(Part 3 of 3) Harrisburg, Pa: Enola To Paxton, Amtrak To NS (Harrisburg Yard)

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Harrisburg Yard is admittedly not the easiest spot to railfan in Harrisburg but it’s certainly a lot of fun. The MacLay Street overpass would make an excellent vantage point if not for the 8-foot or so high concrete wall…. Enterprising railfans can overcome this by bringing a step ladder with them for some great high angle shots of the yard.

We took the low ground, however, and converged down on Division Street where we caught up with that empty auto rack train that we saw back at CP Paxton. It was waiting for a manifest to clear and by the time that we got there, it was just starting to move again so we were only able to catch the tail end of it.

When it passed, the first thing that caught my eyes were vintage open hoppers standing by in the yard. Coal and ballast cars of the Erie-Lackawanna and the Southern Railway stood out like bullseyes. By now, the clouds seemed like they were starting to scatter but they would come and go, in and out for the rest of our time here.

Not long after the rack train cleared a manifest freight came cruising by with a couple of NS blacks and a Union Pacific SD70M. I was scrambling to get my video camera set up and it was moving so fast that I could only get one shot of the train from the front so you won’t be able to see the UP diesel in the middle.

But in Harrisburg trains are like buses and if you miss one, it’s only a matter of time before another one appears and sure enough, just a few minutes after the manifest moved by, a intermodal Z-Train with the usual J.B. Hunt, UPS, FedEx and other containers and truck trailers slides up to the fuel racks for a quick crew change. After that, it moved out and on towards Paxton and probably onto the Harrisburg Line for a point such as North Jersey/NYC.

That intermodal train would be the last train that we’d see today but there was a motley mix of black diesels and some yard activity to keep us entertained after the train traffic slowed down. From there we said goodbye as we planned our next visit to the capitol city of Pennsylvania.

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NorfolkSouthern
 

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Harrisburg, Pa: Enola To Paxton, Amtrak To NS (Harrisburg Yard)

 

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Guide To Understanding Norfolk Southern Train Symbols:
Train Number Series Extra Series Symbol Train Description
000-099 R Special Trains
100-199 M Merchandise Trains
200-299 I Intermodal Trains
300-399 W Merchandise Trains
400-499 X Bulk Commodities
500-599 Y Bulk Commodities
600-699 Z Bulk Commodities
700-799 Q Coal Trains
800-899 S Coal Trains
900-999 O Miscellaneous or Work Trains

 

Find out where the freight cars in this post call home….

Check Out Our Reporting Marks Page

Can’t understand what you’re hearing on the scanner….

Check Out Our List Of Common Railroad Terms

 

Get detailed maps of the infrastructure of any railroad with OpenStreetMap.org and Wikimapia.org.

 

Keep up with all of the train action taking place around the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania metropolitan area: at BROADCASTIFY.COM. Click this link for the Harrisburg East Dispatcher and click this link for the Harrisburg Terminal Dispatcher.

The Norfolk Southern in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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