Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of March 25, 1996
By Vic Stone
This mid-week report has a lot of the NS information provided
by Nick Page, our NRHS chapter editor. Thanks Nick!
NS - With the NS widecabs up to at least #8945, the motive
power scene is still mostly unchanged. Conrail units that have
led on previous trains still continue to do so. Coal train 696
to Bethlehem and empties returning as X41 have been resymbolled
742 and 741, respectively. Work train #909 continues to drop
sections of rail mostly between Charlottesville and Tye River.
Yesterday's 342 had a CP engine, possibly a sign of things to
come (see below). The crossovers at Teel are out of service.
214 continues to be a strong train, and regularly has double
stacks now while counterpart 213 only does occasionally. 341
and 342 are regularly running in 2 sections each day, running
about 12 hours apart.
CSX - Empties over the Piedmont/Mountain continue to run, but
usually appear in groups. A H031 work train is doing work at
the Ivy & Crozet sidings, including dropping ties. Slow orders
continue to appear on both subdivisions which keeps track
inspectors busy. Meets with Amtrak still occur, although the
westbound has not been delayed as much as in previous weeks.
Motive power continues to be 2 6-axle units including several
GE, EMD, and HATX leasors. A few Santa Fe-painted leasors from
GE (at least 2 painted in Kodachrome) roam around along with GE
Super Sevens. A few HATX engines are Chessie-painted, and
there is even supposedly an ex-SP tunnel motor among the ranks.
** Special Trains **
Saturday - The American Orient Express will run into Washington
via Charlottesville on the NS. A quick synopsis is as
follows: Charlotte, NC - 0905 for crew change; Lynchburg -
1245 for crew change; Arr Charlottesville for tour of
Monticello 1400; Dep Cville for Union Station - 1845.
This train may run ahead of schedule and will utilize Amtrak
The most interesting part about this train is its motive power
- supposed to be 2 Amtrak P32's (not the Genesis, but the GE
units previous to that, in the 500-series). The motive power
is supposed to stick with the train all way from Los Angeles,
but there could be a change in New Orleans.
This will mark the first time these units have ever come here
on any train. It might be wise to get to trackside to see this
(although it will come through 5 more times later this year).
- Vic Stone
I forgot to elaborate on the CP power (& have some updates, as
well) in yesterday's message. So, here is additional info:
1) From what most people are hearing, the CP trains should
shift off the D&H Sunbury Line (& Northeast Corridor) on April
2 back to a routing via Philly & the B&O. This is
substantiated by crews bidding on the B&O segment of the
journey. The train will run as a 700-series R train on CSX.
The supposed time for departure is 5 PM from both Binghamton
and Philly (for each of the respective trains).
Although little has been said about CP runthrough power down
onto the NS, some has appeared already! Yesterday's 341 had 4
CP units (really 3 CP's & a GATX), and 342 had a single
dual-flags unit. Could this be a trend of things to come or is
CP running off horsepower-hours owed to NS due to the
Bethelehem coal trains?