The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘CSX

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Philadelphia’s Market Street Bridge, in its modern or fifth incarnation, is pictured above. Leading directly to 30th Street Station, Market Street bridge was erected in 1932. It sports ornate masonry along its roadway, including four “Pennsy” eagle statues salvaged from New York City’s original Penn Station. This November of 2021 post describing a previous visit to Philly – “Menacing Dreams” – shows what the scene looks like from above, rather than below, here on the Schuylkill River Trail.

The history associated with this crossing is fairly ancient for the United States, and includes a ferry which crossed the River as early as 1673.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, the pathway I was using here in Philadelphia – the Schuylkill River Trail – was very, very well used by the locals. As always seems to be the case with me these days, when people see the camera on the tripod they want to come over and talk cameras with me. Tell me what camera they have, or want, or ask about where they might sell some old equipment which they inherited from a dead relative. Find out what I think about the Sony vs. Canon ecosystems…

I try to be polite, but… c’mon… I’m obviously, and literally, focused in on what I’m doing… sheesh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To my understanding, there’s a subway tunnel under the water here leading into 30th Street Station’s innards. If I’m reading things correctly, it’s in between the John F. Kennedy Boulevard Bridge (left) and Market Street Bridge (right). Called the Market Frankfort Line Tunnel, it carries local subway and streetcar traffic of Philly’s SEPTA and PATCO transit operations into the intermodal sections of the rail facility. Grain of salt on the location, btw, as mentioned – I’m a tourist here, not an expert.

Of course, when the shutter was open for the shot above… that’s when I heard the jingle jangle of an approaching railroad train behind me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had to quickly “rekajigger” the camera from “dreamy landscape” to fast motion capture modality, but managed to do so before the freight train got to me. It was a CSX freight unit.

Funnily enough, since the camera was firmly affixed to the tripod and that fence in the shot above was at least five feet high, I just hoisted the thing above my head with the swing out screen pointing down. Clumsy, but effective. Click, click, click.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Conrail came into existence in 1976 at the behest of the Federal Government, which combined the bankrupt (private capital, publicly traded) but strategically and macro economically important holdings and routes of the Penn Central and Erie Lackawanna outfits (amongst others) under a single management team. Conrail became profitable by the middle 1980’s, and in the northeastern USA, two privately held companies – CSX and Norfolk Southern – ended up absorbing the Conrail property and stock (42% and 58%, respectively). Conrail is still around, and owns a significant amount of rail tracks which they perform “maintenance of way” work on.

CSX operates 21,000 miles of track all by itself. Its business ranges from Canada’s Ontario and Quebec, and all over the eastern coast of the United States – including servicing the Atlantic and Gulf coastal ports, as well as the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. CSX is what is referred to as a “Class 1 railway.” They do freight, not passenger. A Fortune 500 company, CSX’s total assets are worth (as of 2018) $12.25 Billion in Shareholder’s equity, and CSX has a portfolio of assets which is worth $36.729 Billion.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

CSX engine no. 104 was pulling this train along these tracks by the Schuylkill River. Built by General Electric Transportation Systems sometime between 1993 and 2004, the model GE AC4400CW’s manufactured during that interval generate 4,400 horsepower of motive force. A diesel electric locomotive, some 2,834 of them were produced for CSX and other freight operators including Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Ferromex, and Cerrojón, and others.

Choo Choo! More tomorrow, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


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In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

April 27, 2022 at 11:00 am

spiritual rapport

with 3 comments

Tuesday affects us all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, a trip to Randalls Wards Island was recently enacted, during which I saw a bird – pictured above. The history of these islands are – at best – a long and convoluted tale during which they changed names several times over many hundreds of years. Great Barent Island, anyone? Suffice to say that the most important thing in the history of these East River Islands was the day that Robert Moses decided to make them his base of operations. A tributary of the East River – Little Hell Gate it was called – separated the two islands and it was filled in at his command in the early 1960’s to create a single land mass. Moses’ Triborough Bridge operation was based here as of 1936, making this the actual “House of Moses.”

