Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New York Transit Museum and home

Todays adventure took us to the New York Transit Museum. We started out on the 320 to PABT and than got on an R36 "C" train. The museum is located about two blocks west of the Hoyt-Schmmerhorn station in the unused Court street station (was built for An extension that never happened). In the station mezzanine they have exhibits and displays setup, including a mock up RTS and fishbowl.

Downstairs they have several cars on display, everything from old gate cars used on the elevated, to IRT low v's, BMT standards, and IND R1/R9, an R11, R16, R30, and R36. They also have a recently retired R46 as well as some other equipment on display.

Once we were done there we got on an R46 equipped "A" train to penn station. We had lunch at Penn station (which has a food court unlike King Street Stn. in Seattle) we walked back to PABT and checked out the neighborhood a bit more. After seeing bad traffic entering the lincoln tunnel we decided to take an earlier 320. Once back at the hotel and with our bags the hotel van took us to Seacacus Jct. and we got on an NJT northeast corridor line train to newark airport.

A couple of comments about fare collection, the NYC metro card needs to be replaced with a contact-less system, half the turnstiles did not like one or both of our cards, also the NJT ticketing system seems wasteful with ticket vending machines all over the place that need to be maintained, and the Parkeon wayfarer devices on the buses seem to spit out a lot of paper receipts for no reason at all. Im sure its been done this way for 100 years and probably not going to change soon. This concludes the trip to NY.

The Ad's inside the New York Subway are interesting, This one for Dr. Zizmore offers treatment for a number of skin ailments with easy financing with approval for just about everyone. The Lady in the artwork looks a little possessed if you ask me, I have to wonder what his treatments really do.

An R-30 Car in the NYTM

The Court Street Station with an IND R9 car on display

NJT MCI D4500 #7128

NJT Ticket and a NYC Metro Card

Monday, April 29, 2013

Free Day in New York

Today was a free day in NYC. To start out we went to the tourist trap known as the Empire State building. There were different people hawking different tour "packages" and we bought one for the princely sum of $57 dollars that included a "sky ride" on a hydraulically operated platform with an IMAX like movie playing, and than a ride up to the 86th floor observatory. Although I later figured out I could have probably done it cheaper the more traditional way through the tower directly. After seeing the sights at the Empire State, we went to Penn station, and while it is kind of a dive, it does have the advantage of having all sorts of food and convenience items available, which even our newly remodeled King Street Station in Seattle does not offer.

After having lunch at Penn Station, we went to the 9/11 memorial. While the tickets were free there, you have to walk halfway around the site, and go through security to get there. You could get your free tickets online, and pay a $2 processing fee, however today the line for the free tickets was shorter than the pre-ticketed line. The rain must have had something to do with that.

The memorial itself is nice, it has two large square reflecting pools and on the railings are the names of those who perished. Actually kind of moving thinking that all these poor guys did was go to work like everyone else does and they had this happen to them. While reading through the names I found a couple of transit workers who also perished, I don't know what they did, I'm guessing they were field supervisors or something. I guess something like this could happen to anyone.

After seeing the 9/11 memorial, it was time to ride the subways, Since the R32 cars seem to live on the "C" line, and they have the rail fan window we rode the "C" to Euclid Avenue, than back to Franklin Ave where we got on the Franklin Ave Shuttle "S" line. We rode that to Prospect Park and got on a Q train to Coney Island. Since it wasn't the summertime Coney island was dead - and I mean Dead. None of the amusements were open, Nathans Hot Dogs was closed, and even the bar and strip club were closed (I thought those places NEVER closed).

After that we got on an F train headed for Delancy Street. When we arrived we went to Katz's Delicatessen. It was a true New York Deli, they had everything from sandwiches, Hamburgers, Fries and would even ship the Salami of your dreams to you. After having dinner there, we went on the J/Z Line to Canal Street and Transferred to the "R" Train. I now know why I don't see too many fat New Yorkers, if you use the subways enough you get plenty of workout navigating the passage ways and all the stairs, to transfer from the J to the R there must have been no less than 4 sets of stairs, a walk down a full of a 10 car platform, and than another half block walk in a tunnel to get to the other platform. A lot of these transfers seem to be the same way.

After getting on the R train we rode to Whitehall street and got off, after a quick stroll through battery park we got photos from shore of the statue of liberty and Ellis island. After that we decided we had not ridden any NYC buses on this trip, so we rode the M15 SBS all the way to 125th Street with a Nova LFS Artic and transferred to a Bx15 to get to the 125th A/B/C/D stop. We had a New Flyer D60 for that. At 125th St we got on a R32 C train for the ride back to 42nd St / Port Authority and than on the #320 bus back to the hotel.

