My friend Chris runs a railfan video company, which provides a great excuse to sneak out and go railfanning, even just for a few hours. On this day, we decided to go scouting locations on the NEC in northeastern Maryland and Delaware.
Our day started at the Bush River bridge, where it was a beautiful fall day.
We then started moving north. The goal for the day wasn’t necessarily great pictures, but finding locations to go back to in the future. Our next stop was Oakington, a control point accessible behind a trailer park off Route 40.
I was watching out for Mr Leahey when an AEM 7 snuck up on me and I got this grab shot off.
We then drove on up Route 40, and then Old Philadelphia Road looking for other open areas.
As we drove through Perryville, we noticed there was an NS 64R oil train parked alongside the NEC waiting to go north. We didn’t really get to any great spots until Elkton, where some poking around found a track-level view off of “Muddy Lane”. This is behind the commercial area at the beginning of the I95 “Toll Cheat”.
Chris spotted an un-signed driveway right before we drove under the tracks. We looped around and pulled up it, just in time for the oil train to show up. There was no time to get out, and the light was bad even if we did, but this location definitely showed promise for a future morning eastbound.
We were only a little distance out from Newark so we headed up to the former “Chrysler” yard area. Chrysler used to be an automotive assembly and mixing facility, but the Great Recession killed it off. The University of Delaware bought the facility and is turning it into their STAR campus and hosting a Bloom Energy facility.
Even with the auto plant closed, the rail infrastructure has still proven helpful with the recent oil boom. It currently serves as a staging location for trains to and from the refineries in Delaware.
On the day we were there, the only staging that happened was a delay while NS 64R talked to the staff at the Reybold refinery to get permission into the plant. That delay, however, got them stopped long enough for us to get pictures.
While 64R was waiting for clearance, a pair of Amtrak trains with the new ACS64s. These were my first time catching them, and my first impression was of how weird the LED ditch lights were. I’m sure I’ll get used to their instant on, instant off, but it was odd at first.
We waited around for 64R to get moving for a while, but I had an appointment with cocktail hour back at home, so it was time to get going. We made one last stop at the other end of DAVIS, which is the far set of signal bridges in the photo above. It seems like a great spot to come back to, with a public road dead ending right at the signals.