NS #12R and #214 5-14-17


Another stressful start to the delightful hobby of railfanning. Just as I got on I-66 heading west, I heard NS 12R call the signal at Powell Junction in Manassas. Frustrating, as I wasn't going to be trackside for another 15-some minutes. While I initially considered running all the way to Delaplane, I decided to take my chances getting off at the Haymarket exit. While I considered stopping at the crossing on Route 55, but I saw no safe place to park OR stand. So, I trekked a little further to the hiking trail parking lot at Broad Run. Planted my camcorder tripod with about 3 minutes to spare! Surprisingly, there was enough wind to knock over said tripod halfway through the train going by, hence the cut in the footage.

Not long after 12R passed, I could hear 214 approaching the crew change point at Bristow. I really wanted a shot at the crossing at Route 55, but there really wasn't anywhere to stand that wouldn't be dangerous. Thankfully, the nearby Thoroughfare Road had much less traffic AND a better place to stand! While I was waiting, a local paused to ask why I was sitting in my car by the side of the road. When I replied that I was waiting for a train, he was happy to tell me about the many steam excursions he saw pass in the 80s, always running down to the crossing when he heard them whistling through Gainesville. Before he continued on his way, we both agreed what a shame it was that those days are gone. Shortly after, I heard 214 call the signal at Gainesville, and set up up my shot. I managed to frame a very satisfying shot of the train rolling through the curve, and opted to cut the footage in half again by panning to the opposite view.

Though I wanted to wait around for 35Q which had entered the B-Line after 214 passed me, other commitments pulled me away from trackside. Thanks for reading, please enjoy the pictures and video!