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Week of July 15, 1996

Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of July 15, 1996

By Vic Stone

* News for Central VA*

NS - A major track rehab program including ballast tamping and the
replacement of ties is occurring on the Shenandoah Valley Line.  A major
force of track machines was seen working between Buena Vista and Midvale
during this week.  With the track crew working, an unlikely appearance by
211 on the Valley Line was made even more ironic, since this train has
traveled the Valley only once (July 3) during the past month.

211 was delayed due to track circuits and TOL's that were left by the
track machinery.  It moved onto CSX rails at about 8:30 as Z711.

With this major work, it can only be speculated as to the possibility of
increased traffic on this line.  Also seen on that day was local V80,
delivering cars to Buena Vista.  Does anyone know if this local runs this
far regularly?

The ex-Southern main appears to be business as usual.  In a followup to
the mystery of the O43 train ran on June 25, it has been determined that
this train was run as a round trip from Manassas to Charlottesville to
address some VA senators as to why NS is opposed to passenger trains (ed
note - it figures NS would run a special passenger train just
to tell people that they don't like passenger trains in the first place).
To give a demonstration, this train was held on several accounts for

Trackage north of Orange has been the victim of numerous slow orders.
Amtrak has incurred delays as a result.

Preparations move forward in the grade crossing closure of 9th St.
Parking lots will be eliminated to build the necessary shoo-flys for the

CSX - The miners appear to be back, and there are now more trains on the

Piedmont/North Mountain.  Light engines moves are now not uncommon.
Westbound empties are also appearing to go via the James River as well
with no particular pattern observed except the general trend that trains
from the ex-Seaboard tracks usually head west via the North Mountain.

Plans are in place for the New River trains this year - it will be a
similar scenario to last year as F40's should haul the mostly Amtrak
consist (with PV's) on these trips again.

Amtrak - A special train for the Cooperstown Conference will run on July
26, taking people from DC to White Sulfur Springs and return.  It will run
ahead of #51 and return behind #50.

CSX business cars Florida, Greenbrier, and North Carolina were on the rear
end of #50 on July 12.  They were being deadheaded back to JAX after being
on the rear end of an Amtrak inspection train for service to Dayton and
Columbus, OH (via Toledo).

- Vic Stone