Location: Peachtree Center Station, Atlanta, GA
Operator of Vehicle: MARTA
Date of Photo: October 8, 2015
Tomorrow evening, Atlanta will be at the center of most people’s attention in the United States (and around the world as well) when Super Bowl LII kicks off at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to draw attention to Atlanta’s transit system by sharing a MARTA photo for the photo of the month.
Although Atlanta’s heavy rail system is quite small considering the size of the metro Atlanta area and the amount of traffic congestion in and around the city, MARTA has proven itself to be quite capable when Atlanta has played host to large events. This is the third Super Bowl being played in Atlanta, and MARTA was critical in transporting spectators during the 1996 Summer Olympics. For the Olympic games, MARTA even oversaw an “add on system” of 1,400 buses loaned from other transit agencies to help ferry people to Olympic events. MARTA was even responsible for paying to fuel these extra buses! For this Super Bowl, MARTA is running continuous, 24-hour service from 4:00 AM on February 1st through 2:00 AM on February 5th, a total of 94 consecutive hours of service (the system usually shuts down overnight).
So whether you are rooting for Los Angeles or New England, don’t forget to root for the host city and its own transit system! After all, the 70,000 plus people lucky enough to score a ticket to the game wouldn’t be able to get there otherwise!
Location: Airport Station, Atlanta, GA
Operator of Vehicle: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
Date of Photo: October 9, 2016
Fifteen years passed between my first and second trips to Atlanta. The amount of time between visits two, three, and four has been significantly less than that. Although MARTA doesn’t come close to ranking towards the top of the transit systems I’ve ridden around the world, it definitely has one of the best train to plane connections out of transit systems anywhere. The station at the airport is incorporated in to the main terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world. This photo was taken on a rainy summer afternoon but I did not get exposed to the elements at any point while walking from the plane to the train upon my arrival. There aren’t many cities in the United States that can make this claim. What is your favorite train to plane connection?
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: Peachtree Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Operator of Vehicle: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
Date of Photo: October 8, 2015
As a result of Thursday night’s interstate highway collapse, MARTA is likely going to be getting a great deal of attention as the Atlanta area looks to cope for quite awhile without one of its main highways. Fortunately, MARTA should be up to the task. Its original rolling stock, the CQ310 cars, were originally built between 1979 and 1982 by the now defunct Société Franco-Belge company. They were rehabilitated between 2006 and 2009 by Alstom, a process that brought them up to date with a series of modern amenities but also made them operationally compatible with the newer Breda CQ312 cars. MARTA’s rolling stock reminds me a lot of its “cousins” in San Francisco and Washington. These three systems were constructed at about the same time and share a number of design features. Although MARTA is not nearly as large nor as well utilized as BART and the DC Metrorail, one can hope that it can prove its worth in the emergency situation that Atlanta is currently faced with.
For more photos of MARTA rolling stock, 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!