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Week of July 22, 1996

Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of July 22, 1996

By Vic Stone

* News for Central VA*

Detours of Amtrak are the highlight of this week's happenings.

** Extra Amtrak train running to White Sulfur Springs on Friday, July 26,
running about 2.5 hours ahead of P051 and returning on Sunday about 2.5
hours being P050. **

NS - Although not occurring on NS property, a derailment at the adjacent
CSX right-of-way at AF Interlocking on July 21, 1996 led to several
detours of Amtrak trains on Sunday & Monday.  The detours of Amtrak 19,
50, and Monday's 20 proceeded via the B-Line and Riverton Jct, up the
Shenandoah Valley Line to Shenandoah Jct, and then down CSX's ex-B&O main
to DC.  Amtrak 19 made the detour with passengers, but the other 2 trains
had the passengers bussed from either Manassas or Calverton.  Amtrak 50
met 19 at the N&W siding at Berryville on Sunday (it's surely been a while
since passenger trains met at Berryville).  Detours were made with NS road
foremen on both sections of non-Amtrak qualified territory.

Major maintenance projects are occurring on both the ex-Southern mainline
and the ex-N&W Shenandoah Valley Line.  Work trains on both lines are
supplementing the track gangs which frequently have the line tied up for 6
hours at a time.  Ties have been dropped on both lines and ballast tamping
is also occurring on the Valley.

As a result, 265 has been running off-schedule, both early and late, as
well as manifest freights running later than usual.  Intermodals are
running close to their normal times.  341 with a notable lack of CP power
on some days, is running south through Charlottesville in mid to late

Train 456 also hit & killed a person nearly in front of the
Charlottesville station on Sunday.

As a side note, 1 Conrail and 13 NS office cars are in Atlanta for the
Centennial Olympic games.  They are expected to return back north after
the games have been concluded.

CSX - The afore-mentioned derailment at AF Tower involved R409 and Q406
just after 12 noon on Sunday, July 21.  The derailed cars from 409 hit
cars off 406, which in turn hit cars on the adjacent NS sidings.  By
Monday morning, track #3 was open for trains, although VRE service was
cancelled for the entire day.  Hulcher crews from Gettysburg assisted in
the cleanup of the wreck.  Hazardous materials leaked from one of the tank
cars as well, but was contained quickly.

CSX was planning to detour R192 and L174 via the James River Line, if need
be, but the track was open, so detours were not made.

Meanwhile, the North Mountain itself experienced a minor derailment on
Sunday night at Afton.  Trains were running by the morning.  Empty coal
trains continue to ply the tracks.  One Amtrak 50 has met 4 coal trains on
the North Mountain/Washington subdivisions in the last week, with the
average being 2 or so.

Foreign units on CSX have diminished in the last month, with the majority
visitors being Conrail or NAHX (Helm Leasing).

Some maintenance is occurring around Gordonsville, but nothing such as the
force that was working east a few months ago.

- Vic Stone