Trip Report: Hudson Highlands Trip March 9, 2013

After several weekends of sub-par weather, I was looking forward to this past Saturday as the weather forecast was for sunny skies and temperatures around 50 degrees. With all of the lousy winter weather we have had, I decided it was the perfect day for a road trip. My plan was to spend the entire day around Iona Island and Bear Mountain. Unfortunately, as I arrived in the early morning at Iona, I found the road leading to the island was flooded.

Not the best way to start off your day of railfanning...

Not the best way to start off your day of railfanning…

Certainly not the best way to start off the day. I have been planning to get a shot of a morning southbound here in good light for awhile – and there were a few southbounds I missed because of the flood. Instead I decided to head north up the line to find other vantage points.

I wound up driving all the way up to Highland, and decided to take a walk out on the Walkway Over the Hudson, the recently built walkway on top of the old Poughkeepsie rail bridge. The views from the top of the bridge are spectacular – but at this time of year with the winds it is still rather chilly on the bridge.

Northbound oil train with CP power, including two Iowa Chicago & Eastern SD 40-2's on the head end.

Northbound oil train with CP power, including two Iowa Chicago & Eastern SD 40-2′s on the head end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Southbound CSX train through Highland, NY.

I wound up waiting on the bridge for about an hour or so, and caught two trains, the first of which had the most interesting motive power of the day. Northbound oil train had Canadian Pacific power – two CP units and CP owned Iowa Chicago & Eastern SD40-2′s leading. The second train was a southbound with all CSX power. Unfortunately, due to the high winds, I could not get the train numbers for these two.

After the southbound I crossed the river to check out some action on Metro North. A quick stop in New Hamburg yielded northbound Train 8829 just accelerating after its station stop.

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Metro North Train 8833 with "New Haven" Genesis unit on the point.

Metro North Train 8833 with “New Haven” Genesis unit on the point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to head south and set up on the pedestrian overpass for Breakneck Ridge station to catch the next northbound. This time Train 8833 had one of the New Haven liveried Genesis engines adding a little variety.

With only a few hours of sunshine left, I decided to head back towards Iona Island to try to catch some more freight action. Just as I arrived at Iona, CSX train Q409 was heard calling the signal at MP41, so I had just enough time to get a grab shot of it crossing the trestle.

CSX Q409 heads north at Iona Island.

CSX Q409 heads north at Iona Island.

With the sunlight getting low in the sky, I wanted to get some photos from the overlook on Bear Mountain to get a well lit northbound. I would have to wait a little longer as CSX first ran southbound Q418, but traffic was busy and it wasn’t long before northbound Q114 made it’s way north through Iona Island. Standard cabs leading have become a bit of a rarity on Class 1′s, so it was a find to see all standard cabs on this train.

CSX Q114 makes its way north through Iona with an all-standard cab consist.

CSX Q114 makes its way north through Iona with an all-standard cab consist.

The final train before the sun set was an early Q433. This southbound train normally runs at night, so it was an unusual sighting at around 4PM.

While the flooded road cost me some early morning shots on the River Line, overall not a bad day of Hudson River railfanning. Now it’s time to look forward to longer days and better weather.

CSX Q433 at Iona Island.

CSX Q433 at Iona Island.

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