Friday, August 29, 2014

Trip to Newport News

Hi, I met friend Dale Diacont in Richmond, VA on August 26 for a 2 day trip to Newport News, VA. Our primary objective was to visit the Maritime Museum, which we did that afternoon and found very interesting. As the museum was indoors and consisted mostly of models and items of historical interest we did not take any photos. However, that allowed us more than a day to photograph trains.

We arrived in the Newport area around 11:00 AM and Dale suggested we set up for Amtrak train #67 which was due at 11:50 AM (above and below).

After we finished at the museum we headed over to the Newport News, VA Amtrak station for the departure of train #66. While we waited for the train to depart the yard engine came out to check that all of the switches were in the correct position and that the right of way was clear.  This is necessary for all remote control locomotives.

As can be seen in the photo a new cantilever signal bridge has been installed to replace the existing structure although cut over has yet to occur.

A train of coal empties (at left in photo) would follow Amtrak.

About 15 minutes behind Amtrak the coal empties headed west (above and two below).

Wednesday was spent at Fort Eustis.  The railroad on the base is used mostly for training (no pun intended).  Our first stop was Hanks Yard where a group of reservists was learning about switching.

They had a caboose and we took photos of the group with the car.

Next we went to the shop where we found a GE 80 Ton center cab locomotive and a GP10, product of Illinois Central's Paducah shops.  There are two such rebuilds on the base.  The geeps are used mostly for training.  However, when the center cab is down, as it was when we visited, one of the geeps is pressed into service.

I was fortunate to get a short cab ride.  A group of reservists was practicing loading trucks on flat cars.  Once the cars are loaded the cars needed to be turned as it is forbidden to back the trucks off the flats.  Here we are backing down to couple to the flats.

We took the cars to a wye nearby where I got off the engine to get a few photos from the ground.  The train pulled onto one leg of the wye, and the locomotive cut off and went around the wye.

The locomotive then backed onto the other end of the cut sitting on the wye.

The locomotive then pushed and pulled the cars around the wye

so that they could back the flats into position for unloading.

After lunch we caught both geeps at Hanks Yard; the one I road just sitting and

the other one pushing the caboose into position.

Our final photo was of the 80 ton center cab in front of the shop.  Thanks for looking.

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