If this website had a tagline, it would have to address the fact that I have a never ending photo queue and a whole host of things I’d love to share here on the Travelogue if I had unlimited time to do so. The reality is that while running this website is a labor of love, it is a hobby, and real life has to take priority at times. Among the many reasons I’ve been posting less is that the Oren’s Transit Page has expanded to include “Mrs. Oren’s Transit Page.” While she is quite supportive of my hobby and even enjoys coming with me on my railfan excursions on occasion, I’d like to think that she appreciates the fact that I assisted with wedding planning and then showed up at the (transit accessible) wedding itself. However, over the course of wedding planning, I’ve still had plenty of chances to snap photos of transit and in the past few days, finally had a chance to organize and caption many of those photos. In fact, over 75 photos were added to various sections of the website in this update.
This update includes photos of several things that had not, to date, appeared on my website before now.
It didn’t get its own post aside from the October Photo of the Month, and it took me over 12 months from the time it opened until I actually rode it, but the are now photos of and a page dedicated to the DC Streetcar. If that isn’t new enough for you, my first photos of the WMATA New Flyer XN40s that entered service in 2016 are now online as well. I rode these vehicles for the first time back in July. If you want to feast your eyes on an even more recent addition to the DC area transit scene, Ride On Extra started one month ago and there are new photos of the BRT styled buses dedicated to this service on the Ride On 40 Foot Gillig Advantage Buses page.
As always, I make my perpetual promise to feature some of my favorite photos and the stories behind them in “The Viewfinder” in the near future. I hope to be able to follow through on that promise soon. In the meantime, enjoy the new additions and I hope to share other photos from my queue of uncaptioned photos in the near future.
Location: Kenmore Station, Boston, MA
Operator of Vehicle: Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority
Date of Photo: February 12, 2004
Today marks the 120th anniversary of the opening of America’s first subway line. It was on this date in 1897 that the first segment of the Tremont Street Subway opened in an attempt to reduce congestion caused by streetcars on the streets of Boston. The first segment was quite short, just running from Park Street to a now disused and sealed portal near Boylston Station. Over time, portals have been sealed and the subway has been extended, but trains have been using the original Tremont Street Subway continuously for all these years. The Green Line certainly isn’t my favorite transit experience in the world (or even in Boston to be honest, especially when in a rush to get somewhere), but despite the frustrations its passengers may experience, it is certainly quite unique and a very important piece of American transit history. Here’s to the next 120 years!
For more photos of the MBTA Green Line, please click here.
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.
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.
Location: Green Street Station, Boston, MA
Operator of Vehicle: Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority
Date of Photo: May 2, 2011
Boston’s Orange Line has been in the news recently, and those stories have reminded us all that this line continues to operate the oldest stock among Boston’s three heavy rail lines. The current Hawker-Siddley cars entered service and are very similar in their design to the now retired PA-3 cars, also built by Hawker-Siddley. In 2014, the MBTA announced that it signed a contract with CNR, a Chinese company, to build replacement cars for the Orange Line. The first of these replacement cars is scheduled to be delivered in 2018.
In the meantime, we can still enjoy riding these cars. They are very similar to the now retired Hawker-Siddley equipment that used to run on the MBTA Blue Line, though they only have third rail collector shoes and never had overhead pantographs like their Blue Line counterparts. They also are longer and wider than what ran on the Blue Line. However, they shared many mechanical components, and several Blue Line cars were saved so their shared parts could be used on the Orange Line fleet. Also, if you never had the chance to ride the Hawker-Siddley equipment on the Blue Line, the interior of the Orange Line fleet is very similar to what you missed on the Blue Line.
For more photos of the MBTA Orange Line, please click here.
Location: Massachusetts Avenue at Brattle Street, Boston, MA
Operator of Vehicle: Massachusetts Bay Area Transit Authority (MBTA)
Date of Photo: May 2, 2011
Since 1977, the “RTS” has been plying the streets for transit agencies across the United States. Perhaps, these buses are associated most with New York City, where they made up much of the bus fleet in the 1990s. However, they had a presence in lots of other cities, too, such as Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston. It is in the last of these cities that I took this photo back in 2011. Even five years ago, the RTS’s dominance in the Boston bus fleet was already considered to be a time that had passed. However, the RTS is not completely gone from the streets of Boston. Although the RTSs are being retired gradually, the last ones are expected to remain in service until sometime in 2018.
For more photos of MBTA’s RTS buses, please click here.
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.
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!