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CSX at Bear Mountain

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One of the most Scenic places to railfan in Northeast in along the Hudson River and in the Hudson valley. The Bear Mountain bridge which crosses from New York to New Jersey is a great place to shoot trains coming up and going down the river.


There is no quieter time on the river than in the early morning. The river seems to flow towards the Atlantic Ocean in total silence, this view is from the north walkway of the bridge looking north up the Hudson River towards Albany.

The river which can get to almost a mile in width provides a great transportation way for not only boats but planes and helicopters as well. The tracks directly in back of the Helicopter is the former New York Central passenger main line from New York to Albany, it once carried the pride of the Railroad such as the Empire State Express. Today, the tracks are still in use by Metro North and Amtrak although the traffic level is not what it once was.

The wide spaces of the river valley allows for trains to be seen far in the distance. Here, a northbound CSX auto rack train is crossing the trestle off of Iona Island.

The train continues its progress up the river, this time hugging the cliffs before passing under the bridge. The park that the train has just passed through used to house ferry boats that made runs to New York City.

The train is passing through the shadows and across one of the other famous trestles in the area. The bridge in the background is the Route 9 roadway that heads through Harriman State park near-by. The train today is led by two CSX C40-8W's, the first being an ex-Conrail unit and having been renumbered.

CSX's river line is single tracked for the most of the way with a few sidings at different points to hold trains, thus waiting for a train can be tedious but rewarding because if one train is seen there is probably a group right behind it. Southbound CSX train Q684 is led by CSX's locomotive of choice in its early years in the EMD SD40-2's. The train has 4 of the 3,000 horsepower units in three different paint schemes, the last unit is an ex-Conrail which has been renumbered. When Q684 passed the defect detector at Stony Point, the train was going 41 MPH and had 424 axles.

Following right behind Q684 was another Q-train, this one being Q615. The first unit on the train happened to be one of CSX's brand new CW60AC units, here it is peaking out of some rocks after exiting Fort Montgomery tunnel.

The train continued down river and out of the small cut that is between the tunnel and this trestle. This Q-train was almost all TOFC and double stack cars, making it light work for the two big 6,000 horsepower locomotives. The locomotives wear another example of CSX's bright future paint scheme, one of the many variations that emerged through out the 1990's when it was main CSX paint job.

Q615 continues down the river and onto the trestle that leads to Iona Island and milepost 41 which is at the center of the island. With any luck the CW60AC's will have the train in Oak Island yard and a re-crew will be getting on in a matter of hours, when the train passed the Stony Point detector it was going 29 MPH and had 304 axles.

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Railfanning in the Northeast