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Week of November 2, 1997

Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of November 2, 1997

Rail News from Central Virginia, by Paul Wilson "Mid-Week Report" for Week of November 2.
Posted November 7
Back Issues of the "Mid-week Report" are available

Steam in Staunton

Jack Showalter's 1286 and two cars backed out, under steam, onto the main line in Staunton on Oct. 30th. The move was part of the filming of a Hallmark Special titled "Love Letters". For the Civil War-era production the steamer was outfitted with a wood burner's diamond stack and a red pilot. The train made several trips past the station in Staunton as crews filmed the arrival and departure scenes. "Love Letters" will air in February, 1998.

More Trash Moving South

Conrail has instituted a new refuse unit train symboled OPNS between Oak Point Yard in the Bronx and the Hagerstown Gateway via Selkirk Yard. The train will run twice each week, arriving in Hagerstown on Thursday and Sunday. Empty moves back to New York are symboled NSOP and will depart Hagerstown on Saturday and Thursday. NS has yet to institute a separate train between Hagerstown and Lynchburg. The trash moves between Amelia and Lynchburg on V62.

More NS post-merger plans

The most recent issue of the Bull Sheet outlines Norfolk Southern's plans for service after the merger with Conrail. Here are the changes locally. After the merger the NS numerical symbols will be replaced with "alphabet soup."

  • Trains 213 and 214 (with stacks) will become IMERAT-1 and IMATER-1, operating via Hagerstown between Atlanta and E-Rail in New Jersey.

  • Trains 211 and 212 will run via the NEC, resymboled to IMERAT-2 and IMATER-2. No stacks will operate, due to low clearance.

  • Trains 203 and 204 will be extended to Baltimore and New Orleans and run as IMBLNO and IMNOBL.

  • Trains 227 and 228 will run via Manassas, Hagerstown and Harrisburg and be designated IMNIDE and IMDENI, respectively.

  • The Valley will see double-stack service represented by trains IMHBNO and IMNOHB (Harrisburg/New Orleans)

  • On the manifest side, Linwood/Oak Island schedules GMOILI and GMLIOI will replace 341 and 342 and run on the Corridor. New Roanoke/Baltimore schedules GMROBL and GMBLRO will be instituted. The Valley will see new service in the form of Knoxville/Allentown schedules GMKXAL and GMALKX.

  • The Atlanta to New Jersey Roadrailer trains (now 265/266, 244 and I65 on Saturday) will be re-routed via the Corridor. They will carry symbols TCPSAT and TCATPS.

    Under this plan we can expect modest traffic increases through Charlottesville, with the addition of IMDENI and IMNIDE and the Roanoke/Baltimore manifest. The latter may replace 456 and 457. The real winners, in terms of traffic, will be the Washington District north of Manassas and the Valley Line. The Manassas/Alexandria segment will see an additional six trains with the introduction of a pig train, a manifest and Roadrailer. The Valley will have a new double-stack train and more coal trains.

    Excursion on the Shenandoah Valley and "Punkin Vine"

    Amtrak P42s 92 and 98 pulled nine Superliners on the Shenandoah Valley Line between Roanoke and Front Royal on Sunday, Oct. 26th. The trip, sponsored by the Roanoke Chapter of the NRHS, allowed passengers to disembark at Luray for a tour of the caverns or to continue on to Front Royal. The train turned on the wye at Virginia Inland Port just north of Front Royal. The same consist ran on a Roanoke to Bluefield round trip the day before. On Nov. 1st and 2nd the Amtrak excursion set operated again on NS, on two trips from Salisbury, N.C. On Saturday, Roanoke was the destination. The northward trip occurred over the Winston-Salem District, with the return via the Hurt Connection. On Sunday the trip made a round trip to Asheville.


  • With the end of the dedicated "hospital" train moves between Chicago and the Beech Grove shops in Indianapolis, the Cardinal has assumed these duties, often adding to the perennial tardiness of the train.

  • NS is replacing the southward signal cantilever over #1 track at Charlottesville with a mast installation. The cantilever will be removed on Nov. 11th. Signal forces are making the change to improve visibility under the new Main Street bridge. -Paul Wilson