lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)
It seems that a posting just appeared for a radio maintainer's position in Philly. :=S

I have re-applied for that position. I will have lost my seniority for the craft, but that is of no importance.

I'll find out tomorrow if I have a chance of going back, as I'll talk to my friend who is a manager.
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)

New Viewliner baggage car
by LionkingCMSL on deviantART
On my way past the coach yard at 30th St. Station today I noticed an odd looking baggage car. After looking at it for a bit I realized it was one of the new "Viewliner" baggage cars that were in the works. It is interesting to note that it has one of the older paint schemes and not the current one, which is shown on the bracketing Amfleet cars.

So in the near future all of the single level long distance trains will be solid blocks of "Viewliner" equipment.

I apologize for the quality of the photo, as it was misty this morning and I had only a short amount of time to take the photo from my truck.
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)

Group Potrait
by LionkingCMSL on deviantART

Here is Leo, the lion, Altaica, the half-size Siberian tigress, and my human self, with the old style Amtrak herald, which represents my employer. Personally, I do not like the new herald, often called the "broken wing", but is, in reality, a stylized rendering of two rails going through the countryside. It would be dang hard to do as a 3D model. :=/

Done with Poser Pro 2014 and the Amtrak herald was done in ProgeCad2014 Professional.

Human is a Poser 4 bundle part, as is his clothing. The big cats and background are from DAZ. The "pointless arrow" was done by me.

The blunt (pointless) arrow device is Copyright 1971 - 2014 National Railroad Passenger Corp. dba Amtrak.
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
have been acquired. ;=3

This time the route out is one I've been wanting to take for some time.
The routing is the Crescent from PHL to New Orleans. A night's lay over in the Crescent City then I take the Sunset Ltd. to Los Angeles,and finally the Coast Starlight up to San Jose.

The only other time I've done part of that route, from Philly to Houston, was in Feb. of 1983. 8=0
So, nearly 32 years later I'll do the Houston to Los Angeles portion of the route. :=3
The difference in the intervening years is now I'm an Amtrak employee; something I never even thought about becoming all those years ago.

While the tickets are all for coach, I'll be upgrading to a roomette during the year. The ticket agents are going to strangle me. :=3

BTW, yes, I have reserved a room, in the Hilton. :=3
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
This morning I noticed a line up of the four locomotives that we use on long distance trains out of Sunnyside Yard. I was able to take a photo. It is not the best as it is overcast and early moring. I had to "sharpen" the image and adjust the contrast and brightness.
Here is that image:

From left to right the locos are:
#710 - P32 AC-DM aka "Genesis" - These are dedicated units between Penn Station New York and Albany/Rensselaer.
#921 - AEM7 aka "Meatball" or "Toaster" - it will eventually be replaced by
#600 - ACS-64/Cities Sprinter aka "Angry Bird" - This is our newest "motor" it will first replace
#660 - HHP8 aka "Banana" - These are based off of the "Acela" power cars.

If you see any of the 700 series Genesis units outside of the Albany - New York City run better grab a photo, because it will be a rare occurrence. However I will note it is possible they may run as far as Fort Edward-Glen Falls, NY on occasion, though the timetable leaves enough time for an engine change at Albany/Rensselaer. This series are the only long distance diesels out of Sunnyside, though you may see a P40/P42 coupled behind it. If they are MUed the second unit is shut down, between "Empire" and SSY, as you cannot run the diesels through the tunnels or into PSNY. When running through the tunnels into PSNY and while there they operate off of 700 VDC third rail; the reason for the "DM" designation. The ability leads to some interesting situations, as the third rail has gaps at turnouts, which can be longer than the span of the collection shoes, so the HEP (Head End Power) shuts down and you lose all power in the train, except the emergency lighting which runs off of the car's batteries.
lionkingcmsl: (Trained lion)

by ~LionkingCMSL on deviantART

What I feel like doing, at times to my job and the city it is located: give it the shaft! :=/

I couldn't find a screw to use. :={

Poser Pro 2012 and Vue 11
lionkingcmsl: (Default)
First I finally got some claim forms from the RRB detailing when I was out of work. I will be hand delivering the complete forms to the local RRB office, in Philly, tomorrow. Assuming Amtrak doesn't try to block my claim I should have money by next week. :=3

And secondly, I always wondered how big a 16 car passenger train was in H-O scale. So here is a photo of the unpainted SJ&W's The Phantom.

H-O scale SJ and W's The Phantom
by *LionkingCMSL on deviantART

The length works out to about 19' 4" using the four EMD E units on the point, as pictured. If using ALCO's PA/PB series, you save about 4", so it works to be about an even 19'. Now you can see why I want a larger layout. :=3

For those that are curious here is the consist with model manufacturer and prototype road if required:
To spare those that don't care, the list is under here. :=3 )
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
I will be westbound and down.

