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Sunday, June 20, 2010

10-06-20 PHOTOS: C&O Main Line Survey 2010 - Washington Power Change

In the hopes that the 400 or so odd C&O Main Line photos wouldn't overshadow the smaller amount of admittedly more interesting photos when my train #50 arrived in Washington Union Station I am presenting them as a supplement to the main batch posted previously.

The setting isn't anything spectacular, just the lower level of Union Station where our diesel P42DC was swapped for an electric AEM-7. However it was sunny out and the southbound Crescent, Train 19, arrived with two private cars on the rear so the photos are worthwhile from that point of view.

In case you need reminding the full set of photos can be found here and just scroll down to the final 30 or so to check out the ones that pertain to this subset.

I will actually start a little before the arrival in Washington DC when our train was waiting at CP-VIRGINIA for its lineup off of CSX territory. Yup, even when trying to leave their system CSX makes you wait. Fortunately just as I poked my head out the dispatcher gave us our signal and you can just see the Medium Approach indication on the new track #3 signal. Below the new cantilever is the old PRR signal bridge that was taken out of service around 2005/6. I really regret not getting photos of that when had the chance. :-(

On the other side of the train we can see the pocket track that is being debated for use by VRE trains as a turnback to ease congestion in Washington Union Station. With yard space virtually at capacity this pocket train could hold an additional train over the course of the day. Also note the space on the CP-VIRGINIA cantilever for a signal governing the pocket track if it were to be extended into the interlocking.

The old PRR VIRGINIA tower is still standing strong at CP-VIRGINIA which has now been re-signaled twice since the old girl was closed.

Closeup view of the upper story and bay window on VIRGINIA tower.

Who watches the watchers? Well I guess I was that day. The rail line through DC is completely encased by a post-9/11 high tech surveillance system that probably accomplished little more than padding the profit margins of some defense contractor.

Southern portal to the First Street Tunnels with a B&O style CPL signal standing guard to the Union Station terminal complex. The signals here lack any approach indication because trains cannot enter the tunnel unless there is a proceed indication displayed at A interlocking on the other end. This is to prevent trains getting stuck on signals while still in the tunnel and fumigating the passengers.

My engine, #201, in the shade on track #26.

When Train 19 pulled in it had two private cars already on the rear. The first was a former CB&Q stainless steel Budd car from the California Zephyr trainset named Silver Quail. 

It was followed by the former Canadian Pacific car Metis. Here some workmen hang out on the rear open platform.

While all that was going on Amtrak SW1000R was running lite on track 29 northbound into K interlocking.

Here's a closeup photo.

Gotta love K interlocking with its US&S supplied CPL dwarfs and A-5 pneumatic point machines.

Forming the on-site power pool that day were AEM-7s #901 and 948 hanging out on track #30.

This is a clever way to mount a dwarf signal.

At that time Amtrak AEM-7 #918 got under way from track #29 to couple to the front of my train.

Getting a Slow Clear indication on K interlocking signal #183.

#201 was then uncoupled and pulled away.

Allowing the Heritage baggage car to show its age.

#918 went out and back past K Tower...

...before showing up on track #26... couple onto Train 50.

If that all wasn't enough a southbound Regional with AEM-7 #925 on the front showed up on track #27.

And The Crescent departed with its private varnish on the rear.

Well that's the end of the bonus segment. Hope you enjoyed all these photos. Tune in next week for an exciting 11 mile walk around Philadelphia over the July 4th Weekend.

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