Manhattan and the Under Construction 1 WTC

The Reflecting Pool at the 9/11 Memorial

Nova LFS #1263 on the M15 SBS at 1st and 125th St

MCI D4500 #7132 on the #320 in Seacacus

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Motor Bus Society Day 4 - New York City

Today started out by visiting New York City Transit's Michael J. Quill depot which is located near the Port Authority and near Times Square. NYCTA had brought a bunch of its historic buses to Quill for us to visit. The Quill depot is actually a multi-story ex Greyhound shop, and the historic buses were parked on the roof. After riding an RTS shuttle from the ground floor to the roof, we got to see the historic buses, and some of the current fleet. Nearly everything NYCTA ran was present here, including GMC Old Looks, New Looks, and Classics, a MACK, and a Grumman. Also on deck was Nova LFS's, RTS's, New Flyer D60s and Xcelsior's, and Orion 7s. After we were done with Quill we went to the Roosevelt Island Operating authority's yard on Roosevelt Island. We managed to see 7 of their 7 buses in the yard or shops, they were all Orion 7s.

After Roosevelt Island we headed towards Flushing, stopping at the yard of Private Transportation/MCIZ (Mazel Bus Corp). They seem to have a shared yard with a few different firms, They operate the Grey line sightseeing buses, plus some of the jewish lines, and of course MCIZ. The Jewish operators seem to have a bunch of ex Fairfax Connector Orion Vs, while The Grey Line double deckers are interesting. They are rebuilt transit buses, where the roof has been cut off and a top deck installed. They seem to do this conversion on just about anything, Including an Orion 1 (like mine), New Flyer D40LFs (ex Phoenix), Gillig Low Floors (ex Hertz, Avis, PSTA) and Phantoms (ex Denver). No two are the same, even though they may have started out as the same thing. On the High floor coaches, the rear door forms the stairwell upstairs, and the Origonal drivers compartment is left intact (except for a much lower ceiling) and the rest of the coach walled off. The Low Floors, the low floor section actually still remains seated, and the stairs are installed where the upper section starts, the rest of that is walled off. Real strange modifications.

After having lunch on Main Street in flushing, we headed over to LaGuardia Depot. We had a nice tour there, got to see RTS's Orion 7's and two ex Bee Line Orion 5's (111 and 156). They also had some MCIs. This was the old Triborough depot. After visiting LaGuardia we went to Staten Island to the Eltingville Transit Center and watched buses from Yukon go by. After that it was back to the hotel to end the convention.

GMC Old Looks on display at Quill

Nova RTS at Quill

GMC New Looks with a Nova RTS and Orion 7 at Quill

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Orion 7 #3

An Orion 1 rebuilt as a double deck coach...

NYCT Prevost XL II at Eltingville Transit Center

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Motor Bus Society Day 3 - Lakewood N.J. and Academy and Peter Pan.

Todays visit consisted of a visit to the New Jersey Transit garage in Lakewood, NJ where their historical fleet is kept. After that a Visit to the Academy yard in Perth Amboy, NJ followed by and the Peter Pan yard in Secaucus. The C.B.O.A provided the buses and used a Flxible Metro "B", GMC Buffalo, and a ex New York Bus Service suburban fishbowl. Coach Tours Also provided a 102DL3 MCI

The NJT historical fleet is impressive not only for how many buses it gas but the overall excellent condition they are kept in. They have an extensive fleet of older coaches and newer ones (which im sure were hand picked for inclusion, and than restored ontop of that.) one of their newer buses, a 1995 nova rts spent its whole life in training service and only has 87,000 miles on it. The rest of the fleet is a little more used but still in great shape. After the visit to their garage in Lakewood, and a short ride we went to lunch at a local shopping mall.

After Lunch we stopped at the Academy yard in Perth Amboy, NJ we photographed some artics that used to be on the Rutgers contract, along with NJT (contract) and Academy buses. After academy we went to Rutgers university to watch the buses. As it turned out the stop we were dropped off at was closed due to "Family Day" and the buses were stopping on the other side of campus. The local band "Dentist" was playing some indie/alt/90ish music, and were really good so I wound up listening to them.

After re boarding the buses we made our way back to Secaucus for the tour of the bolt/peter pan yard there. At the peter pan yard in seacacus, they had some equipment on display and we could look at the coaches in the yard. Once our visit there was done we returned to the hotel. After visiting the swap meet I headed back into NYC on the 320 bus. It runs late enough i dont have to worry about missing it coming home.

