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Thursday, October 9, 2014

14-10-09 PHOTOS: October H-Line

Usually when I take my bi-yearly trips to Georgia I focus on the RF&P and A-Line portions of the trip as that always had the most interesting train traffic, signaling and history. When Train 79 turned off the ACL at Selma I usually went back to my seat and enjoyed the free Wi-Fi, because after all that portion was completely rebuilt about 10 years ago with all new signaling and the single track branch line almost completely lacked photogenic traffic.

Well with all the signals on the A-Line now thoroughly raped there was little purpose on collecting yet another set of the same old thing so this last time I sat on my hands for the first part of the trip and took up my position at the rear of the train for the second. It still wasn't super exciting, but it is something new.

You can check out the full set of photos from DC to Greensboro, NC right here.

We begin at Baltimore Penn Station where I got my first ride behind an ASC-86 with #607 pulling Train 79. The bad news was that my train was over 40 minutes late and wasn't helped any by being put behind a MARC local on the way to DC.

Here we are on the lower level of Washington, DC union station with a line of P42DC's ready to attach themselves to the front of through trains. Number 87 ahead of #112 and #7.

Here we see #607 being swapped out for P42DC #181.

On the road south of Fredericksburg we found a paid of CSX geeps switching cars in the yard with GP40-2 #6249.

A bit further on work has already started on the new VRE Spotslyvania Station which will result in the replacement of the old RF&P's XR interlocking.

South of Richmond Train 79 passes a slate of CSX power in Acca Yard including GP40-2's #6156 and #6152, SD60M #8761 and SD40-2 #8251.

RF&P's AY tower now serving as the Acca Yard office and control center.

A few SCL searchlights are still hanging on south of Rocky Mount.

Finally we turn onto the H-Line at Selma, NC.

The line was fully re-signaled around 2005 with signaled passing sidings. Unlike NORAC, the Southern signaling system requires a yellow on the third head (either R/R/Y or R/-/Y) for a Restricting indication.  This three headed mast at AUBURN interlocking uses the R/R/Y option.

A select few of the "old" (1980's) vintage signal masts were still in service like these at CP-SOUTH RALEIGH.

Departing the old Southern station at Raleigh. Serving as the terminus for the Piedmont service, there are plans to replace this with a multi-track facility with high level platforms.

BOYLAN Jct is where the short section of joint track begins between NS and the CSX S-Line (heading off to the left). There are eventual plans to reactivate the S-Line, which was largely torn up north of Raleigh, and use it as a high speed corridor between here Petersburg. BOYLAN also features a 1x3 diamond crossing.

Back on the Southern at Fetner Jct we make a stop at the Cary, NC station. Located at the halfway point between Raleigh and Durham, this would be the site of any combined "Raleigh-Durham" station should the metropolis continue to grow. 

A curve elimination project is under way between Cary and Durham to decrease travel time on the Piedmont Corridor. This consists of a re-graded two track segment that is not only faster, but also allows for more efficient passing of trains. New interlockings, CLEGG and NELSON, are already in service at either end of the re-alignment while the new tracks are built between them.

Included is a grade crossing elimination at Hopson Rd.

B32-8 #548 hangs out with Southern high hood GP38-2 #5065 at East Durham Yard.

Durham, NC Amtrak station.

It looks like another siding/realignment project is underway near Burlington, NC.

Even though we were still significantly late, Train 76 was waiting for us to clear the single track at Greensboro with F59 #1859.

Train 76 quickly departed, followed thereafter by Train 79 on its way to Charlotte.

Well that's it for now. Tune in next time as I continue on to Georgia and then back to the Northeast.

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