Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of April 29, 1996
By Vic Stone
Mid-week report from the Piedmont:
Mid-week Report for 1st week of May, 1996
This has been a heavy maintenance week, so to speak. Not too
much happening in the train area. Topping the headlines this
week is CSX's cancellation of the NRHS trips on its trackage in
June. Rumors are floating around about a 261 trip to Florida
in the summer. BN has announced that they intend to revamp
Stampede Pass by end of 1997 to get at least one train each way
over it by then.
Locally, there's not too much unusual going on. No special
trains (that I'm aware of, this week).
NS - A signal malfunction at Weyburn on Monday caused 266 to
get a clear signal off double track into single track with the
switch lined against him. This resulted in 266 severely
damaging the switch points and causing delays to NS trains as
new switch points were installed. Some trains were delayed up
to 4 hours, but Amtrak was only delayed 15 minutes.
The AOE ran relatively on-schedule last week with two P40's nb
and a P40/F40 combination south. Next AOE through here will be
the first weeknd of July.
No detours over the Valley this week. Some X56's and M54's
have run. 341/342 power pool is still held down by the 5
sets that CP has dedicated to the run. Widecabs are appearing
CSX - Heavy maintenance is beginning on the Piedmont. Lots of
work equipment has been moved to Gordonsville. Bulldozers have
been establishing a drainage trench for the main track just
east of the freighthouse signal. Ballast trains are dropping
rock both east and west of C'ville. Ties have been dropped and
work crews are currently replacing them west of C'ville.
Work trains have seen Pumpkin and non-Pumpkin engines for
power. In the meantime, the Clifton Forge-Charlottesville
local has been running off-schedule by about 6-10 hours.
Running early is H756 which has gone on-duty at 8 AM several
times this last week.
A substantial collection of CSX's business car fleet is in
Louisville for the race this weekend.
This will be the last report for 2 weeks as I'll be in
Washington state and Arizona over the next week and a half.
There is a special "inspection train" over the C&O on Monday,
May 21. It will travel DC to C'ville where Amtrak officials
will detrain to have lunch. About 2:15 that afternoon, it will
head east to Gordonsville and turn down the Piedmont toward
This is probably the first passenger train down the Piedmont
since the detour of Amtrak #82 in 1989 when a derailment on the
RF&P forced it to go via Gordonsville (where it met #51).
- Vic Stone