Tag Archives: #Gap

Working the Curve

The reverse curves on the old Main Line at Gap, Pennsylvania offer endless photo opportunities.

Amtrak Keystone train 649 is a regular subject for me in the afternoon.

A couple of weeks back, I suspected that train 649 would be worked by ACS-64 no. 642, which specially painted for American Veterans.

I surmised this correctly, however, the locomotive was working the back of the train rather than in the lead (as I would have preferred for photography).

That said, Amtrak doesn’t operate its trains for my amusement, so I made due with the configuration as I found it.

Images exposed using my Nikon Z7-II with 70-200mm zoom.

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Amtrak 643 at Gap

After days of gray cloudy skies the sun emerged. Kris and I paused at Gap, Pa., to roll by Amtrak’s westward Keystone, train 643. This was operating cab-car first with an ACS-64 electric at the back of the consist.

Working with my Nikon Z7-II and 24-70mm zoom set to 70mm, I exposed a series of images. I cropped these in post processing to emphasize the horizontal perspective.

70mm view, f4.5, 1/1250 second, ISO 200.
70mm view, f4.5, 1/1250 second, ISO 200.
70mm view, f4.5, 1/1250 second, ISO 200.

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Slowing for the Curve at Gap

Amtrak Keystone 666 was slowing for the restrictive curve at Gap, Pa.

Siemens ACS-64 electrics were fore and aft. White lights forward, red at a rear.

Working with my Nikon Z mirrorless cameras, I exposded this coming and going sequence as the train glided east toward Philadelphia.

Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom.

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Glory to the old Metroliner Cabs

In its day, the Budd-Metroliner was America’s answer to the Japanese Shinkansen. This fast electric train (MP85) was built for Pennsylvania Railroad and some briefly carried PRR-Keystone heralds before Penn-Central assumed operations of PRR’s lines in 1968. The Metroliner service was introduced using the Metroliner cars in the early years of Penn Central.

In 1971, Amtrak assumed operation of the Metroliner and continued to use the former PRR/PC trains for fast services on the former PRR between New York and Washington D.C.

The Metroliner body style was the basis for the Budd-built Amfleet cars that were introduced in the mid-1970s, and which remain standard for many Amtrak trains today.

Amtrak later assigned locomotive hauled Amfleet consists to its Metroliner services. In their waining years as self-propelled electric trains the former Metroliner train sets worked Amtrak Keystone services to Harrisburg.

Today, some of the much modified old Metroliner cab cars survive on Amtrak’s five-car push-pull sets, many of which are assigned as standard consists to the New York-Philadelphia-Harrisburg Keystone trains. Until 2014, these consists also routinely worked the Vermonter when it was still routed via Palmer, Massachusetts.

I made these views of Amtrak’s former Metroliner cab cars passing Gap, Pa., a couple of week ago.

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Keystone, Tiguan and Strasburg Road.

This is a variation on yesterday’s theme, but on a different day with a different Keystone, and another road.

I’d made a sunset silhouette of the on-coming train; then turned around to make this going away view of Amtrak Keystone 618.

Gap, PA: ACS-64 626 is powering the train from the back. Kris is filming the passing train from her silver Tiguan using her iPhone 13. While, the empty lanes of Strasburg Road on the left.

We got a friendly toot toot from the headend as the train passed.

Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens. RAW file cropped in post processing for lateral emphasis.

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Gauzy Light—Amtrak 618 at Gap

We arrived at Gap, PA about ten minutes ahead of Amtrak Keystone service 618 on its way east from Harrisburg.

I made my first photos in this curve at Gap on a visit 16 years ago—June 2007.

Thick smoky-haze filled the air and filtered the evening sun.

I made this telephoto series of images as Amtrak 618 (led by ACS-64 606) glided through the curve at Gap.

Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 200mm; f4.0 1/1600, ISO 400;
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 200mm; f4.0 1/2500, ISO 400
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 74mm; f4.0 1/1600, ISO 400;
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom set to 200 mm; f4.0 1/500, ISO 400;

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Amtrak 641 at Gap-Three Photos!

I find Amtrak’s old Metroliner cab cars a novelty.

These rolling antiques are vestiges of 1960s High Speed rail that have survived into the 2020s in regular revenue service.

On my exploration of the Lancaster area with Dan Cupper a few weeks ago, we stopped at Gap in the morning to photograph the westward Amtrak Keystone service No. 641, led by Metroliner cab car 9634 with ACS-64 634 at the back.

I wonder if I have a photo of this cab car in Metroliner service?

I made this telephoto sequence with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera fitted with a 70-200mm telephoto zoom. The yellow front works well with soft winter sun.

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1980s-Retro passes Gap, Pennsylvania.

I was lucky last Wednesday as Amtrak P42 number 145 wearing ‘Phase III’ heritage paint was leading train #42, the eastward Pennsylvanian.

Although the so-called Amtrak Phase III was introduced in the mid-1970s, for me it represents the predominant scheme that adorned Amtrak locomotives during the 1980s. I made countless color slides of F40PH diesels, and AEM-7 and E60 electrics in this scheme.

Amtrak repainted a several of its P42 Genesis diesels in 2011 to mark the railroad’s 40th Anniversary. In addition, several of Amtrak’s dual-mode 700-series Genesis units have also been painted in this scheme.

I was delighted to catch Amtrak 145 working the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line at Gap, Pennsylvania, and made a series of digital images using my Nikon Z-series digital cameras.

Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Z-series zoom. Photo cropped for effect.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Z-series zoom.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom.

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Amtrak’s Keystone at Gap, Pennsylvania.

A mid-afternoon Amtrak Keystone train from Harrisburg, works the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line at Gap, Pennsylvania.

Today’s ACS64 ‘Cities Sprinter’ electrics are to Amtrak what the 1930s-1940s era GG1s were to the Pennsylvania Railroad.

ACS64 660 leads Keystone service number 670 eastward at Gap. (Engine number versus train number).

Note my framing of the locomotive between the two catenary poles, leaving room for the farm in the distance and the tree at the far right.

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