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Week of August 19, 1996

Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of August 19, 1996

By Vic Stone

* News from Central VA*

POTUS (President of the United States) special train:

(rough schedule from what we can determine)

Sun, Aug 25: Clinton gives a speech at C&O Huntington station at noon
             Dep C&O station for Ashland, Ky. for speech (at station?)
             Continue north to Chillicothe for speech (via CSX)
             Overnight near Columbus (train kept at Buckeye yard?)
Mon, Aug 26: Train continues on Conrail from Columbus to Toledo
             Overnight near Toledo
Tue, Aug 27: Continue through Michigan up to Detroit
             Overnight in Michigan (near Detroit?)
Wed, Aug 28: Westbound from Detroit toward Michigan City via Amtrak
             (good chunk of Amtrak service on Michigan lines will
              be by bus this day)
             Board helicopter at Michigan City for Chicago

Connected with this is the presence of BNSF, IC office cars at Union
Station, arriving on Sunday & Monday.  It presumed that the POTUS train
will contain CSX, NS, and CR office cars.  Two CSX cars are enroute to
Huntington today (on Friday, August 23) on P051.  More CSX cars are also
enroute out of Atlanta.

Mid-week reporter Paul Wilson & your author will be on the scene to follow
the POTUS train on Sunday; full account in next week's edition.

POTUS trip report now available

And now, to the local news:

NS - Virginia Inland Port-Atlanta train 221 hit & killed a person on
Thursday night, August 22.  Although the exact site is not known at this
point, it probably happened north of here, between Culpeper and Gilbert.

Landscaping is the main focus of the Main St. bridge project this week as
excess materials have been removed from most of the area.  In additon, the
west bank of the hill facing the NS tracks has been smoothed for planting.
Light poles are in place on the bridge as well.

Coal trains are back on the Valley - NS 574 & 576 coal trains for Conrail
at Hagerstown have returned to the Shenandoah Valley Line.  These trains
rate manned pushers on the rear end.  Empty trains are often combined and
run as X61 south of Hagerstown; excess motive power is dispatched south
back to Roanoke as light engines 961.  Conrail's name-equivalent of these
trains is UBB.  In the meantime, the ex-Southern main has lost these
trains (were 741, 742).

NS intermodal 211 has been running the ex-Southern main all week.  There
is rumor that traffic off 211 & 213 might be split into 3 trains, although
these trains are often short to begin with.  Train 214, often being quite
long appears to be a more logical candidate for splitting into 2 sections.

Office car #19, the Kentucky, based at Union Station made a trip back as
O44 on Friday afternoon last week.

Work continues south of Charlottesville, especially between Applegate &
points south.  Work train 909 continues to trudge along and pick up ties
and drop plates, etc.

On the N&W main west of Lynchburg, a DRG&W SD40T-2 was seen heading west
late last week.

CSX - Volume has been the story for this week as many empty trains are
traversing westbound over the Piedmont/North Mountain.  Two widecabs are
still the standard power for these trains.  A leased NAHX unit has been
seen on ocassion, but leased power is down sharply.  A ex-SBD unit with
Yellow Nose was also seen.

Most of you have heard about the collision of Q317 & Q316 west of
Clarksburg, WV.  An after-the-arrival DTC block was given to a train in
the siding, but two meets were to occur here instead of one.  After the
first train, the train in the siding lined out and hit the other in a
head-on collision.  The two crew members in Q317, riding in an AC, were
killed while the crew in the lead SD50 were hospitalized.

Next week, there will be a compiled list (as best as I can) for all of the
fall excursion in September & October.  If there is an event that you
would like to include, drop me an email and let me know, especially if it
isn't publicized well.

- Vic Stone