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West Portal
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Morning usually provides a run of westbounds and the light will often work well. Here we see R137 as it roars into the cut towards the summit.
Something common in western mountain railroading is mid-train helpers. In the east this practice is rare, so getting pictures of helpers cut into a train can be tough. Here we see a classic early CSX lashup from the Connellsville helper pool, cut into the middle of a huge 140+ car train. They will stay on until the train bottoms the grade at Hyndman, PA.
By the time this shot was taken, classic pre-CSX paint jobs were almost gone. This is westbound Q217 as it roars back into the morning sun from the dark confines of the long tunnel.
I only wish that I had started shooting with quality film and lenses earlier, so that I could have a better shot collection of my favorite pre-merger railroads. On a cloudy fall day, eastbound R 352, an over the road "Turd" freight, is about to enter the bore.

One of the reasons that the west portal is fun for watching trains, has nothing to do with your eyes... it is the sound. The large size and length of the tunnel makes great power sound when trains roar up the grade, and the massive cut causes fantastic reverberation of the sound for trains as they top the grade in either direction. At night the addition of the cool lighting effects makes this spot even better.


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Iron Horse America
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