Twin Cities Revisited!

When I went to visit Minneapolis and Saint Paul for the first time in 2014, I planned my visit around my favorite baseball team’s schedule as opposed to major events in the area’s public transit network.  Had I planned for the latter rather than the former, I would have not visited a mere month and a half before Metro Transit’s Green Line, a light rail line that connects Minneapolis and Saint Paul, opened.  This past April, I was back in the Twin Cities for another visit, and needless to say, I made a point of riding the Green Line from end to end.  I also got photographs, which you can now find here on Oren’s Transit Page.  

This update is almost entirely contained within the Minneapolis-Saint Paul section, with updates to the Metro Transit Light Rail, Metro Transit Buses, Plymouth Metrolink, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, and SouthWest Transit galleries (for those of you keeping track, that’s every existing page within that section).  There are also some new photos of Union Depot on the Amtrak Stations page.  Union Depot was restored and Amtrak service returned to this grand train station in downtown Saint Paul in 2014, so while the station was open during my last visit, it is now a multimodal transportation hub and certainly worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the Twin Cities.  

As always, time permitting, I look forward to highlighting some of my favorite photos from this update in future Travelogue posts.  

OTP Update: New section and lots of new photos!

After a tease on the Oren’s Transit Page Facebook page a few weeks ago, I have finally made it through my photo queue to add a slew of photos from all over the US to the website this morning.  Highlighting this update is the newest section of the website from Richmond, Virginia.  Richmond has a 175 unit bus fleet and is building a new bus rapid transit line and you can now see some of their current operations here on the website.  Richmond is also home to the Triple Crossing, the only known spot in North America where three Class I railroads cross each other at the same spot, and there is a photo on the Norfolk Southern page from that location.

If you wanted to travel by train from Richmond to other places featured on Oren’s Transit Page, Amtrak would be a great choice, and you can now see photos of the relatively recently restored Main Street Station in downtown Richmond on the Amtrak Stations page, as well as Amtrak’s Genesis P42 Locomotives serving the station.  New photos were also added to the Amtrak ACS-64 Locomotives and Acela Express pages.

Further along the Northeast Corridor, a number of Washington, DC area galleries got updates, too.  New photos of the DC Circulator, as well as WMATA’s now retired New Flyer C40LF buses were added to the respective galleries.  On the rail side of things in DC, there are new photos in the Rohr (1000 Series), Breda Rehab, and Kawasaki (7000 Series) galleries.  

Even further to the north, there are two new Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority bus photos in this update.  If you travel very far to the east, a single photo of an Israel Railways Bombardier trainset that was not included in the most recent update from Israel is now on the site.  

Despite my constantly telling myself there isn’t all that much in the photo queue, getting through it all always seems to take longer than I expect.  I have a number of interesting articles to profile on Oren’s Reading List, and also plan to share more commentary on some of my photos through the Viewfinder, including some of my favorite photos from this update.  In addition to adding new photos from a variety of sections, I also hope to have the New York section rebuilt sometime in the next 6 months.  But while you’re waiting on all the content to come, I do hope you enjoy the new content that was just added or revisiting the content that I’ve posted over the past 16+ years.  

 

OTP Updated with New Sections, New Photos!

Gillig Phantom 6031 on Bellefield Avenue at Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, November 27, 2015

Astute visitors to Oren’s Transit Page may have noticed that the July 2016 Bus Photo of the Month was from a city that had never been featured on this website before, nor had there been any announcement that a new section had been unveiled.  As is often the case, it took me a bit longer than I had hoped or planned, but I added a whole slew of new photos to Oren’s Transit Page last week and decided to feature one of the new photos as a photo of the month before the “public announcement” for the update.  Perhaps you discovered the new content via your own exploration, and perhaps not.  But either way, here is a fairly exhaustive (albeit not 100% complete) list of what got added in this update.

This update includes photos from two places I had never been before until recently.  The first new section is the Pittsburgh section.  I was in Pittsburgh for a few days in November of 2015 and while my transit riding was limited to a short jaunt on the light rail and a ride on the Duquesne Incline, I still got a decent number of photos of those modes and the local bus system’s colorful buses as well.  One of them was featured as the aforementioned Bus Photo of the Month for July.  I plan on using some upcoming “Viewfinder” features to share some of the stories behind the photos I took in the Steel City.

