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Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-14 PHOTOS: Georgia on the 1'S

I have a friend in Georgia whom I visit twice a year, typically in May and October as those dates avoid the nasty southern summer heat. However this year schedule conflicts pushed back my October trip to the Armistice Day Weekend in November. Well this turned out to be a mistake which I hope to avoid in the future as not only did I get hit with bad weather again (not the date's fault) the late date and Daylight Wasting Time absolutely destroyed most of my ability to take photos on the RF&P and CSX A-Line from Amtrak's Train 79, the Carolinian.

Therefore this photo set is going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for those photos still acceptable for public display. To compensate for the lack of light I took a lot of video so this will also be a video heavy post. Also this set will cover both the trip down, my time in Georgia and the trip back. For the trip down you can view the entire set here and for the Georgia and trip back pics you can find those photos here.

We begin North of Washington DC where one advantage to taking the Carolinian is that it runs express between Baltimore and Washington skipping the BWI and NCR stops. In this video Train 79 rockets through CARROLL interlocking and then the New Carrollton Station, southbound on track 3.

A bit south of there we pass through LANDOVER interlocking where the former PRR freight branch to Potomac Yard splits off. Notice that it is not possible for passenger trains out of DC to access Track #1 at LANDOVER. Instead they must cross over at CARROLL.

On the two track segment just before the Union Station complex we can see that the new 138Kv circuits to the new Ivy City substation have been completed.

While we were getting out power swapped from electric to diesel, a northbound Regional was having the opposite operation applied with AEM-7 #946 shown here coupling on.

Video of same.

Our Heritage baggage car #7232 waiting P42 #16 to couple on.

Last time you may have remembered that HAMILTON interlocking on the RF&P was about to be resignaled. Well now its bland and generic as everything else.

XR interlocking south of that got some modifications as well.

At least in a few locations some of the classic RF&P signals were simply fitted with brand new lower Darth Vader heads.

SOUTH MILLFORD interlocking, which has the only surviving set of pneumatically worked points on the RF&P is also on track to get fucked.

Why stop there, the bracket at NORTH DOSWELL is standing ready to get axed by a completely unremarkable cantilever structure, although the bracket at DOSWELL interlocking itself might survive a bit longer as that was mercifully resignaled when CSX actually bothered to preserve existing signaling hardware if it still had life left in it.

Anyone like Street Running? Well this is pretty close to it as Amtrak trains trundle through downtown Ashland, VA. Train 79 is fortunately not one of the ones that have to make a station stop.

A single Amtrak P42 (#64) prepares to leave the station track at Richmond Staples Mill Road on the head of a Silver Service train from Florida on a Slow Clear displayed on a new Unilens signal. This is a common meet and just 2 years ago the same train has two P42's for power and the signal was a US&S model N.

 The conductor looks out from the Baggage car as the train takes the main line.

If you noticed in the previous picture yes indeed that is the CSX Juice train on the adjacent track. This train was returning empty to Florida and still had some of the older style cars.

 Video of the same that happens to catch a rare box car with the Tropicana Girl.

Amtrak P42 #19 at Richmond acting as protect power.

After passing by Acca Yard on the passenger bypass track we proceed through AY interlocking and bound the bend past a local freight train that appears to be waiting for something.

And that something turned out to be the Northbound Juice Train at WEST AY interlocking. Also that signal by the relay hut isn't a new one, its just been repainted.

Unfortunately the A-Line between MEADOW and Collier Yard was resignaled over the last year, but this time around I was thrown a bone thanks to a northbound freight train going into emergency.

Once the freight train has been inspected for a possible derailment we were cleared through on the southbound main track. However as soon as we were to clear up a northbound freight stuck behind the one in emergency was to crossover and leapfrog the disabled freight at FA interlocking, which is normally only used by moves onto and off of the old A-line alignment, now an industrial track. The dispatcher was clearly in a hurry as we were barely past FA when its northbound home signal flipped up to display slow clear. After we passed the 08 automatic (which itself was just a few hundred yards north of the disabled train on the opposite track)it came up to display the retarded three-headed version of Approach Slow. Finally after passing CENTRALIA interlocking the second freight train was given a Medium Approach Medium indication, which in CSX land involves a flashing lower green that I only captured in the unflashed state.

So why was it so important to get that freight train out of the way? Well a northbound Train 80 or 90 was stuck behind it. Oops.

Well from here on the only sunny photo I had on the entire trip south to the NS H-Line at Selma, NC was this one of the 468 automatic signal.

Heading south out of Rocky Mount I snagged video of the CSX Rocky Mount yard which includes the searchlight equipped DI and YD interlockings.

Also down that way the diamond crossing with an NS line at Wilson, NC.

As in years past NCDoT train 76 arrived in Greensboro to meet train 79 with Amtrak P42 #197 providing power instead of one of the usual NCDoT engines.

After Tran 79 departed southbound, taking the diverging clear signal at POMONA interlocking, I only had about 6 hours to wait until my connecting Train 19 to Gainesville, GA arrived with P42's 155 and 83. Oh wait, it was 2 hours late (broken rail at Lynchburg) so make that an 8 hour layover.

While I slept my train got caught up in the aftermath of a grade crossing accident and lost another 2 hours, however this was great news as I would get a chance to get some pictures out of back of T19 in the daylight as we approached Gainesville, GA. Unfortunately...some FUCK had attached his private car to the back so I couldn't even make lemons out of lemonade.

This was however the first time I had ever been at the Gainesville Amtrak Station in daylight. Here we see T19 departing south towards an Approach Diverging indication at MIDLAND interlocking.

The Gainesville station contains both an NS crew base and an Amtrak station so it is signed for both. I should mention that as I was taking these pictures I passed the once-a-century milestone of 11:11:11 11/11/11.

Working the local scene that day was SD60M #6800.

Whose 3800hp was being put to the test with a long string of covered hopper cars being flat switched in the yard forcing the engineer to rev the engine and apply sand.

Over on the old Abbeville Sub outside of Athena, GA we see CSX SD70MAC #4711 knocking down the Advance Approach signal at the MP 511 automatic.

CSX C44-10W #950 leads an intermodal train in the opposite direction .

Then back the other way another double stack intermodal train with a pair of C44-10W's (5467 and 5463) power past the MP 511 automatic on a Clear indication.

Like I said I didn't get to do much railfanning in Geoegia this time so its back to the Gainesville station for the arrival of Train 20 with P42's #122 and #161.

Fast forward to Washington Union Station again where #122 is about to be pulled off our train and replaced with an electric.

Heading out towards Ivy City engine terminal past the 215 signal displaying Slow Clear.

Our electric engine, AEM-7 #948 moving in front of K Tower.

Because I have to go get ready for that big Silverliner II charter tomorrow I'll leave you all with this shot of Amtrak pup #792 powing the Corridor Clipper past the old REA building.

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