After learning that yesterday was the first day of regularly scheduled operations with the dual-mode ALP-45DPs into Penn Station because of catenary work on the Morristown Line this weekend I just had to go on a little trip to Secaucus Junction to get pictures of them there. Living at the GW Bridge to easiest way is by NJT Bus to Hackensack to a Pascack Valley Line train to MidTOWN DIRECT train into Penn Station.
I leave the house for my usual fast walk over the GWB to save $1.90 for the 12:20 Route 175 bus. A northbound NJT train comes as I walk over the bridge but I’m not directly aligned with the tracks for a photoI just make it since it is 2 minutes early at 12:18. I had the diver my $2.35 (the bus station would have been $4.25) and get my relatively short receipt realizing that the reason my HBLR transfers are so long is because their itemized, half the bus fare, half the actual transfer. This one, for a single trip is much shorter.
I realize I think I’ve gotten the bus route wrong when we turn north onto River Road instead of heading streight over the bridge into Hackensack. I backtrack a stop and walk over the bridge over the Hackensack river to Anderson St. I see a bus off in the distance ahead of me and realize it was the bus I was on. I don’t know the route well enough. The bus loops up to Route 4 to cross the river and avoid the Cedar Street bridge.
To make matters worse I get caught at a long traffic light and only get a side view of a Metro-North locomotive pulling NJT cars into the station at the Anderson Street–(9 Photos) Grade Crossing. I buy my $6.75 ticket to penn station from the one remaining TVM there were once two and wait in front of the tiny parking lot that was once a historic station house until it burned down.
At 12:57 my train comes in with 4 Comet Vs all NJT including the locomotive. The middle two cars are open for passengers and not that empty. I’m getting sick of the Comet Vs odd reversible, uncomfortable seats. We go down the middle of the street through Hackensack, no fences here to Essex Street yet and we stop in the middle of that grade crossing. We pass the industry of Teterboro following a stream and I see all the new fencing that requires everyone living in the actual homes on the otherside of the tracks to a walk a dangerous mile out of the way to now get to the station. It’s a strange to see a modern fence that looks hard to vandalize and climb since the rest of the Pascack Valley line has very few fences. A pedestrian grade crossing needs to be built here.
- 1:04 — we stop at Wood-Ridge and pass the Semans interlocking. We slowly keep going through Grade Crossings.
- 1:08 — joined by the new Meadowlands branch with two modern tracks forming a wye at the junction. We keep going through the meadows of the meadowlands.
- 1:09 — Pascack junction and the Bergen County line joins us. We get a better view of MetLife stadium and I wonder why the new Meadowlands Branch takes such a circuitous indirect route as we speed through the meadowlands.
- We cross over a swing bridge over the Hackensack and pass the hoses of Secaucus and switch off of the original tracks that took trains directly into Newark. Today we serve down new tracks to Main Line switching onto its single track bridge at Laurel.
We get to Secaucus at 1:17 and I go and photograph first my train leaving with a nice 40 year old GP40PH-2A pushing it out of the station. I then get an outbound Morristown Line train pulled by a Dual-Mode ALP-45DP in electric mode of course at 1:20. My train to New York is due at 1:25 and running 7 minutes late. It’s so late that the 1:32 train comes in from Long Branch. I notice two other railfans. This is followed by my M&E train 6922 led by a normal ALP-46 that isn’t a dual mode to my dismay so I guess the catenary work has ended. At least I got photos of one train at Secaucus
As we enter Penn Station I notice two work trains at the end of my Track 9 but nowhere near where we stop. I then continue about my day downtown, finding more R62As on the 2 train.