Orion VII 2010-06 on Paseo Gilberto Concepción De Gracia at the Covadonga Terminal, San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 21, 2016

The second new section isn’t just a new city but also marks the first time Oren’s Transit Page has photos from the Caribbean!  I was in Puerto Rico for a week in March and in addition to riding San Juan’s Tren Urbano, I also rode and got photos of the local bus system in San Juan, the Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses de Puerto Rico (AMA).

I spent about 48 hours in Amsterdam about a month ago, it was my first trip to the Netherlands since 2008.  Unlike my last trip, I didn’t travel to other cities in the country.  However, I still got plenty of photos of the various trams currently operating there, the new M5 Series cars on the Amsterdam Metro, and the city’s buses.  I also got some photos of Nederlandse Spoorwegen trains and the Thalys while on my way to and from the airport.

A number of pages within the Israel section are updated, with a handful of brand new additions in this part of the website, too.  You can find photos of the new MAN NL-323F and MAN NG-363F 5 door articulated buses in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.  There are also new photos of Afikim, Metropoline and Kavim buses in the Tel Aviv area, and Egged intercity buses from throughout the country.  Of course, no update to the Israel section would be complete without an update to the Jerusalem Light Rail gallery, and a number of light rail photos from this update are also planned for upcoming Viewfinder features.  Last but certainly not least, there are also updates to the Israel Railways galleries.

Type 12G 819 on Damrak, Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 31, 2016

In an ongoing effort to make Oren’s Transit Page as accurate as possible, all references to WMATA’s New Flyer DE42LFA and DE62LFA buses have been updated to call these buses New Flyer DE40LFA and DE60LFA buses, respectively.  This is in order to have the captions on this site match the builder’s plates on board the buses. (It is acknowledged that other websites and internet sources refer to these buses by the former designations, and it is unlikely that the entire internet will coalesce around a single designation anytime soon.)  Additionally, some photos of MAN intracity buses in the Israel section that had been referred to as NL-313s have been corrected to be NL-323Fs for while the differences between these models are slight, they are different models and should be noted accordingly.

As I mentioned several times, I am planning to feature the stories behind a number of photos from this update in addition to older photos from throughout Oren’s Transit Page here on the Travelogue as part of the Viewfinder series.  In addition, I have several system reviews planned of cities I have been to recently.  Needless to say, you should be sure to check back for all that and more!  If you’re a fan of Oren’s Transit Page on Facebook, you’ll get site updates right in your news feed, so be sure to click “like” if that interests you!

10 New DC Area Photos Added

Last night, a handful of photos were added from the DC area to the WMATA Metrorail 6000 Series, WMATA Metrobus New Flyer DE42LFA Buses, WMATA Metrobus New Flyer DE60LFA Buses, WMATA Metrobus New Flyer XDE40 Buses, and WMATA 1997 Orion V Buses galleries.  In addition, there is a new photo in the Amtrak AEM-7 locomotive gallery.

New Arrivals

Over the course of redesigning Oren’s Transit Page, I was also continuing to travel, take photos, and add them in to the queue to be included in the redesigned website once it launched.  Now that the redesigned website is here, keep reading to find out what new material was added in conjunction with the redesign.  This isn’t an exhaustive list but rather just the “highlights”, there is plenty of new content scattered around the whole site.

NABI 60-BRT 9574 on Main Street at Aliso Street
Los Angeles, CA
July 11, 2014

Starting off in the United States, I traveled to a number of places for the first time in my life in 2014.  I made a Midwest swing in May 2014 that resulted in the creation of sections for Minneapolis-St. Paul (just prior to the Green Line opening) and Kansas City.  After that, in July 2014, I did some long distance Amtrak travel (with some flights in between) and visited Los Angeles and San Diego for the first time.  Also on this trip were stops in Denver (in time for the soft reopening of Denver’s Union Station), Chicago, and San Francisco.  I had passed through Denver before but I had never used or photographed its mass transit prior to that summer.  The stops in Chicago and San Francisco were my first in each city since 2007 and were quite brief, but there are new photos in those sections as well, including my first photos of the CTA 5000 Series cars.