I should be on train #5, the westbound California Zephyr headed to Emeryville, Ca and then onto San Jose. ;=3

I'll be three days in on the trip, as I am scheduled to leave Philly on the 7th. I get on the CZ, in Chicago, on the 8th. I will arrive in Cali on the 10th.

I know, I know: Why don't I fly? Well, being the carriage is free, I still have to pay for my meals, is a big thing. I also believe that if we at Amtrak want you, the general public, to ride us, we had better ride us too; and not just as a commute to work. Also the trip is more relaxing, I get to travel America at "see" level. I don't have the hassles at the airports and I don't have to worry about a Totally Stupid Agency employee asking me questions, searching, possibly breaking, and possibly stealing my stuff. No surcharges, no cramped seating, no sitting for hours with a seat belt on, and real food in a dining car. And finally, Amtrak employee or not, I am a passenger rail advocate and I better put my paws where my mouth is.

Yes, I blow my 2 week vacation in the beginning of the year, but I can't think of a better way to relax, Just let the miles of rail roll out from under the wheels of the train. I normally end up in a sleeper, so I can sleep when I want, go to the lounge car and enjoy myself there talking to people. No rush, rush, rush. Just a relaxing ride and I will be able to make phone calls, when a cell tower is in range, and use the laptop at any time.

Lastly, I need to get a generic passenger rail icon. ;=3
lionkingcmsl: (Angry)
Work has got me so aggravated and upset. :={

Yesterday my partner and I, at around 1p, noticed that some antennas were missing from their temporary location. Then at about 2:30p our supervisor calls him and asks him where he was. Raf told him he was sitting on the train and the supervisor then asks if Raf knew about the antennas being moved. Raf said no, he wasn't notified. Our supervisor then said it wasn't important and we'll handle it tomorrow, today.

We get in today and find the antennas had been moved back to their original locations and were mounted wrong. One of the things they did was to use cable ties to hold 20' tall station master antennas. 8=0

Well, we nearly hit the roof! Here the antennas were moved without us being told about it and they did it totally wrong! We had a meeting with the contractor to discuss how to fix said problems. They have to rebuild some scaffolding, as the upper antennas are 30' above a construction platform. Not our problem, but it is maddening.

Our manager said they tried to call us but we were already on the train. We explained that we were not told the gravity of the situation and were told to wait until tomorrow.

I also got chewed out for being on the train at 2p to go from Sunnyside Yard to Penn Station. Now wait a second, if they called at 2:30p and I was needed at PSNY and I was already there what is the problem? Otherwise they will have to wait until I drive or catch a deadhead move.

so now they want me to wait until 4 -4:30p before I can leave SSYD. I hope nothing serious happens in PSNY while I'm sitting in SSYD, because it'll take me a bit to get there.

There is an ongoing problem of people calling at the last second needing us to be around, when they know well in advance they might need us. Poor planning, or communication, on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!

Is it any reason I say radio is the forgotten department? It is forgotten until something breaks. :=/

BTW, that letter would be one of my resignation. :=/
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
south of D.C. tonight or tomorrow, forget about it!

The railroad is taking this storm very seriously!

Amtrak has already suspended some services south of D.C. tonight and the tentative plan for tomorrow is not looking too good.

Here is what is on the website about today:
Operating Plan for Hurricane Irene

Amtrak has implemented an operating plan in anticipation of Hurricane Irene’s landfall along the East Coast.
At this point, many trains operating south of Washington, D.C., have been cancelled from Friday through Sunday, and more cancellations are possible.

Here is a memo that was sent out about Saturday:


Grid based on current NEC schedules


Acela Express: 2253(27) cancelled NYP-WAS

Regional Svc: 159(27)-167(27)-169(27)-67(27)-192(27)-158(27)-182(27)-66(27) cancelled in entirety
163(27) cancelled NYP-PHL
135(27)-57(27)-165(27) cancelled NYP-WAS
67(26) and 99(27) cancelled WAS-NPN
194(27) cancelled NPN-WAS
195(27) and 87(27) cancelled WAS-RVR
147(27) cancelled WAS-LYH
168(27) cancelled NYP-BOS
146(27) cancelled NYP-SPG

Keystone: 671(27)-672(27)-610(27); 669(27) cancelled PHL-HAR; 670(27) cancelled PHL-NYP

Long-Haul Service: 89(27)-79(27)-19(27)-97(27)
98(27)-80(27)-90(27)-50(27)-30(27); 48/448(27) cancelled TOL-NYP/BOS
50(27) cancelled IND-NYP
91(27) cancelled NYP-JAX; 92(27) cancelled JAX-NYP

Vermonter: Due to ongoing trackwork trains 54/57 are cancelled between SAB and SPG,
with alternate transportation provided. Also note 57(27) cancelled NYP-WAS.

Empire Service: Status for 8/27 not finalized yet

Downeaster: Status for 8/27 not finalized yet

Piedmont Service: 73(27)-74(27)-75(27)-76(27) cancelled

ADDED STOPS: 669(27) - Add stops EWR, MET

So if you plan to travel by Amtrak in the next few days either check out the website: or call 1-800 USA RAIL ( 1-800-872-7245 ) for the most up to date info.
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
We were pulling into NYPS and about a train length from the platform when I hear a great big *WOOSH* of air and the brakes came on.

