Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What do D&H Lightning Stripe and BART Have in Common?

Canadian Pacific 7304 in D&H Lightning Stripe  shoots out of the Bluff control point shortly after  8 am  heading North on May 5.

5/4/2016 So I did some "Railroad Rambling" this morning. I have been busy and haven't had much time for railfanning lately, time and hobbies, all in balance.

However I had an itch, and the cure, more cowbell... err, nope, something big with a powerful prime mover about 2,000 HP and capable of about 61,000 lbs of tractive effort.

Turns out that was easy to get.

After making the Sunset Ave. crossing D&H  7304 proceeds North heading into Plattsburgh on its way as Canadian Pacific local  D11 going to Rouses Pt.
While trolling around the base I saw the D&H 7304 at the Canadian Pacific office, resplendent in her Lightning Stripe. Unfortunately it wasn't doing anything yet, however I did get to see one of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cars packaged up, ready to go. This car is about to take a cross country tractor trailer trip. There's no shipping these by rail conventionally as BART atypically use broad or "Indian Gauge" at 5'6" as opposed to 4'8 1/2" standard gauge. I've heard several explanations for this, the more official being that the wider gauge was supposed to be more stable in a seismically active area, the more unofficial reason is that by being different than any nearby freight railroads, and therefore all equipment is incompatible. However being different makes BART equipment and trackage more expensive and obviously makes shipping a car on it's own trucks cross country impossible.

This has been my first look at any BART equipment, so I think it was cool.

After sightseeing the Bay Area from the luxury of Plattsburgh I heard on the radio 7304 as Plattsburgh local D11 had to make a run up to Rouses Pt. and make a pick up at Champlain Plastics.

This was my opportunity to make a catch I've desired, at a crossing I haven't been to since winter set in, a little side street called Sunset Ave.

Arriving at Sunset Ave. I was caught off guard as the 7304 made better time than I anticipated, she was coming hot out of the control point at 165. It was only a minute after 8 am, and I was not disappointed. Coming up the tracks was 7304 running light power, pouring out an impressive amount of exhaust. She left a nice cloud and was working for the title of "honorary ALCO"

I certainly would have enjoyed a nice chase to Rouses Point, but time not entirely being on my side I abstained.

However I was completely happy with my catch, and even had the excuse to make a report.
A Bay Area Rapid Transit  car appears ready to ship out  from Bombardier Transportation in Plattsburgh, NY on May  5.

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