Railroad electrified four-track line. No GG1s today, but we did catch two old AEM-7s.

PRR_position_light_signals_632_Levittown_DSCF8592

Low level platforms here are soon to be 'improved.'
Low level platforms here are soon to be ‘improved.’
Amtrak ACS-64 number 651 leads train 153 at Levittown, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Amtrak ACS-64 number 651 leads train 153 at Levittown, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.

Tips of the day: stay sharp and remember that the long distance trains (Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Crescent, etc) are not listed in the Northeast Corridor schedule and can run ahead of the posted station times as listed in their respective schedules in the Amtrak National Timetable.

SEPTA local 9714 makes a station stop at Levittown, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
SEPTA local 9714 makes a station stop at Levittown, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Many times I've traveled on this train; Amtrak 56 the Vermonter, seen here approaching Levitttown behind ACS-64 635.
Many times I’ve traveled on this train; Amtrak 56 the Vermonter, seen here approaching Levitttown behind ACS-64 635.
Amtrak Keystone 663 is lead by Siemens-built ACS-64 610. The sharp photographer needs to keep the train numbers distinct from engine numbers. This can get a bit confusing on this section of line since both the ACS-64 locomotives (motors) and Keystone train use 600 series numbers. Just remember one is a piece of equipment, the other is a scheduled service.
Amtrak Keystone 663 is led by Siemens-built ACS-64 610. The sharp photographer needs to keep the train numbers distinct from engine numbers. This can get a bit confusing on this section of line since both the ACS-64 locomotives (motors) and Keystone trains use 600 series numbers. Just remember one is a piece of equipment, the other is a scheduled service.
Ouch! Bad luck, on an otherwise clear morning one lingering fluffy cloud quenched the sunlight just as one of two AEM-7s of the day passed. Engine 927 leads Amtrak train 155 at Levitttown, PA. FujiFilm X-T1 photo, adjusted in post processing with Lightroom to correct contrast, exposure and color temperature.
Ouch! Bad luck, on an otherwise clear morning one lingering fluffy cloud quenched the sunlight just as one of two AEM-7s of the day passed. Engine 927 leads Amtrak train 155 at Levitttown, PA. FujiFilm X-T1 photo, adjusted in post processing with Lightroom to correct contrast, exposure and color temperature.
Amtrak Keystone 662 is in push-mode with ACS-64 636 at the back. (In other words this is a trailing view.) FujiFilm X-T1 digital image.
Amtrak Keystone 662 is in push-mode with ACS-64 636 at the back. (In other words this is a trailing view.) FujiFilm X-T1 digital image with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
Who said you can't use a wide-angle when photographing a high-speed train. Acela Express 2250 was racing along at an estimated 125 mph when I exposed this view with my FujiFilm X-T1 digital image with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens. I had the camera in 'CF' (Continuous Fast, what I call 'turbo flutter') and the shutter speed at 1/2000th of a second.
Who said you can’t use a wide-angle when photographing a high-speed train? Acela Express 2250 was racing along at an estimated 125 mph when I exposed this view with my FujiFilm X-T1 digital image with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens. I had the camera in ‘CF’ (Continuous Fast, what I call ‘turbo flutter’) and the shutter speed at 1/2000th of a second.
SEPTA 9707 makes a station stop at Levittown on its way to Trenton, New Jersey.
SEPTA 9707 makes a station stop at Levittown on its way to Trenton, New Jersey.
Amtrak 98 rolls eastward (northward) at Levittstown on the final leg of its trip from Florida to New York Penn-Station. Remind me, why did Amtrak invest in new baggage cars?
Amtrak 98 rolls eastward (northward) at Levittstown on the final leg of its trip from Florida to New York Penn-Station. Remind me, why did Amtrak invest in new baggage cars?
Amtrak Keystone 664 had this battle-worn AEM-7 at the back. Quick action at Croydon allowed for a satisfactory trailing view of the aged electric in action.
Amtrak Keystone 664 had this battle-worn AEM-7 at the back. Quick action at Croydon allowed for a satisfactory trailing view of the aged electric in action.
I always like to catch the long-distance trains under wire. Amtrak ACS-64 606 leads train 91 the Silver Star on its run to Miami, Florida. Photographing the German-designed electrics under old PRR signal bridges makes for a contrast in time and technology that helps tell the story of today's Northeast Corridor.
I always like to catch the long-distance trains under wire. Amtrak ACS-64 606 leads train 91 the Silver Star on its run to Miami, Florida. Photographing the German-designed electrics under old PRR signal bridges makes for a contrast in time and technology that helps tell the story of today’s Northeast Corridor.
Amtrak train number 20, the Crescent was running ahead of its posted time when it passed Croydon. Pat Yough had checked the time on his smart phone, so we were poised for action when its headlight appeared.
Amtrak train number 20, the Crescent was running ahead of its posted time when it passed Croydon. Pat Yough had checked the time on his smart phone, so we were poised for action when its headlight appeared.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

4 thoughts on “Amtrak Action Under Wire; Northeast Corridor in December 2015”

  1. Very nice photos, as always. Amtrak needed new baggage cars because many of the old ones were very old and literally ready to fall apart. They also ordered baggage-dorms, 25 sleepers and 25 Viewliner diners which are way overdue and have yet to appear outside the CAF plant in Elmira.

Comments are closed.