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Sunday, May 22, 2011

11-05-22 PHOTOS: Georgia Sidings

I'm sorry I have been presenting so many pics from rural Georgia, but I won't turn down an opportunity to visit a friend if it means being able to take Amtrak ;-) Hopefully next year I'll be able to take a trip into Atlanta including a MARTA ride. Anyway nothing to special here except some wonderful May photos of freight trains on the CSX Abbeville Sub and a new more night shots of the Amtrak Station in Gainesville.

If you are a glutton for signal photos you can review the entire set here which provides additional of both ends of the Seaboard Coast Line signaled Harper siding and the new interlocking built to serve the Pilgrims Pride plant in Athens.

We begin with a video as poor CSX SD40-2 #8137 struggles on its own up the grade with 41 autoracks and a turbo that is clearly on its last legs. Talk about the little engine that could compared to todays big 4400hp road monsters.

This is more like it. Here we see C44-10W #5468 with two helpers heading north with a mixed freight at the MP511 automatic.

That help includes CSX #5939, a B40-8, the most powerful 4 axle road freight engine produced in North America.

 Here we see CSX SD40-2 #8805 about ready to knock down the Clear signal at the MP 511 automatic with another mixed freight train.

#8805 is being assisted by sister SD40-2 #8335.

Here we see the brand new dwarf signal for movements off the siding track at the new Pilgrims Pride interlocking, 800 feet south of the south end of the Fowler Junction siding. This signal is in the G/Y/R/L stack configuration which indicates the switch is good for slow speed (15mph) movements only. Under the more efficient NORAC system this signal would only need 3 heads and would also be able to handle Medium speed movements. 

The Abbeville Sub used to operate under train orders with a single main track with sidings. Meets with opposing trains were scheduled (or arranged via Train Order) at sidings such as this one at Harper. In the 1970's or 1980's this line was upgraded to CTC operation and crews no longer had to keep track of meeting points or line the switches at the entrance and exit of sidings. Harper is a "Signaled Siding" that allows trains to pull off on an indication better than Restricting. The siding at Fowler Junction is a "Controlled Siding", ie entrance and exit is dispatcher controlled, but the track is worked under Restricted speed rules. Since the original CTC project the code line was replaced by the ACTS digital radio system as evidenced by the tall antenna.

It's nighttime back at the Gainesville Amtrak station. Hanging out on the engine ready tracks for the local freight yard is NS SD40-2 #3437.

Also on hand was SD40-2 #6128.

Across Industrial Way in another yard is Southern high hood GP38-2 #5203 and two ex-BNSF lease SD40-2s.

Well I'll go out the way I started with a video. Here Amtrak P42DC's #53 and 14 come screaming to a halt with the northbound Train 20, whistling for the crossings on either side of the station.

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