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.