Friday, July 28, 2017

From the Archives: 1994 at CP West Portal!

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According to the book Hunterdon County Place Names, West Portal " probably the only place in the county to have had five names." Back in 1783 it was known as Jug Town. In later years it became known as Bethlehem (1843), to West End (1880), Ferndean (1888) to finally its current name of West Portal. During its existance CP West Portal (Lehigh Line MP 66.2) was one of my favorite locations along this line to photograph trains. There was no overhead wires to intrude upon a scene and the lush foliage, especially in the fall with Musconetcong Mountain taking on autumn hues, provided a nice backdrop to the scene.  In 1998 the tunnel’s west siding would be extended to Bloomsbury for a length of 12,500 feet with CP West Portal being relegated to the history books. Two photos from that location...
Close Clearance: A crew member of CR's TV-12, with forty TOFCs, checks clearances as it creeps by SPL-401 at 5 MPH on CR's LEHL at West Portal on March 6 1994. SPL-401 had battery problems on the high-and-wide dimensional car and was holding the siding until a new battery could be brought in. Bringing up the rear markers on SPL-401 would be a Westinghouse caboose. SPL-401 CR 7708 (GP38) would eventually become NS 2899. TV-12's 6779 (SD50) would eventually become CSX 2499.
D&H's 266 always provided a pleasant surprise with its power consist. In this May, 1994 scene D&H 266 is passing CP West Portal led by SOO 6030 (SD60) and a unidentified second diesel with a consist of TOFCs. Partly visble in the background is the I-78 overpass.