There’s an amazing number of playing fields and pedestrian paths on the island, and the whole scene is framed in by the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking across a small waterway called Bronx Kill found on the northern side of the place, which is where that bird was noticed, that’s a CSX engine moving a garbage train around. The tracks lead westwards towards a Waste Management Facility, then eastwards and north towards to some unknown destination. That side of the water is an unknown country which local children call “Bronx.”

Seriously, what I know about the Bronx wouldn’t fill a thimble. I’ve been saving it for my old age. I can tell you a lot about the other four boroughs, but the Bronx? I can tell you where it is, basically. Ok, it’s Port Morris, but it’s nice not knowing everything about something for once.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Looking more or less westwards along the Bronx Kill from a small pedestrian span called the Randalls Island Connector, in the distance that’s a part of mighty Triborough. Specifically, I’m fairly sure that’s it’s the Truss Bridge section of the Triborough Bridge complex. The visible arch is part of the Hell Gate bridge trackage. I wonder if it’s still called the NY Connecting Railroad on this side of the river, as it is on the Queens side?

More tomorrow.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, July 20th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates here, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


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Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 21, 2020 at 11:00 am

subtly vibrant

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Having travelled to the unknown shores of New York’s borough of the Bronx for the recent Madison Avenue Bridge Centennial event, the municipality being a foreign territory to your humble narrator, one of my companions suggested we take advantage of circumstance and head over to the Oak Point Yard and see if anything interesting was happening there. Excitement was had when your humble narrator’s ignorance was punctured as to where the crossing of the Hell Gate Bridge leads to.

from wikipedia

The Oak Point Yard is a freight railroad yard located in the South Bronx, New York City. The yard is owned by CSX Transportation, but is used by CP Rail, New York and Atlantic Railway and the Providence & Worcester Railroad. Amtrak owns and operates two electrified tracks for the Northeast Corridor Line, on the west side of the yard. Freight traffic comes either from the Oak Point Link railway line, the Hell Gate Bridge from Long Island, or from Connecticut via the Northeast Corridor line to the northeast. Freight destined for the Hunts Point Cooperative Market also comes into the yard.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A freight railroad yard, Oak Point sits in a bleak industrial corridor, populated by weary looking laborers and is typified by heavy municipal infrastructure. High fences and admonitions of trespassing adorn tantalizingly photogenic acres of fuel depots, bridges, and high voltage equipment which are required to keep the larger City in business. This area, part of the infamous and much maligned Hunts Point, is what Newtown Creek must have looked like- back in its day.

from nycedc.com

Hunts Point is located at the confluence of the Bronx River, the East River and the Long Island Sound. Surrounded by water on three sides, the fourth side is bounded by the Bruckner Expressway and the CSX/Amtrak rail corridor. The Bruckner Expressway connects Hunts Point to Interstate-95, the Northeast, the Midwest and the ports of New York and New Jersey.

The Hunts Point peninsula has an area of approximately 690 acres, nearly half of which is occupied by the 329-acre Food Distribution Center. The Food Distribution Center feeds the New York region: fifteen million people in the region consume food distributed through the markets each day. The remainder of the peninsula comprises an industrial neighborhood where a diverse mix of food, manufacturing, construction, utility, municipal, auto-related and waste-related uses coexist. The northwestern portion of the peninsula contains a solid residential community, now home to roughly 12,000 residents.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Coincidental, as I really didn’t understand what I was looking at while I hung over the barbed wire fences, these are actually kind of interesting trains.

note: 9 times out of 10, the photos and postings exposed to you here- at your Newtown Pentacle- are just found in situ. Often, I have no idea what I’m shooting- it just looks like something that might be interesting and I’ll investigate its possibly dire meaning back at Newtown pentacle HQ later on. Luckily, your humble narrator has always had an eye for that which doesn’t belong, my curse is always to notice everything. Meeting me has often been compared to a cross between a military inspection and appointment with a probing psychologist, an unpleasant experience by all accounts. This is mentioned, solely because I’ve lately been accused of self aggrandizing agenda and political intent, which is not the case. That which is presented here is observable by all but noticed or commented on by few. Always… an Outsider.

