Facebook Page
Week of September 23, 1996

Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of September 23, 1996

By Vic Stone

* News from Central VA*

Reminder - this weekend is the MARC excursion down the Pope's Creek Sec.
on Sunday.

NS - The Main St. bridge project has hit a small snag as the installation
of lights under the bridge has reduced the clearance to 21' 5".  NS has
claimed that their $2 million input into the project was for 22'
clearance.  So, design engineers have been contacted to debate the
situation.  Also not clear is who will pay for the change of the light
position.  On the positive side, cleanup has began on most construction
materials that have been laid out during the project.  The staircase down
from Main St. to the parking lot is also over half done.

A memo has gone out notifying that all crew dispatchers will be relocated
to Atlanta, effective October 6.  Could it be that the train dispatchers
were far behind?  Apparently not, as sources in Greenville indicate that
they will also be moved to Atlanta in the near future (no date confirmed
yet).  NS currently maintains train dispatchers in Atlanta, Roanoke, VA,
Greenville, SC, Birmingham, AL, Decatur, IL, Somerset, KY, Ft. Wayne, IN,
and Knoxville, TN.

Train update - 341/342 have returned to their early (around dawn)
appearance through Charlottesville.  A CSX leader on Friday's 341 was an
unusual visitor on the NS tracks.  211 continues to run via the
B-Line/ex-Southern main as "[NS] is tired of delays on CSX ['s James River
Sub]"  Nearly everything else is running as-normal.

Over on the Valley, most slow orders appear to be lifted, but some work is
continuing on the Chesapeake Western line.  574/576 coal trains are
running, but sometimes in small sections without helpers.  Previously, it
was nearly a sure bet that helpers on the south end made a train
shootable.  Not so, in the present case.

CSX - This week has been on-again, off-again for traffic as maintenance
is occurring on both the Piedmont and North Mountain Sub's.  Once again,
bulldozers have been brought into Gordonsville to try to improve the
drainage along the tracks just east of the freight house.  The AL
dispatcher and maintenance crews wrangled this week, as some westbound
empties were delayed at Doswell.  

Work trains have been shuttling back and forth between Shadwell and North
Mountain as to get rip-rap to the latter location.  Afton and North
Mountain sidings also continue to be out of service.

Empty coal trains for points west are still utilizing both the Piedmont
and the RF&P Sub's to get to Doswell.  Trains off the Peninsula side (from
Newport News) can go either way, while trains from the south usually take
the RF&P up to Doswell.  4-axle power such as GP38-2's and GP40's are also
leading empty coal trains, a rather rare sight in the past.

Signals are still out on sections of both the ex-SAL and ex-ACL lines,
delaying Amtrak trains.  For one day this week, P053 and P052 were
cancelled because the trains were running so late into each terminal, and
maintenance and turning of the equipment caused an even later departure,
accumulating the delays.  Compounding this week's delays, L173 collided
with a log truck and derailed at Nahunta, GA, and forced detours of Amtrak
trains via Waycross.  Also maintenance in FL is making P091 detour between
Jacksonville and Winter Haven on Sun-Wed.

A lookover at Bryan Park engine terminal this week showed an influx of
leased power including EMD, GECX, HATX, and even an MRL unit.  Normal
runthrough CR power was also present.  Trains on the RF&P appear to be
running regularly with cab control units again.  For a while after the
hurricane, several trains, especially intermodals were traversing the RF&P
with non-cab control equipped units in the lead (such as 9000 series

Amtrak - Next week, the Board of Directors will be discussing what the
status of proposed cuts on November 10.  There will be still be about 400
jobs lost, according to their estimates.  

So far ten of the P42's have been released from GE, but none of them are
in service yet.  Number 3 was on display at the RR Equipment Expo in
Chicago, but returned to Juniata for painting.  

Partial Listing of Fall Excursions - 1996

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 excursion around Horseshoe Curve
          Metra F-unit excursion over ex-Wabash Lines
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 Jers & returns s
          NYS&W excursion w/E9's out of Syracuse
Oct 18-30 AAPRCO train Chicago-New Orleans via IC
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 21    AAPRCO special w/IC E9s Chicago-Memphis
Oct 22    AAPRCO special w/IC E9s Memphis-New Orleans
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
          MARC excursion Hagerstown-Gettysburg-New Oxford
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
          MARC excursion Hagerstown-New Oxford-Hanover
- Vic Stone