Rail News from Central Virginia
Week of December 16, 1996
By Paul Wilson
* News from Central VA*
New power for Amtrak--
Amtrak's newest locomotives, the GE P42s, have appeared on the
Crescent. Train 20 was powered by a lone #11 on December 8. On Dec.
18 the 6 followed the lead P40 #837 on train 19.
At 6:30 am on December 16 NS 342 derailed on empty TTX flat car at
Shamrock Rd. in Charlottesville on #2 track, fouling both main tracks
through town. The on-time Amtrak 20 was forced to skirt the wreck by
entering the siding on #1 side. The train was delayed about an hour as
CSX suffered another derailment between Lynchburg and Richmond on Dec.
20, this time at Gladstone. About twenty cars were reported to be on
the ground. Detours over the N&W were slated to begin on Dec. 21st.
This seems to be a regular occurrence. It's only been six weeks since
the last major derailment on the this segment, at Shores, on Nov. 10th.
A sudden cold snap, which has led to several broken rails in the area,
may be to blame.
Charlottesville--Construction forces have mobilized and begun grading in
preparation for the 9th/10th St. Connector project. The project will
involve building shoo-flys for the NS trackage in order to build an
underpass for the road. A new bridge for CSX tracks will be built
adjacent to the present alignment. Those of us working in the U.Va.
Hospital will have a front-row seat for this project.
Charlottesville's Union Station will be completely renovated in a
project to begin in the Spring. A private developer has received
approval from the city's Board of Architectural Review for the project,
which will involve converting the present station to entertainment and
retail use. (Those of us who regularly haunt the building already find
it sufficiently entertaining!) Amtrak will occupy the former baggage
and express building to the east of the main building. ISTEA funds
will provide for new platforms and canopies. Plans for a combined
bus/train station have been shelved.
Lynchburg's Kemper St. Sta. suffered a fire on Dec. 6. Subflooring in
the vicinity of a steam pipe caught fire and filled the building with
smoke. Although the fire was quickly extinguished, the Fire Marshal is
conducting an inspection of the whole structure in search of fire
The FRA T-10 worked north on the ex-Sou. main last week, passing through
Charlottesville in the wake of the Shamrock Rd. derailment, on Mon. Dec.
CSXT CW6000ACs 600 and 601, sandwiching their dynamometer car, traveled
east from Clifton Forge to Richmond on Dec. 18. They returned west to
Russell Ky the next day.
That's about all for this week. Happy Holidays to all!
Paul Wilson--guest editor. Thanks to Garland Harper and
Nick Page for supplying information.