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Most Beautiful Train on the Planet | by Images by A.J.
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Most Beautiful Train on the Planet

My alarm clock buzzed at 3:00 AM and I arrived at the Cassandra Overlook a few minutes after 6:00 AM. Rumor had the fabled Office Car Special departing Altoona for points west at around 6:30 AM, and I wanted to be in position to catch this beautiful classic train in one of the most scenic places along the Pittsburgh Line (plus, I entertained thoughts of racing ahead to catch it again crossing the Ohio Connecting Bridge in Pittsburgh later that morning). 7:00 AM came and went. Then 8:00 AM, then 10:00 AM. One must be patient to be a railfan. Many thanks to fellow Flickr railfan, Adam (aka BLE 904), for keeping me updated by text messages on the train's status. Seems some mechanical issues kept it in Altoona, its departure iffy. Trains came and went. Rains came and stayed. Morning turned to afternoon. The day started to fade. Things were looking bleak for the OCS. But, my wait was worth it. At about 6:40 PM, more than 12 hours after I arrived at Cassandra, the OCS rounded Moshannon Curve, gliding fast down the West Slope on Track 2 in light rain.

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Taken on April 21, 2012