The Washington, DC section now includes photos of some of the newer buses to ply the region’s streets, such as WMATA’s New Flyer XDE40 buses and Ride On’s Gillig Advantage/CNG buses.  On the rail side of things, there is now a gallery for photos of the new WMATA 7000 Series railcars, manufactured by Kawasaki.

PCC 3263 at Capen Street
Milton, MA
May 2, 2011

I last traveled to Philadelphia in 2012 and was able to get a last round of Silverliner II and Silverliner III photos, in addition to my first Silverliner V photos.  I made two trips to Boston, one in 2011 and the other in 2013.  On the 2011 trip, I rode the southern end of the Orange Line for the first time, and both trips included a number of trips on the Green Line and Red Line.  I also was able to get photos from along the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line right of way and of various MBTA buses, including the trackless trolleys, in Cambridge.  Finally, for the first time since Oren’s Transit Page’s initial launch over 15 years ago, there are new photos in the Atlanta section.

There are also new photos from New York City, but due to the immense size of that section, it was decided to leave it “as is” in the old format and add the new photos to the Uncaptioned Photos gallery for now.  The New York section will be updated with the new design as soon as possible.

North of the border, there is a new section for photos from Niagara Falls, Ontario.  My only trip to South America to date was in 2010 so there isn’t anything new in the Brazil and Argentina sections (while Buenos Aires is on my bucket list, I haven’t found the occasion to get myself down there just yet).

Crossing the ocean to Europe, I visited both Hungary and Portugal for the first time.  My stop in Budapest was a layover between flights in 2011 that was measured in hours rather than days, but it was enough time to photograph some of the city’s trams, buses, and trolleybuses and whet my appetite for another trip there that will be longer 13 hours. I spent almost a full week in Lisbon, a city that shares many similarities to San Francisco including the fact that its trams are a tourist attraction in and of themselves, and visited continental Europe’s westernmost bus stop for good measure.

Bombardier Flexity Outlook “Cityrunner” 3069 at Place Royale
Brussels, Belgium
November 21, 2013

In 2008, I unexpectedly found myself with 90 minutes in Brussels due to a missed train connection, which was just enough time to get some transit photos before the next train to my destination came.  In 2013, I was in Brussels yet again, this time for a full 8 hours between flights, so that section has seen some additional expansion including a new gallery for photos of the Belgian National Railway.

Finally, in the Middle East, the Israel section has expanded further and to my knowledge, Oren’s Transit Page’s Israel section is the largest of its kind on any English language website.  The Jerusalem Light Rail opened to passengers just after I began the long process of overhauling the website, so many photos of revenue service along the length of the entire line are now included on the site.  The Metronit bus rapid transit system in the Haifa region opened in 2014, and there are also photos of that.  In addition, there are many new photos of the many bus operators that operate throughout the entire length of the country.

I hope you enjoy exploring the site, whether you choose to browse the new sections, old sections, or a mix of both!  And if you have a favorite section, let everyone know what it is in the comment section below!

 

What is The Travelogue?

“Eurostar” Class 373 Power Car 3002 at London St. Pancras
May 18, 2008

Today’s launch of the redesigned Oren’s Transit Page also marks the debut of a new section within the website.  The Travelogue will serve as a space for me to create additional content to share with you, the site visitor, beyond my photos and the basic captions that accompany them.  All posts to The Travelogue will also be cross-posted to the new Oren’s Transit Page Facebook page, so if you are a fan of the page and typically catch up on what’s going on in your world via your news feed, you’ll also know when there is something to read in this space.

I expect The Travelogue to evolve over time, based on how much time I have to devote to writing for it and based on the feedback I get from readers such as yourself.  My initial goal is to have one to two posts each week.  Content will likely fall in to the following categories:

  • The Viewfinder:  Since its inception, Oren’s Transit Page has generally just captioned each photo with the train or bus model type, its identification number, the location of the photo, and the date the photo was taken.  This feature will try to tell some of the stories behind the photos, such as why I chased down that specific vehicle, why I chose to take pictures at a given location, or how a photo resulted from more spontaneous circumstances.   It will also highlight significant dates in transit history and other related events of interest.
  • Photos of the Month:  For many years on the old site design, I featured one rail photo and one bus photo on the home page each month.  That feature will continue here on The Travelogue on the first two days of each month with the goal of highlighting not only the selected photos themselves, but also the rest of the photos of that vehicle type.
  • System and Equipment Reviews:  When I travel, I usually make a point to take a ride or two on a given city’s transit system to get a sense of how that system functions in addition to taking photos for this website.  In these reviews, I’ll offer my thoughts on my experience ranging from a transit system as a whole to a specific type of equipment such as the new 7000 Series Metrorail cars in Washington, DC.
  • Oren’s Reading List:  When I come across articles, YouTube clips, or other content that I think might be of interest to and worth sharing with a wider audience, I’ll share it here so you can see it as well.
  • Site Updates:  When new content is added to the website, you’ll know about it by reading The Travelogue.  (The previous update e-mail list will not be used going forward.)
  • Other topics of interest may not fall in to the categories outlined above, but that doesn’t mean I won’t write about them.  For example, in the near future, I plan to write some about the different types of photos that I take (even if the photo at the top of this post appears to be quite simple, its composition is quite purposeful) and what to expect when you take a long-distance Amtrak trip, as these are things I get asked with some regularity and might as well share the answers widely.

All of these post types will permit user comments, and everyone is encouraged to leave feedback on each post and discuss the topics at hand.  In addition, if you have ideas for things that ought to be posted on The Travelogue, feel free to share them with me!

It is also important to note what The Travelogue will not be (at least as of now).  It will not be a place for opinionated commentary about transportation or urban planning issues in general.  It also will not be a place where news and links are posted on a regular basis or where you can find out that agency XYZ is changing routes 1, 2, and 3 next Sunday.  There are plenty of other places on the internet where you can find the former, and you can probably find the latter by browsing through the list of official transit agency websites that I have compiled for each agency displayed on Oren’s Transit Page.

The idea of creating a space to share more than just the photos themselves came up frequently as I was working to redesign my website.  I hope that the additional content that will appear here on The Travelogue satisfies that request and creates a space for some two way interaction between us.

Welcome aboard…again!

WMATA Breda Rehab 3176 at McLean
McLean, VA
January 20, 2015

After over four years of not adding content to Oren’s Transit Page, I’m excited to welcome everyone to check out not only what has been sitting in my photo queue for all these years, but also my redesigned website!  I hope you like the changes and new features.

I originally launched Oren’s Transit Page in September of 2000.  I had learned some basic HTML and scanned about 200 photos that I had taken from my travels to that point.  Over the years, the site grew to include several thousand photos, but little changed on the backend, and everything remained coded by hand each time there was an update.  I was always more interested in adding new content than rebuilding the interface to bring it up to modern standards.  I was also being hosted on a server that did not support PHP.  However, eventually, things reached the point where an overhaul was needed, and my host had moved me to a PHP compatible server.

The site now runs on WordPress and a variety of “plugins” that developers have created.  Perhaps most notably, NextGen Gallery is now being used to organize and manage all the various different photo galleries.  The move to WordPress will also allow me to upload content faster than before, as photos can come straight off my camera and be uploaded minutes later to the Uncaptioned & Unsorted Photo Gallery.  This gallery is a “holding area” that will allow you to peruse and see photos that have yet to receive captions or be filed in to the appropriate gallery within the site.  I’ll share some of the details about what the new content includes tomorrow.

It was also suggested to me that I create a space to tell some of the stories behind the photos, in addition to the simple captions that appeared on the old version of the site.  This is the purpose of “The Travelogue”, the section you are reading right now.  The Travelogue will also be used to host other features, which will be explained further in a separate post later on today.  You are able to comment on posts to The Travelogue, creating a place where you, the site visitor, can interact with the content that I am sharing on the Internet for everyone to see.

Finally, Oren’s Transit Page now as a Facebook page that you are invited to “like” if you are a Facebook user.  The Facebook page will have links to the content that appears on The Travelogue and other site information that will be delivered straight to your Facebook news feed.  There will also be a special Facebook Page only feature called “Foto Friday”, where I will share some of my non-transit photography that was featured in the “Skyline Terminal” on the old website design.

As is the case with all projects of this nature, there may be some bugs in the website coding or choices I made in the design phase are not as pleasing to your eyes as they were to mine.  Please contact me if you have any suggestions, comments, complaints, or questions.

It’s good to be back.  All aboard!