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."
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.