I told my fellow riders, "We just lost an air hose." When air hoses uncouple under pressure they make a very distinctive sound. The Assist. Conductor walked by and gave his opinion that someone pulled the emergency brake. Why someone would pull the brake, which is a federal offense if there is no emergency, made no sense.

We sat a bit and they then shut down the head end power, which meant people were on the ground looking at the train. The conductor then made the announcement that said, indeed, air hoses had parted on a crossover. I looked at my fellow travelers and said, "What did I say?"
They admitted I said it was an air hose. One guy said, "You know too much about trains." ;=3

Is it any wonder I created a poster for my office that reads: Train 110: It's not just a commute, it's an adventure. ;=3
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
Yesterday, May 5, 2011, I happened to see the New York Central's Hickory Creek and #43 on the tail end of a train.
The Hickory Creek is a round end observation for the 20th Century limited and the 43 is a tavern lounge car.
Both cars were restored by and are owned by the United Historical society of NJ.

A quick call to one of the managers of the cars confirmed that they were, indeed, headed out that day on train 19, The Crescent, to New Orleans. I arranged to meet him at the cars. I helped him stock the cars and did some errands with the result I got to ride them from the yard to Philly, an experience that is not to be missed.

For your viewing pleasure some video I shot with us leaving Penn Station New York and just west of Rahway, NJ.

Many thanks go out to Ray Claus for letting me ride these fabulous cars. ;=3
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
Here is a video of me explaining about doing photography around Amtrak. :=3

The horror, of seeing and hearing me. :=3

Done in my backyard, and yes I know I cut off the "CMSL" part of my name at the end. :=/
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
While at work, while waiting for a bucket truck to arrive, I decided to film some trains going by.

Here is an Acela roaring by at ~135 mph at County Interlocking.

Nice to be able to do some serious railfanning while working. :=3
lionkingcmsl: (LV578 in snow)
Here I am sitting just east/north of Linden, NJ waiting for power problems to clear.

We were an hour late getting out of Philly due to power problems outside of Princeton Jct., NJ. After we got moving we ran into signal problems. :={

Work knows of the situation, so being late is not the issue, but ice on the wire is. :=/

On the move now.
lionkingcmsl: (Default)
I know on Wednesday I caused a bit of drama and angst.

Sorry about that.

Anyway, yesterday I got some news that will make my life a bit easier.

It seems that on, or around, Dec. 15th the radio maintainer in Baltimore will be retiring. This means that the guy in Wilmington will be moving to the Baltimore shop, as he lives closer to Baltimore. In doing so that means I have the most seniority for the guys that would want to move to Wilmington. :=3

This is better as it will be only a one hour commute and I can sleep an hour later during the morning. It also means I will get home by 4:30p and will leave my evenings more free. It will also mean I won't be quite as tired during the weekends and maybe I can start working on my hobbies a bit more.

It also means that any time I have to go in for a problem it will be a 2 hour minimum day instead of the 8 hour day now.

I also have been reflecting on a few things. One of which is my health.

My health has been good, but I think me stressing out like I do cannot be too good for my heart. I mean I'm not a cub anymore. I'm also very surprised I don't have an ulcer the size of Detroit.
lionkingcmsl: (Angry)
To Whomever:

Why do you insist in canceling train 110? Many people, like myself use this train to get to work and waiting for 2150 or 170 makes us late.

Not only that 110 makes stops that 2150 and 170 do not; North Philadelphia and Cornwells Hgts., and it is the only convenient connection for train 63 to Montreal.

Saying that there are heat related problems the day before is not acceptable. This is no way to run a railroad. People depend on the advertised service and to keep canceling the train is a sure way to drive passengers away from the railroad.

A frustrated passenger: Me


Jun. 30th, 2010 01:02 pm
lionkingcmsl: Me at the controls (Geep)
I was just going through the old posts tagged "Amtrak" and read about the process of me getting the Amtrak job.

Well, it has been an interesting 4.5 years since then. With bouncing between Sunnyside and Philly, traveling the system for cons and my misadventure last January.

Things have settled into a routine, but that is to be expected. Like tomorrow we have to go Philly to go through fall protection training. As any railroader will tell you training is part of the job.

I've had my ups and downs since 9/22/05, when I first heard about the job. Though mostly it has been up.

I thank you all for supporting me in the difficult times and believing in me.

So I'll stay with Amtrak until I get my hotel started. :=3
lionkingcmsl: (LV578 in snow)
Well, it's really, really offical. :=3

Yesterday I got my Amtrak ID/pass. :=3

And to all, a Merry Christmas, or Happy (insert holiday of choice). :=3
lionkingcmsl: (Default)
Let me tell you 4a comes very early. 8=0
The rest of the day snipped to save space. )
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