It’s what’s known as an “Ultra Low Emission GenSet locomotive”.

from cleantechnica.com

But the new diesel GenSet switcher locomotives can be cranked up as quickly as a truck engine, avoiding the need to leave engines idling for long periods of time, resulting in drastic reductions in pollution and fuel consumption. The GenSet achieves its impressive 80% reduction in nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions, in addition to approximately 50% CO2 savings capability by monitoring engine idling and switching to a sleep mode after a period of inactivity.

Under the hood of the GenSet are three 700 horsepower Cummins diesel engines. The engines run independently of each other and depending on the need of speed and amperage, 1, 2, or 3 of the engines will be used. When the need goes away, the third will shut down after one minute, after five the second will shut down, the third will go into sleep mode after 15 minutes.

CSX is only in the early stages of rolling out the $1.8 million locomotives, with a total of 9 GenSets in operation by 2009. The company plans to eventually replace the entire switching fleet with the low emission locomotives.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the actual declination of the ground down there, and the blue bridge observed represents the grade of the surrounding streets.

A cool set of photos of the GenSets by Michael Foley can be found here. And a great page at greenrailnews.com detailing the nitty gritty of the GenSet class can be had here.

from yournabe.com

The Oak Point Rail Yard, a major switching station for the Albany region of CSX, is located in Hunts Point.

The south Bronx, where the yard is located, has the highest rates of asthma of any community in America.

According to Congressman Jose Serrano, the creation of the GenSet locomotives help reduce emissions by requiring less fuel to transport freight than tractor-trailer trucks or even traditional locomotives with single, larger engines.

“I applaud the ongoing efforts of CSX Transportation to move freight through my district with a minimum amount of environmental impacts,” Serrano said. “The growing use of rail freight in the Bronx is already responsible for taking thousands of diesel trucks off the road each year. With this project, CSX is ensuring that its locomotive technology is not only cost effective and efficient but also earth friendly.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As commented on in the beginning of this post, the Bronx is unknown country to me. Having grown up in Brooklyn, lived in Manhattan and Queens, my travels have more often taken me to Long Island and Westchester than the Bronx. An intuition tells me that I’m going to have to look in on the place more often.

from csx.com

“Improving air quality and ensuring efficient movement of freight in our region do not need to be mutually exclusive,” said Joel P. Ettinger, Executive Director of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. “The technology that will power the new locomotives will reduce NOX and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions and in doing so, will bring us closer to reaching air quality improvement goals established in our Regional Transportation Plan. NYMTC is pleased to have been able to play a role in securing CMAQ funding for these new engines.”

CSXT’s introduction of the GenSet locomotives is part of an overall plan to reduce CO2 emissions associated with its operations by 8% per revenue ton mile by 2011. This commitment was made as part of its participation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Leaders Program, a voluntary program for businesses to inventory and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CSXT has invested more than $1 billion to upgrade its locomotive fleet with technology that reduces fuel consumption and air pollutant emissions. Through these efforts, the company has improved its fuel efficiency by approximately 80 percent since 1980. By the end of 2009, an additional 1,200 CSX locomotives will be upgraded to further reduce emissions and lower fuel consumption by nearly 10 million gallons. CSX has a long standing commitment to air quality and clean operations.

CSX Transportation Inc. is a principal operating company of CSX Corporation. CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company’s transportation network spans 21,000 miles with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river, and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at the company’s web site, www.csx.com.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Posted in Bronx

Tagged with , , , ,

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