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Thursday, May 7, 2015

15-05-07 PHOTOS: A-Plus

For the last 6 years I have been making a bi-yearly trek down to Georgia to visit an old college friend who had wound up getting stuck down there. Ever since the first trip I have taken a somewhat circuitous route using Train 79, the Carolinian, to first travel to Greensboro, NC then transferring to Train 19 the Crescent. Well on the verge of having these trips go on hiatus due to a change in my friend's employment status I was finally provided with an opportunity to ride in the rear vestibule instead of having to shoot through two panes of glass. Sure I had been able to snag some quality shots here and there, but this would give me one last chance to survey a route that I have sort of surveyed to death, albeit in grainy and tinted form.

You can see all the photos from my ultimate trip down the CSX RF&P Sub and A-Line right here.

As always we start with a power change as ACS-86 #609 was replaced by P42DC #115 while workers load up a Viewliner II baggage car.

In a second first for this trip I discovered Viewliner II baggage car #61034 taking the place of the run down Heritage baggage car I had grown accustomed to.

At the opposite end of the platform Amtrak AEM-7AC #918 was hanging out in photographic distance from MARC HHP-8 #4912.

Passing the northbound Crescent Train 20 at Alexandria with P42DC #147 on point and Viewliner II baggage car #61021 on the rear.

Phase IV heritage painted P32-8W #515 and autoracks at the Lorton AutoTrain terminal.

The groundwork is being laid for the new VRE Potomac Shores station north of Quantico.

Nearby the RoW was being expanded for the third track project that will help alleviate congestion between CSX freights and passenger trains.

At Fredericksburg, FB interlocking was being expanded to handle the improved VRE service while a classic RF&P interlocking tower looks on.

VRE trains have always traveled about 5 miles beyond Fredericksburg to XR interlocking where the the layover yard is located, but that distance will be wasted no longer with the new Spotsylvania Station.

We were stopped for about 10 minutes north of Doswell to allow a pair of trains to clear a section of single track running between there and Elmont. The second train was a CSX stone run with SD40-2 #8376.

The tower and diamonds at Doswell.

High railer at ELMONT.

CSX road power, including C40-8W #7396 at Acca yard.

Remote control capable yard engine SD40-2 #8256.

Of course there was bound to be some bad signaling news. The seemingly forgotten pair of traditional ACL signals on the Richmond Bypass had been replaced.

As a bonus I was taking video along the whole route and I was thrilled when we passed the Strates Carnival Train north of Petersburg. Then I discovered I had left the lens cap on as we departed Richmond. ARGH!!!

I caught CSX C44-10W #5231 and C44-9W #9051 coupled nose to nose in Collier Yard.

Got juice?

The Enfield siding had CSX trains sitting nose to tail waiting for us to pass.  SD60I #8730 was at the head of a mixed freight.

And CSX C44-10W #5497 was situated just a few hundred yards ahead running lite with another locomotive.

Due to all this congestion NCDoT is paying to upgrade some portions of the A-Line with new crossovers to allow passengers trains to duck around freight. The first of which, in the town of Enfield, already has prefabricated concrete turnouts in place.

The second, just north of Rocky Mount, is not quite so far along.

 ES44AH #986 is waiting for us to pass by as Train 79 passes by Rocky Mount yard.

Looking down the yard ladder with C40-8 #7645.

Alas, the few remaining SCL searchlight signal bridges are no more.

Amtrak Voit Wilson Station.

The Wilson shifter is still featuring former GP30 road slug #2259.

Turns out I wasn't the only one railfanning that day as my train approaches Selma, NC.

Well that's it for the A-Line coverage. Tune in in two weeks time as we continue onto the NS H-Line and beyond. Next week a special Video episode of the line you just saw :-P

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