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Monday, October 29, 2012

12-10-29 PHOTOS: Beating the Storm

Twice a year I head down to Georgia to visit a friend and this past fall it was scheduled for the weekend of October 27th, returning on Monday the 29th. Well on the 25th I was enjoying a drink in Greensboro, NC when someone I was talking with mentioned that there was some "storm" coming that might interfere with my ability to get back home. Of course I had heard nothing about this and couldn't change my plans even if I had, but a bit of research showed that the Hurricane wasn't due until two days after my scheduled arrival on the 29th. Well, we all know how that turned out and I almost got royally screwed being trapped well south of the Donna Dixon line for an extra week or so, but like Geordi rolling under a blast door my northbound Amtrak Train 20 was thankfully only terminated in Washington, DC where I was able to bum a ride the rest of the way to my destination.

Anyway I wanted to say all that to explain why another of my bi-yearly Amtrak Carolinian / Crescent journeys has such a more punchy title. From a photographic point of view the trip had some positives going for it such as mostly sunny weather, but one major downside in the form of a terribly dirty rear window that once again produced a set of rather lackluster photos of the CSX A-Line between Richmond and Selma, NC. Actually the window was so yuck I resorted to taking video for most of the RF&P sub as with all the resignaling there wasn't much left to take photos of in any event.

Also due to the rainy weather on the way back I didn't have the opportunity to take many photos from the Crescent so I was able to cover this trip with a single photo set which you can see here.

We begin in the back of Amtrak Train 79 pulling into Washington DC where I was hoping to get some HD video of the 1990's B&O CPLs installed at F TOWER before they were replaced, but alas I was too late, however I left the camera running until we pulled into the platform at Union Station.

During the power change I took some pictures of the P42 diesels like #95 here sitting over on the engine storage track.

Here is AX #2026 sitting up on the upper level with P42 #202 on the engine track. #202 would be eventually attached to our train.

Leaving DC the weather was gray and misty so I immediately cut to video mode and captured the run from Franconia-Springfield to Quanico. Lots of MoW work in this section which created some dusty conditions and my train was stuck on signals for much of the time as trains has to queue up to negotiate sections of single track. Included in this any my other videos are commentaries provided by a radio scanner.

Here in the second video that runs from Fredericksburg to Ashland we have a lot less dust and a lot more sun, but that dirty window is always on hand to screw things up. Look for for my train passing a CSX freight train at Millford as well as how the last two RF&P signaled interlockings at South Millford and North Doswell have been converted. Passing through Doswell there is a local freight on the siding track and a cut of cars on the northbound main. Waiting for us to clear the bit of single track is the Northbound train 92 on the usually southbound track and you can watch as its signal clears to Approach Medium to cross back over at North Doswell.

South of Ashland I passed a string of large transformers awaiting delivery on the dump siding at Elmont.

The disused Greendale interlocking tower north of Richmond Staples Mill Rd station.

Amtrak P42DC at Staples Mill Road waiting to depart southbound over clear signals.