Monday, February 1, 2010

Railfanning 1-31-10

Hi, Friend Stan Short and I headed for the former RF&P railroad yesterday for what we hoped would be a good day of shooting trains in the snow. As you will see as you read on there were 8 CSX trains, southbound and northbound, and 2 Amtrak, both northbound. Although we missed a third northbound Amtrak (Auto Train), we felt we had a great day. We were joined about 10:45 AM by another friend, Mike Schaller.

Our first stop was at Arkendale, VA. The first two trains were Q405 and Q409, respectively, running about 10 minutes apart. Q405 was on track 2 and Q409 on track 3. Then there was a lull for about 3 1/2 hours. When we talked to Mike he told us that Amtrak was not running southbound from Washington, DC thereby eliminating a number of trains that we might have seen.

Next up was Amtrak #98, a VERY late running Silver Meteor at about 12:25 PM. Not surprising given the heavy snow fall in Southern Virginia and North Carolina.

About 15 minutes later Q401 came south on Track 2. Just as the train got close the trailing SD40-2 belched a puff of black smoke. A few minutes later the engineer reported a ground fault problem with the unit.

As Q173 was in the picture we elected to wait for it at Arkendale. It blew south at about 1:35 PM. At this point we decided to relocate to Brooke, VA thus missing the northbound Auto Train.

We had heard the dispatcher talking to Q438 and Q400 and these were the first 2 trains at the overpass about 3/4 of a mile north of the Brooke VRE station. They showed up at 2:30 and 3:10, respectively, both on track 3.

At 3:15 Q439 came south.

At this point we headed for our last location, just to the south of the VRE station in Brooke. Amtrak's northbound Silver Star went by at about 3:30 and then Q703, a solid train of garbage containers, headed south at 3:40.

We then decided to head for Lorton but, as the shadows were lengthening and the radio was quiet, we decided to call it a day when we got to the Lorton exit off I-95. I hope you enjoyed the photos. Bob

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