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Week of September 16, 1996

Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of September 16, 1996

By Vic Stone

* News from Central VA*

614 Test Run - Mini-trip report

New Jersey Transit did a nice job with the 614 test run on Sat, Sep 21.
Although the trip north left about 2 hours behind the scheduled 9:15 AM
departure, the 614 and 5 cars made a solid trip to Port Jervis.
Apparently, this was due to "inspectors" of some sort who put a 40 MPH
restriction on the train (at least on the way up).  It was
turned at Port Jervis with the aid of a bulldozer which pulled a cable
that rotated the now-motorless turntable.  The turntable was "decorated"
with predecessor Erie and NYO&W logos.  The trip back was faster, at track
speed, but it ran into problems with the auxiliary water tender at West
End Interlocking, and had to be towed in for the last 3 miles.
Nevertheless, the NJT/614 personnel did a great job with this test run.

Plans to have the 614 pickup 2500 tons of NYS&W freight at Port Jervis (to
test for the planned 26 car excursion train in October) were scrubbed,
although the consist is still planned to be 26 cars or so.  A "pilot"
train of two NJT GP40's ran ahead of 614 by about half an hour.

From here:

NS - Geometry train 905 made its second of its biannual appearances this
year, running north on #1 track Wed, Sep 18 at about 1600.  It tested the
B-Line from Strasburg east back to Manassas on the morning of Sep 19, and
continued south, testing the #2 tracks (on the double track sections),
passing through Charlottesville at about 1300.  This appears to be typical
of the scheduled activity of the geometry train.

A derailment of 159 at Lynchburg closed off the US 29 expressway on Friday
afternoon.  Although the cars remained upright, concerns about the
containers falling off onto the roadway below kept the expressway closed
through rush hour (although it re-opened for a short while between 7-8,
before being re-closed as the cars were rerailed)

Coal trains are appearing both on the Southern and N&W Valley Lines.  Coal
on the ex-Southern main is destined for the Alexandria Pepco coal plant as
well as some unit trains going to the CP for delivery to Bow, NH.  On the
Valley, the return of 574/576 coal trains for Bethlehem (via Conrail) has
seen regular pushers on these trains, although not all of these trains
have pushers.  A 40-car 576 ran on Friday afternoon north out of
Shenandoah with no pushers.

211 has continued its journey down the Southern route this week.
Several speed restrictions remain on the Valley Line as a result of
Hurricane Fran.  The SP unit made its predicted return on Tuesday
morning's 341 this week as the middle engine.

CSX - Relatively heavy westbound traffic continued this week.  Most
foreign units continue to be Conrail, although the new leasing of motive
power for the winter will probably bring an influx of HATX, GECX, and MRL
power.  Ten units from MRL are already on lease to CSX, and they appear to
be lead capable.

Work trains with rip-rap and ballast are continuing to work in the
vicnity, as new ballast has been dropped west of JC Cabin.

Amtrak - The Texas Eagle appears to have a temporary reprieve as alternate
funding has been diverted to maintaining this train.

Special excursion featuring rare mileage on IC between Baton Rouge and
Hammond has been cancelled.

FL9's continue to hold down some assignments on the Hudson Line, mostly on
the northbound Maple Leaf (#63), and back south on #248 and #64.

Other - The ex-C&NW dome car purchased by NCDOT, has been shipped from
Beech Grove back toward NC after undergoing refurbishing.

Sep 29    MARC excursion over Conrail's Pope's Creek Secondary
            Bowie-Brandywine-Waldorf & return
Oct 5     Potomac Eagle trip to Petersburg, WV
          MARC Cumberland Railfest excursion to Terra Alta, WV
          Altoona RR Days excursions around Horseshoe Curve
          Press run for C&O 614 over NJT
Oct 6     MARC Brunwick RR Days excursion Cumberland-Brunswick & return
          Altoona RR Days excursion around Horseshoe Curve
Oct 12    614 excursion on NJT: Hoboken-Port Jervis & return
          EBT Fall Spectacular
Oct 13    614 excursion on NJT: Hoboken-Port Jervis & return
          NYS&W excursion w/E9's out of Syracuse
Oct 18-30 AAPRCO train Oakland-Chicago-New Orleans (via IC)-LA-Oakland
Oct 19    614 excursion on NJT: Hoboken-Port Jervis & return
          Conway Scenic RR Railfan Day
          UP 844 St. Louis-Springfield-S Pekin & return
Oct 20    614 excursion on NJT: Hoboken-Port Jervis & return
          UP 844 St. Louis-Springfield-S Pekin & return
Oct 24    UP 844 St. Louis-Poplar Bluff via Chester Sub
Oct 25    UP 844 Poplar Bluff-Little Rock
Oct 26    614 excursion on NJT: Hoboken-Port Jervis & return
          UP E9's Little Rock-Russellville RT
Oct 27    614 excursion on NJT: Hoboken-Port Jervis & return
          MARC excursion over Conrail's Pope's Creek Secondary
            Bowie-Brandywine-Chalk Point & return
          UP 844 Little Rock-Bald Knob RT (dep 1 PM)
Oct 29    UP E9's Little Rock-Branson OW
Nov  1    UP E9's Branson-Kansas City OW
Dec 7     Wilmington & Western steam excursion

There are many other trips which I have yet to add, especially ones on
several Tennessee RR's.  The TN-200 Bicentennial train also makes it way
back west, and will end up running on the Nashville & Eastern in late

- Vic Stone
- Vic Stone