After having dinner at Capizzi, I went to go for a subway ride. I had intended to ride the C to 165th and transfer to a 1 back to 42nd, however i noticed there were R32 cars on the C. Not to mention the C train was short turning at 145th due to track work. I managed to catch a C train with an R32 and went as far as 145th. Than i rode it back looking out the rail fan window and videoing all the way to Penn Station. After that i returned to PABT in barely enough time to make the last 320 to depart gate 231 at 10 (after 10 it moves to gate 320).

A Nova RTS, Flxible Metro and MC9 in NJT's historical Fleet.

A Flxible Metro and MCI MC9 with small destination sign cap in the NJT Historical Fleet

A GMC Old Look suburban and C.O.B.A GM Buffalo

A GMC New Look Suburban in the NJT historical Fleet

Academy and NJT buses in the Academy Yard.

Peter Pan MCI "One Armed Pirate"

1964 NYCTA R32A #3729 at 145th Street on the "C" Line (Actually a D Line Stop)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Motor Bus Society Spring 2013 Convntion - New Jersey

The coaches for Today's Trips were provided by the C.B.O.A. We started out the day with an Eagle Ae-10 #5504, a Flxible Metro "B" 3529, and a Flxible Fishbowl. Our first stop of the day was Lakeland Bus Lines, however before we could get there the eagle needed to be pulled out of service. The Eagle finally caught up to us at Lakeland, and it was diagnosed as having trouble with some wiring to the speed sensor on the transmission. After a quick repair we were on our way again, this time to DeCamp bus lines (We had an intermediate stop scheduled that did not happen because we were running late). At DeCamp we got a tour of the shops and yard, and than headed to Paterson for a quick photo stop before heading to Paramus, NJ for lunch.

After Lunch The MBS convention made a stop at Coach USA/Rockland Coaches yard which also has equipment for the TappinZee Express, and TOR routes. While there the C.B.O.A brought their GMC Buffalo out to play to replace the Eagle. Our next stop was at Spring Valley, where we caught some NJT trains and TOR/TappinZee Express Buses. After that we were suppose to stop at NJT's Meadowlands Garage but no one was home.

Once we got back to the hotel, myself and a friend went into NYC on the NJT 320 bus. After buying a ticket at the stop (Most buses I have seen that operate into NJT require you to have a ticket purchased in advance at a stop or depot. The coaches have these Parkeon Wayfarer ticket registers installed in them, both NJT and private operator's.)  Upon arriving at PABT, we got on a #1 Train to South Ferry with R62 cars, and after looking around the old Origonal South Ferry station for a few minutes (it was quickly renovated after sandy hit since the damage to the new south ferry was so extensive) we went back to times Square on an R Train that had R 46 cars. After having dinner, we walked back to PABT and caught a #320 back to the hotel.

An Eagle AE 10 with a Luminator Horizon destination sign
Preserved ex NJT Flxible Metro "B" #3529

DeCamp Bus Lines MCI D4500 #8417

C.B.O.A. GM Parlor #68

NJT EMD GP40PH #4101 at Spring Valley

NYCT R62 at the old South Ferry station

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Motor Bus Society Spring 2012 Day 1 - Nice Bus/NYCT Zerega and Eastchester

Today was the first day of the MBS convention. It started out with the usual morning registration and boarding our coaches. The first stop of the morning was a curbside pick up at the pa bus terminal.

Once that was done, we went to the javits center for a double deck tour of the areas bus yards. This was probably one of the more interesting tours the grey line tour has ever given. We circled around the neighborhood looking at the day coach storage yards in the area. After that we hopped back on our bus and went to the NICE yard in garden city. NICE is the new brand name for what used to be Long Island Bus after the county contracted with Veolia to operate the service instead of MTA. After a visit to their yard and shops, with a lot of equipment on display, we had lunch at a nearby mall.

After lunch we headed to Mta/New York City Bus's zerega central maintenance. At zerega we got a tour of the shop where regular overhaul is done on all nyct buses. They also do maintenance training here and have a small dedicated fleet for that consisting if mostly older but well kept buses. After zerega we went to nyct's eastchester depot where we got to see the boneyard. They had a bunch of retired orion Vs and RTSs waiting to be hauled to scrap. After eastchester we went to white plains to photograph westchester bee line in action. White plains is a suburban stop on metro north's harlem line. It features a large transit center that is underneath a parking structure (the train station is one block over, separated by another parking garage for commuters) and is actually a fairly busy stop.

