Friday, January 15, 2010

Railfanning 1-14-10

Hi, Friend Rudy Volin and I headed out on a beautiful morning Thursday to photograph on Norfolk Southern. We had originally planned to go into northern Virginia and then head west on I-66. However, a tank truck fire had I-270 tied up blocking our planned route out of town and this affected all of the local roads in the area. So eventually we headed north and west through Frederick, MD and Harpers Ferry, WV to reach Norfolk Southern the Charlestown, WV area. We then headed south listening to our scanner but heard nothing until we got close to Front Royal, VA.

Reaching the tracks at Success, VA, about 5 miles north of Front Royal, we decided to wait and moments later the radio came to life. Train #227 had just finished working at the Virginia Inland Port and was about to come north. The dispatcher informed the crew they would meet #11R at Marsh Run, the north end of an almost six mile length of double track NS completed last year by extending the siding that had begun at Marsh Run.

As #11R would be on the near track at Success and I preferred the shot there with the train running right handed we relocated to Cedarville, VA, about a mile further south. #11R stopped just short of our location so the conductor could go back and check out a problem with the train. Finally, after about a 15 - 20 minute delay #11R came south.

By now #16T was getting close on its northward trek to Hagerstown, MD. After it entered the double track at the new location for Ashby the dispatcher informed the crew they would meet #211, a hot intermodal at Marsh Run. The lead unit on #16T was painted for Operation Lifesaver.

I walked up the track at Cedarville for this view of #211 with a former Conrail C40-8 still in nice paint.

As clouds were beginning to form to our south we decided to head north at this point. As we were driving we heard the dispatcher tell the crew of #16T they would meet #228 at Shepardstown, WV so we decided to wait for him at Berryville, VA. While we were there we got to talking to a signal maintainer and told him that #228 was the only train in the picture we were aware of.

After #228 passed we continued north. As we left Berryville the maintainer asked for and received a track and time permit to work south from Berryville. Fortunately, he asked how much time he would have and was told about an hour. Upon our arrival at Shenandoah Jcn. we set up along CSX west of the NS overpass. However, only moments after we parked we heard #37Q on the radio about 10 miles north of us so we headed over to Luther Jones Rd., just north of town. A few minutes later friend Dave Davies showed up.

After #37Q cleared we headed into town and parked along CSX alongside Dave. A coal train headed east but Rudy and I elected to just watch. Then we heard #203 so the three of us returned to Luther Jones Rd. By now it was about 4:00 PM, and the clouds had arrived from the south and were beginning to block the sun, so after the train passed we called it a day and headed for home.

We decided it was a very successful day. Not only good company and a reasonable number of trains for the railroad, we both got to test new radios and were pleased with the results. Rudy has a Yeasu and I have and ICOM V82. We heard transmissions as far away as 13 miles.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. Bob