Tag Archives: #Christiana

Two for One at Christiana

Fortune was with us on Saturday.

After lunch, we drove the back way over to Christiana, Pa., where I hoped to catch Amtrak 670 in the afternoon sun.

The tracks are oriented on a south-north alignment at Christiana, which makes it a good place to photograph eastward train on a sunny day, if you mind the shadows.

Where Keystone 670 was pretty much ‘on the advertised,’ Amtrak 42, the eastward Pennsylvanian had fallen down a bit, and was just a few minutes behind.

So for the effort of one eastward train, we caught two! One electric and one diesel.

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Christiana Station at Night

On our evening drive, we called into the former Pennsylvania Railroad station at Christiana, Pa.

With my Nikon Z7-II firmly mounted on my old Bogen tripod, and working with available light I made these photos using time exposures. Details below:

Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 70mm, 1 second exposure at f4.0, ISO 200.
Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 28mm, 3 second exposure at f4.0, ISO 200.
Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 29mm, 6 second exposure at f4.0, ISO 200.

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Amtrak Schedule tip! Coming and Going on the Main Line at Christiana, PA

The old Pennsylvania Railroad station at Christiana is a neat place to catch Amtrak’s Keystone trains. Over the last few months I’ve visited this location several times.

Saturday evening Kris and I stopped by Christiana to make a few photos an approaching eastward Keystone.

I track Amtrak’s trains on my phone using the ASM.transitdoc.com app, which updates about every 5-6 minutes and shows the train’s last reported location, operating speed, and indicates if it is on-time or runnng behind, while providing a full schedule of station stops.

This is often more useful than either Amtrak’s own website, which can be difficult to navigate quickly, and more up to date than 3rd party printed schedules.

We wanted to photograph Keystone Train 674. As it turned out this was operating on a special schedule owing to track work. I only discovered the train’s schedule alteration after the fact when researching the timetable for this Tracking the Light post.

However, since we used transitdoc App, the on-line interactive map provided all the information we needed and was up to date and literally at our finger tips!

So, despite the schedule alteration, we only had a short wait at Christiana and made some neat photos of the train coming and going at speed.

Trailing view of Amtrak 674 at Christiana, PA

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Christiana Station from both sides of the Main Line.

Amtrak Keystone train 643 passes Christiana westbound.

Last week, I caught up with fellow photographer, author and Trains contributor Dan Cupper, who offered to spend the day showing me railroads in the Lancaster/Strasburg area of Pennsylvania.

Among the places we visited was the archives/meeting house of the Lancaster Chapter, Inc., National Railway Historical Society which is located in the old Pennsylvania Railroad freight house at Christiana, Pennsylvania.

While I’d visited this the passenger station earlier in the week, the day our our visit had much better weather. Also, it was my first ever visit inside freight house where we were met by the chapter’s Stephen Himpsl.

Among the things we explored were views of the freight station and the old passenger station from both sides of the former PRR Main Line.

The passenger station hadn’t served in its intended role since the 1950s, but had been restored and was in good shape.

I made a variety of images using my Nikon mirrorless cameras including those presented here. Most received post-processing adjustment using Adobe Lightroom to better present the data captured by the camera’s NEF RAW files.

More to come on our explorations at Christiana and other nearby locations.

Pennsylvania Railroad sign on the old Christiana freight house.
Lancaster Chapter NRHS has a variety of artifacts and memorabilia on display, including this Lionel GG1 electric locomotive.

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Misty Morning at Christiana, PA.

It was a retro 1970s moment at Christiana, Pennsylvania, when I made these coming and going views of Amtrak Keystone train 648.

The Conrail caboose to the right of the train is former Erie Lackawanna that was painted in an usual variation of COnrail blue at Erie’s Meadville, Pennsyvlania shops in 1976.

The cab car is one of the former PRR/Penn Central self-propelled Metroliner cars developed by Budd in the 1960s and characterized Amtrak’s high-speed services in the 1970s and early 1980s. Later these cars were modified and routinely operated to Harrisburg on this route.

Former Metroliner cab car leads Amtrak 648 eastbound at Christiana, PA.
Amtrak ACS64 669 works at the back of Keystone train 648 at Christiana, PA.

Photos were exposed using my Nikon Z7-II and adjusted for contrast, exposure and color temperature using Adobe Lightroom.

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Pennsylvania Station at Twilight.

Pat Yough said, ‘You’ve never been here before?’

‘No, somehow I missed this.’

‘How’s that possible?’

I’d been to Gap, Pennsylvania many times to photograph Amtrak trains. But I never ventured railroad-east along the Main Line to Christiana, instead driving Highway 30 toward Coatesville.

I should have  known better.

Often the most interesting locations are away from the main road.

There’s your tip for the day!

Former Pennsylvania Railroad station at Christiana.

Former Pennsylvania Railroad station at Christiana.

The old Main Line. Now Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor.

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