Monday, September 4, 2017

Railfanning: Lancaster Station

Heading north from Strasburg I made a quick stop at Lancaster train station in Lancaster, PA.  Built by the Pennsvlania railroad in 1929, back in the days when even the most remote stations wee built to be impressive.

The station underwent a major restoration, completed in 2013.   The inside of the station looks amazing, while the platforms are a mix of nostalgia and needing a bit of TLC.

Building exterior. 

Renovated lobby
Past the doors is an over-track waiting room

The way up
Stairs from the waiting room to the platform

Waiting Area
Older style platform shelter

Rivets and lattice steel.    Definitely the original shelter

It looks like the station used to have at least 8 tracks through it - almost hard to imagine a smaller city having this large a station.    The station is now down to 4 tracks - two for passenger service and 2 for freight service.

Tracks heading West.  You can see the empty space where additional tracks once were.  Also notice fencing has reduced the length of the platforms - smaller trains stopping here these days. While the right (Passenger side) is open, the left side (off camera) has a fence keeping passengers away from the freight bypass (can see more in photos below)

Shot of the above track waiting room and stairs to the platforms.
Elevators have been added opposite the stairs (brick work behind the cab car)
Oh, and the Philadelphia bound train arrives.

I was there on a Saturday morning, and there wasn't much freight action.  Just saw two freight trains in my hour there.

This train never came through the station - just backed to the switch and went back East

This train did come through on the bypass track

This young lady didn't appreciate the noise

Train?   What train? This woman barely noticed

The only predictable traffic are the Philadelphia-Harrisburg trains - Amtrak's keystone service.  If you have the Amtrak smartphone app you can tell when the next train in either direction will arrive.

Westbound Keystone train departs Lancaster station

I had no problem taking photographs in the station, and was able to get to the platform without needing a ticket.  So as long as you are responsible, you should have no problem taking photographs at the station.

Video of the freight passing through the station

Happy railfanning!!   Please add a comment if you get to or have been to Lancaster station


See more photographs on my Flickr pages.

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