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Week of February 24, 1997

Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of February 24, 1997

Rail News from Central Virginia, by Paul Wilson

Mid-week Report: issued on Feb. 25, 1997

NS name changes

Many of the control point names have changed on the former N&W lines of the NS Virginia Division. In a bulletin effective Feb. 15th, the all control point designations at the end of sidings were altered. These points will no longer be referred to as "West End Blank," or "North End Blank." A sampling of the changes: North End Waynesboro is now "Russell"; North End Glasgow is now "Emil"; and West End Appomattox is now "Lee." One observer remarked that they had the good taste not to name it "Grant." The pattern is for one end of the siding to retain the old name and the other end is given a new name. There is no indication that any particular incident precipitated this adjustment, but it would seem to be in line with the practices followed on former Southern lines.

Amtrak Roadrailers Removed from Service

According to an article in this week's Intermodal Week, the Amtrak roadrailers have been temporarily removed from service, pending unspecified modifications. Sources at the manufacturer, Wabash National Corp., claimed that the units are undergoing a "bit of a tune-up" and that Roadrailers haven't had much experience running at 90mph. The units are expected to remain out of service for several weeks. Until their withdrawal, Amtrak Roadrailers ran on the Silver Palm between New York and Florida and the Three Rivers between New York and Chicago, among other trains.

Circus trains

The red unit of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey ran through the area three times in as many weeks. On February 10th the train ran over Norfolk Southern between Greensboro and Richmond, via Lynchburg and Burkeville. One week later, the train operated between Richmond and Norfolk over NS via Burkeville. On Monday Feb. 24th the red unit moved from Norfolk and Hampton. The train arrived at Collier outside Petersburg in the mid afternoon for the hand off from NS to CSX. From there the train headed north on the ex-ACL North End SD to AY in Richmond and then turned east on the Bellwood sub. From there the train followed the routing used by Amtrak trains to reach the former C&O Peninsula Sub.

Amtrak Crew Changes

Effective February 19, Crescent Train and Engine crews now change in Charlottesville instead of Lynchburg. Concomitant with the away-from-home terminal adjustment, the Salisbury to Charlottesville runs are now covered by an engineer and assistant engineer in lieu of the single crew member used previously. The Charlottesville to Washington runs are still protected by a single head-end crew member.


Bringing Up the Markers

Special thanks to Garland Harper and Vic Stone for providing information for this issue.

- Paul Wilson