Thursday, April 29, 2010

Operation Lifesaver - Preventing Injury and Death at Railroad Crossings

Norfolk Southern Railroad hosted an Operation Lifesaver train on April 28th. The route was from Sterling Yard (17 Mile Rd) to Monroe, MI.

The line traveled over old Michigan Central tracks and traverse most of the industrial corridors of Southeast Michigan. The two passenger coaches were outfitted with televisions with CCTV connection to a camera on head end power (HEP) a NS GP-38-2 locomotive painted in the Operation Lifesaver livery.

Sterling Hts. PD at 16 Mile Service Drive

The purpose of the train was enforcement at grade crossings and to show the passengers the view that the engine crew have. They deal with drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on a daily basis who take an unnecessary risk of trying to beat a train. With that in mind, law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions were aboard the train (in the cab of the locomotive) to watch for cars going around gates then to relay them to police cars waiting to stop and ticket them.
North Yard Office
The "horse" that pulled us
While all this played out we watched out the windows, at the TV screens, and conversed with the diverse people on the train from many agencies and businesses. From the Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Defense (myself), Michigan State Police, Mayor of Sterling Hts and many other railroad employees and safety officials we all had an enjoyable experience on board the Operation Lifesaver train.

Stopping at River Rouge Yard

The day ended at around 3 p.m. at Sterling Yard where we departed to our homes, business, etc. I will take the time to thank Norfolk Southern RR, Operation Lifesaver, and everyone else who put this together on that day.
The NS GP-38-2 that has the camera right between the two ditch lights.

As I told one of my fellow riders on the train, I rather educate a person on respecting the railroad grade crossing lights and making the simple choice of Stop, Look and Live than to cut them from a twisted piece of steel and work hard to save their life. It is much easier to tell someone how they can save their own life by obeying the signals, signs, and other warning devices than to cut them from their own bad choice.

Dan Meinhard

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Fistful of Scans

Well maybe not a fistful, but these select images I scanned today while uploading some photos for print.
My Dad had hand written on the slide the following comments in the black bordered area. This is the Landing Safety Officer (LSO) who guided the aircraft in to land on the carrier. He is showing "high" for the pilot of the approaching aircraft.

This image has always been one of my personal favorites. It was taken on the fantail of CVE 115 USS Bairoko. These are the 40mm anti-aircraft guns. By the time of the jet age, these were ineffective and removed from most ships after the Korean War.

This slide was in a different slide carrier and my be my Father landing this TBM 3E Avenger. What a beautiful looking aircraft in 1951.

 Detroit 1952 and the railroad ferry yards. Near the right side of where the Ambassador Bridge comes on shore, the Fort Street Roundhouse can barely be seen. Note the railroad ferries docked along the shoreline.

It is highly likely I may create a blog or webpage for my Dad's Korean War images. Book in the works too.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Amtrak International- a Revisit of Images

Amtrak's train, The International, was canceled from service and replaced with the Blue Water in April of 2004. The International suffered from US and Canadian Customs delays and freight traffic though the St. Clair River Tunnel. On April 23, 2004 the last train departed from Port Huron. Here are a few selected images from film and digital of The International that I took over the years.
The International speeding west of Goodells, MI in Sept. 2000.
A cold January morning and snow greet The International as it comes up out of the St. Clair River Tunnel.
The Amtrak station at Port Huron, Mi.
Just a few riders on this damp morning.
A wet trip to Chicago ahead.
Some front end damage, a car train collision perhaps?
Cold and Snow.
A CN freight train derailment detours the International on the GTW Mt. Clemens Subdivision, a very rare sight indeed!
Another tunnel punch into the snow on the American side.

The International is long gone, but the Blue Water has seen better ridership with a 6 am departure from Port Huron and 12 pm arrival in Chicago (+ / - delays). Round trip fares are around $70, far cheaper than the $200 dollars from Flint International Airport!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Abstract Editing

 An unedited image of the top edit at Durand Union Station.

All of these images were cropped from the original images. You can get a different feel or effect on the image by removing areas.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Storms Roll In

Michigan has some weird weather extremes and April is a month of change in this state. The last few days have been warmer than the norm and severe weather paid us a visit this at around 1240 p.m.

Most of the hail was around 1.25" with some around 1.75" or golf ball size. Note the large spiked on I placed on the post. It was interesting to watch the hail come in and all the birds flying out ahead of the hail storm. A few birds could be seen dropping out of the sky after being hit by the hail. By far this was one of the largest hailstorms I have been in many years.

Damage to my truck was limited to a small star on the windshield glass and only a few notable dents to the hood. Some cars in the parking lot had more obvious dents to them.