Saturday, July 2, 2011

Railfanning 6-25 to 27, 2011 - Part 1

Hi, I met friend Dale Diacont on Saturday, 6/25, for a 3 day guided tour of the former C&O between Clifton Forge, VA and Thurmond, WV. We headed west from his home in Waynesboro, VA at about 10:30 and as we got into Clifton Forge we noted Q139 leaving the yard. This train, and its companion Q130, have been rerouted off its former RF&P/B&O route due to National Gateway work. The trains use the James River line between Richmond, VA and Clifton Forge.

Our shot of the train was at Moss Run, VA, west of Covington.

Because we heard a train of coal empties following Q139 we retraced our route back east to Callahan, VA. Just as we arrived we followed a van to the tracks with a recrew for a grain train sitting at the signals waiting to go east. However, first E640 ran west.

Shortly thereafter G750 headed for Clifton Forge.

Dale suggested we try our luck at Fort Spring, WV tunnels. We caught T102 there with westbound coal empties.

Then we photographed westbound empties and this eastbound loaded coal train at Ronceverte, WV.
The next morning we returned to Ronceverte. The first train up was another westbound empty, E323.

About 1/2 hour later T135 arrived and stopped to pick up a helper. This was a tidewater bound train with 150 cars.

We got ahead of it and shot it again at North Caldwell, WV,

and then again at Tuckahoe, WV, just west of the west portal of Alleghany Tunnel.

It was now almost time for the eastbound Cardinal and we thought White Sulfur Springs was the appropriate place to photograph it.

About 10 minutes after the departure of the Cardinal Q303 came west, and
Q130 roared by eastbound.

Radio transmissions became confusing at this point so we left White Sulfur Springs thereby missing Q302, which scooted up the mountain on Track 1. However, we were able to return to White Sulfur Springs in time for me to catch T132 on track 2. There was an empty train coming up the mountain on Track 1 and it would wait at Tuckahoe. We expected Q302 to cross over from 1 to 2 at Tuckahoe and continue on down the mountain. However, for some reason the dispatcher held Q302 and allowed T132 to catch up at Tuckahoe to precede Q302 down the east slope, thereby further delaying the westbound empties. Strange.

After lunch we headed for Alderson, WV as Dale badly wanted to photograph the westbound Cardinal here. The Cardinal ran late. However, while we waited CSX ran E502.

We chased the train and easily beat it to Talcott, WV.

This seems like a good place to stop for awhile. Hopefully I'll get to the second, and final, installment this weekend. Hope you enjoy.

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