At White Plains we had the choice of continuing with the group back to the hotel, or taking a Harlem line train to Grand Central and make our way home from there. We chose to go to Grand Central Terminal, which was a first for me. On the way in, a lady who was also going to Grand Central recommended a pizzeria - Capizzi which was behind the PA bus terminal. Once we arrived at Grand Central, we did a little bit of exploring of the terminal, and took a break to charge my phone. When done there we made our way towards the "S" subway from Grand Central to Times Square. The S line is ran with R-62A Cars. We rode that brief ride to Times Square, and went to the surface. On the Surface we found a couple of RTS's Laying over, and than went to get dinner at Capizzi.

Dinner was good, and very reasonably priced. Afterwards we went to catch a #320 NJT bus from PA Terminal to Seacacus, However due to a bomb scare (which later turned out to be an abandoned gym bag) the terminal was closed. After waiting around for a few minutes the terminal re-opened and we were able to buy our tickets and get on a bus. Because the terminal was closed the buses were packed as people were leaving. Other than that it was a relatively uneventful evening.

Orion V # 1621 of NICE

New York City Bus 1999 Nova RTS #5177 at Zerega Central Maintenance Facility

Grand Central Terminal

R-62A #1930 on the "S" Line at Grand Central Terminal

Nova RTS #5062 Laying over on 40th and 8th.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Trolley Coaches and Light Rail from Seattle to Switzerland

Added Pictures of Metro's Preserved 1940 Twin Coach #643, and more pictures from Europe including Lucerne and its Trolleybuses, Various Trains, and some Streetcars in Bern.
Siemens Combino and Swiss Post Buses at Brünnen Westside Bahnhof
Lucerne NAW/HESS Trolley coach and Trailer at Obernau
Die Zentralbahn ABe 130 007-8 at Alpnachstad
1940 Twin Coach GWFT #643 at Othello Station

Saturday, April 20, 2013

From Seattle to Mt Blanc and the Matterhorn

Added Pictures to Flickr from the Martinguy/Mt Blanc Region of Switzerland, Pictures from the Gornergratbahn and the Matterhorn,  Plus King County Metro's Historic Flyer D10240C #1657 and some Gillig Trolleybuses.

SBB RE 4/4 #11200 at Martingy
The Gornergrat bahn with the Matterhorn
Flyer #1657 on the farewell fan trip
Gillig Trolley #4160 at Madrona Park

Friday, April 19, 2013

Update 4/18-4/19 - Switzerland and Orion 1s

I have Updated my Flickr with the Remaining pictures from Pierce Transit's 420-438 series of Orion 1's, And Pictures from Switzerland including the Swiss Vapeur Park, and The Blonay-Chamby Museum Railway.

1990 Orion 1.508 #431 at 10th and Commerce in Downtown Tacoma
Electric Railcar lineup at the Blonay-Chamby Museum Railway
Saurer Post Bus on display at Chamby

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The New Talgo 8 Trainset "ODOT 1"

Yesterday's Adventure was chasing ODOT 1 - A brand new Talgo 8 Train set making its way to Seattle behind Amtrak power and Amtrak service from the AAR Test track in Pueblo, CO. This Train had been following the Coast Starlight from the Bay Area so it was thought it would continue behind #14 out of Portland, OR, however it was held and followed Cascades train #508 to Seattle. After catching #14 in Bucoda, Myself and a friend continued to Centralia to have dinner and wait for ODOT 1 to pass through behind #508. While waiting at the station we saw #508, both a timetable east and west bound UP freight, And than ODOT 1 passing through just after dark (and after the weather had started to turn). I decided to make a video of the train passing through instead of taking pictures since they would not have turned out in the lighting.

Amtrak's Coast Starlight Passing Through Bucoda, WA

Amtrak Cascades #508 With a Clear Signal at Centralia, WA 

Dusk at Centralia, WA with a Westbound UP freight approaching the station

Amtrak Power leading the new Talgo 8 train set "ODOT 1" passing through Centralia
The Talgo 8 Train set "ODOT 1" passing through Centralia

Monday, April 15, 2013

4-14-13 - Quick Update - Brill's and Flyer's

Added more pictures to Flickr, including pictures of 1940 P.C.F Brill #798 that's been preserved by Metro/MEHVA, and Pictures of Retired Metro Flyer D10240Cs, including some old shots (sorry for the quality, I have not rescanned these) taken in the tide flats in Tacoma of buses waiting to be sold or scrapped. There is even Retired AC Transit Flyer #1153 in the mix as well.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Update 4/5/13: Sounder and more Orions

Added Pictures to Flickr of Sounder on the new extension to Lakewood, Various Sound Transit/Pierce Transit buses at 26th and Pacific, and Pierce Transit 1990 Orion 1.508s 423-429

Sounder at South Tacoma Station
1990 Orion 1.508 #424 at Lakewood Mall Transit Center