12/17/2003 Progress Report
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As mentioned in the 11/28/2003 Progress Report, the roadway crews and track gangs have been recalled from temporary furlough this fall and have been hard at work extending the Shenandoah Division mainline from Carpenter, Va. to the helper spur near the north end of Covington, Va.

The roadway crew has been staying ahead of the track layers for the past several weeks by laying Vinylbed from Carpenter into the town of Covington. Almost as soon as new roadbed has been laid, the track gang has proceeded with their work. Track has been laid on the mainline to connect Carpenter with Covington; including trackage at Potts Junction, the interchange with the Potts Valley Railway. In addition, the passing siding in Covington has been laid to the switch for the Covington Yard North Lead. Anticipating increasing traffic moving over the Shenandoah Division, the track gang has also laid the first of four eventual tracks in the Covington Yard.

While the roadway and track crews have been busy, the signal maintainers have tried to get a head start on the work necessary to put new trackage into operation.  The signal maintainers have connected the detection equipment to High Meadow, Va., allowing trains to run almost to the south end of the Ridgemont, Va. passing siding. After activating service to High Meadow, the primary focus of the signal maintainers has been on the installation of feeders in preparation for connecting more of the power distribution and detection circuits. Eighty-two pairs feeders have been installed since the last progress report! These crews have installed forty-three pairs of feeders from the south end of Ridgemont to the current end-of-track in Covington. With those feeders installed, the crews were taxied to the south end of the railroad for a feeder blitz in Wadesboro, where another thirty-nine pairs of feeders have been installed. In addition, these crews cut plywood to serve as the control panel bases for the remaining power management and detection circuitry.

Division management seems pleased with the recent progress and anticipates additional projects over the winter to place more of the railroad into service.


Progress as of December 17, 2003

Mainline looking northward out of Carpenter (on the upper level) in the left foreground. The south end of the Covington passing siding is to the right of the picture. Northbound trains climb a slight grade from Carpenter to the south end of Covington.

Overall view of Carpenter looking southward. Carpenter is the home to the large Virginia Eastman chemical plant.

Northbound grade climbing out of Carpenter towards Covington.


Mainline curve between Carpenter and the south end of Covington.


Here's the south end of Covington showing the passing siding behind the mainline.


View of Potts Junction in Covington. The track in the foreground is the mainline. The next track back is the passing siding. The Potts Valley Railway connection is on the left, but the track has yet to be laid. CSXT crews will use portions of the Potts Valley connection as the yard lead here at the south end of Covington.


Overall view of Covington looking northward from Potts Junction. This view shows the layout of the yard. The first track in this yard has been installed.


View of the Covington Yard looking southward. Covington is also the site of a large paper mill and grain elevator.


View of current end of track near the north end of Covington. The turnout on the mainline will lead to the helper pocket, and the passing siding and yard track #1 have been completed to the north lead.


This page was last updated on 01/01/11.


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