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Thursday, May 7, 2015

15-05-07a PHOTOS: H-Minus

Well a rear end ride from Washington to Selma via the RF&P and A-Line was going to be hard to beat and yeah, even though the crew change was in Raleigh, NC, extending my rear end pass for a few more lines, the former Southern Railway H-Line between eastern NC and Greensboro lacks both the traffic and the railroad infrastructure of the CSX route. However I did spot a few trains in addition to all of the capacity improvements that are currently being constructed courtesy of NCDoT. To make sure you aren't bored I'll also throw in photos and videos from Greensboto, Gainesville and Washington, DC.

You can find all of these photos right here.

We begin with a view of the Selma, NC station and diamond crossing where the Southern crosses the Seaboard.

 With my better camera position I was able to take better photos of the signals, not that it did much good given that about 10 years ago the entire line was partly rebuilt to support multiple passenger round trips per day. Here is POWHATAN interlocking at Milepost 100 (from Greensboro). Prior to the rebuild I believe that the line was run under Rule 271 (TWC-ABS) with manually operated sidings.

Although the state services stop at Raleigh, NS demanded that the state pay for a new passing siding just east of town so that freight trains had somewhere to hold clear of the to-be-built Raleigh Station complex. 

You can see why the siding was requested as an NS road-slug pair with slug #700 hangs out with its life partner, GP40-2 #3102 on an industrial lead waiting for our train to pass.

Between Raleigh and Fetner NS has trackage rights over the former Seaboard S-Line. Here we are looking once again through two panes of tinted back at the Raleigh skyline and the famous diamond crossing at Boylan.

Just west of Fetner work has started on curve and level crossing elimination.

Work is also progressing on the new Clegg siding, curve reduction and crossing elimination project.


The new Durham passenger station was opened on the north (left) side of the tracks, replacing an older multi-modal bus station to the south.

At Mebane, NC we passed an eastbound freight in the hole with NS SD60 #6626 an a 9xxx-series GE unit for power.

Signal problems at MEBANE interlocking required us to get talked by a Stop signal. Some local railfans were on hand with their scanners to document the situation. 

A second new siding was being installed at Merrill.

By Burlington I was stating to seriously lose light.

Due to our lateness we passed by the eastbound Train 76 near McLeansville.

Skipping ahead a bit here is Amtrak Train 19 Arriving Greensboro with P42DCs #92 and #164.

Same Amtrak Train 19 Departing Gainsville with Viewliner 2 #61000 on the rear. In another month the baggage cars would be returned to the front of the train. Great news, but nothing that could help me on this trip.

Early morning shot of NS SD40-2 #3423 and MIDLAND interlocking in Gainesville, GA.

Unlike most trips visiting my friend in Georgia I was unable to schedule any extracurricular railfan activities so unfortunately I must cut to the video of Amtrak Train 20 Arriving Gainesville with P42DC's #2 and #187.

Thanks to the rear baggage policy we can cut directly to Washington DC with AX an trainset arriving with power cars #2026 and #2029.

The HHP-8's are down, but they are not yet not. MARC #4912 at Washington Union Station.

Amtrak AEM-7AC #917 running light to replace the diesel power on the front of my Train 20.

Last but not least here is a video showing #914 taking the place of P42 diesels #2 and #187.

That's all for today. Next week I fly back out to the west coast for a third crack at the VTA in San Jose.

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