So every 6 months I travel down to Georgia by train to visit a friend and to get to Georgia I take Amtrak's Train 79, the Carolinian and then change to Train 19, the Crescent, in Greensboro, NC. For the last three years I have had notorious bad luck with weather when taking this train as I am always presented with overcast skies that render photos taken through the double set of windows at the back of an Amfleet dark and grainy.
Well it seemed that the 5th time was the charm when last May I was presented with generally clear sunny weather along the route of the Carolinian with the exception of isolated T-Storms in the Richmond area. Unfortunately the old trope of be careful what you wish for raised its ugly head because instead of dark and grainy photos I suddenly had to deal with catastrophic color correction problems which were compounded by the fact I was using a new camera, whose tint and color properties I was still somewhat unfamiliar with. Well, at least the grain issues were largely ameliorated.
On the plus side CSX has already caused so much damage to the line that I wasn't missing much on the RF&P and Richmond Belt Line. On the minus side it appears that they are gearing up to do more damage to the A-Line between Petersburg and Rocky Mount, even thought that section was previously re-signaled in the 1980's.
You can see the entire photo set here and hopefully I'll get another bite at the apple some October.
We begin on Amtrak Train 79 as it approached Washington Union Station on the NEC. Passing the Ivy City yard some of the brand new VRE diesels can be seen including #V63, V58 and V50, which I caught several years ago on delivery.
Passing the 'K' bright I caught Amtrak P42 #130 heading back to the yard.
Pulling into the lower level tracks at WAS my train passed an outbound MARC solid bi-level trainset hauled by an HHP-8 and with cab car #7850 on the rear.
MARC HHP-8 #4915 was also hanging out next to K-TOWER.
A lineup of spare P42's for power changes sat on the ready track down on the WAS lower level including #65.
AEM-7 #942 on the front of a northbound Regional.
Side view of the cab on new MARC MP36PH-3C #30.
Down on the RF&P I passed the CSX office car train returning from the Kentucky Derby with two extra private cars on the rear.
This was also my first time across the new bridge a Possum Point.
CSX AC4400 #25x on the head of a long coal train at Arkendale.
Passing the northbound Amtrak Train 94 next to a rail grinder on the dump siding just south of the re-signaled HAMILTON interlocking.
Unfortunately the last interlocking on the RF&P with pneumatic point machines was going going gone. Northbound view of SOUTH MILFORD with a Clear signal indication on the reverse direction dwarf signal. The RF&P used non-standard dwarf signal indications with G/R being Clear instead of the G/G used under both Seaboard and NORAC.
The Clear indication was for a trip of CSX units hauling a long intermodal train.
As expected the bracket mast at NORTH DOSWELL was also not long for this world.
Palindrome ES44 unit #5335 waiting for us to cross head of it at DOSWELL. Yes in fact we did perform a leapfrog maneuver between NORTH DOSWELL and DOSWELL. For some reason the dispatcher was running the RF&P in reverse today.
SD70ACe #4831 on the front of a tank car train at Hunton.
Shortly after departing Richmond my train entered a rail squall, but not to be defeated by mother nature I switched to video to document the line between FA interlocking south of Richmond and Collier Yard, which were re-signaled the previous year.
I was wondering where the juice trains were. Here the northbound shows up approaching TREGO interlocking.
The return juice train wasn't far down the line at Wheldon with ES44 #5212 and a cut of intermodal containers on the head end.
Hanging out at Battleboro was AC4400CWH #5114.
And a ballast cleaning train it was probably associated with.
Probably due to stimulus money CSX is now re-signaling its non-life expired signaling on the A-Line, this time in the vicinity of the Rocky Mount yard.
Geep set doing some flat switching in the yard with GP40-2 #6492.
C40-9W #9051 was caught chugging southbound at Rocky Mount yard.
Busy time at YD interlocking.
#6901, a GP40-2, paired with a GP30 road slug south of Wilson on local freight duty.
AC4400CWH #547 and friend on the head of a train waiting at Contentnea interlocking.
Classic Seaboard signals at NORTH SELMA interlocking, shortly before T79 turns off onto the H-Line to Greensboro and beyond.
Amtrak P42 #198 on the head of my train at Greensboro.
Amtrak P42 #198 departing Greensboro.
Amtrak Train 19 arriving Greensboro at midnight with P42DC's #39 and #12.
The long days had already kicked in allowing this daylight shot of Train 19 departing Gainesville, GA taking the Approach Diverging signal on the former Southern main line.
Well that's all for this southbound trip to Georgia. Tune in next time for a rather delayed trip back up north.