04/28/2004 Progress Report
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Signal Maintainers Finish Activating Salem Terminal Mainline Trackage!

CSXT Shenandoah Division crews have been busy since the 03/31/2004 Progress Report. As usual, a variety of projects are either underway or completed, but the biggest news in this update is that the CSXT signal maintainers have finished activating the power wiring in the Salem Terminal as of April 24, 2004, which led to the first simultaneous run of multiple trains on the railroad!

Working southward from Roanoke Junction (RJ Cabin), the signaling crew pulled bus wires and attached feeders to place both the No. 1 and No.2 tracks in service to SE Cabin. Once that assignment was completed, the signal maintainers continue southward, activating the mainline to Wadesboro. As a result, the entire visible Shenandoah Division mainline from Connellsville/Winchester to Wadesboro is now in service! 

The CSXT signal maintainers will next wire the Wadesboro and Connellsville/Winchester staging yards, although track crews still have work to do in both locations.

First Simultaneous Run of Multiple Trains!

On April 24, 2004, the CSXT Shenandoah Division continued its steady return to service by running several short test trains over the length of the mainline.

With the CSXT SD Dispatcher, Jacksonville, clearing the way to Ridgemont, unit coal train T379 departed Connellsville heading southward. Shortly afterwards, the dispatcher cleared mixed freight R422 (the DS&P/D&H/CP run-through) to depart North Salem at SN Cabin. At the same time, mixed freight R698 was entering the south end of double track at SE Cabin in Salem.

With T379 cleared to Ridgemont and R422 cleared to New Castle, Va., the dispatcher realized that running times on the Shenandoah Division are quite a bit longer than previously estimated. As a result, T379 was allowed to advance to the passing siding at Laurel, Va. where it would meet R422 heading northward in the first ever meet on the current Shenandoah Division. By this time, R698, having no work at North Salem (since the yard has yet to be laid), had left North Salem to follow R422 up Rich Patch Mountain.

After R422 met T379 at Laurel, R422 was cleared to Covington, and the crew of T379 was told they would be sitting tight at Laurel to meet R698, which was blasting through New Castle. After this second meet, T379 was allowed to proceed to SE Cabin in Salem. Train R422 had turned back at Covington as train R423, and it was cleared to Ridgemont to meet R698. Once R698 arrived at Covington, the power ran around the train to return to North Salem as R699. With no opposing traffic on the railroad, R423 and R699 were cleared to SY Cabin and SX Cabin, respectively.

CSXT Shenandoah Division management was extremely pleased with this limited return to service! Although the railroad is not finished and the equipment hasn't been run in three years, running these trains validated the concept and design of the railroad as well as the construction techniques. Each of the trains run had 2 or 5 locomotives and 10-15 cars. With having to meet two trains at Laurel, coal train T379 took an actual fifty (50) minutes to run the length of the mainline! With a clock ratio of 3:1 or 4:1, this running time suggests most Shenandoah Division trains will take 4-6 "fast" hours or more to run over the railroad, giving the feeling of "going somewhere."

Thanks to Marcus and Larry for suggesting, and participating in, this trial run of the layout!

Norfolk Southern Signal Maintainers Begin Activating NS Trackage!

Norfolk Southern signal maintainers have made a recent appearance in the vicinity of Shenandoah Junction, Va. They have completed the installation of detection wiring for the NS Connection and mainline leading to the Charleston, W. Va. yard. As a result, this trackage is now active and a run-through CSXT coal train tested the NS connection on April 26, 2004!

Connellsville/Winchester Staging

Roadway crews continue to make progress laying Vinylbed in the Connellsville/Winchester staging yard in preparation for additional track to be installed. In addition, thanks to help at a work session from Jan, Rich, and Chuck, the final piece of plywood subroadbed on the upper level has been installed to complete the benchwork for the staging loops.

Track Crews Continue to Make Progress

After the Vinylbed roadbed had been installed, track crews proceeded with working on the Connellsville/Winchester staging yard. Crews have continued extending body tracks since the last report.

In addition, track crews have laid the first track on the Potts Valley Railway mainline heading southward from Potts Junction at Covington, Va.

Fascia Installation Continues

Continuing to taking advantage of the nice early spring weather (not too cold and not too hot), I've been spending weekend afternoons cutting Masonite fascia sections to size and installing them on the railroad. Cherie has been priming and painting fascia as well. As a result, all of the fascia has been installed and painted for the lower level of the railroad with the exception of the Wadesboro staging yard.


Photos of Progress as of April 28, 2004
First and Second Train Meets at Laurel

Northbound mixed freight R422 meets southbound coal train T379 at Laurel, Va.


A close-up of the first ever meet between two trains on the CSXT Shenandoah Division V2.

R422 holds the main while T379 is in the siding at Laurel.

R422 heads north out of Laurel in front of the future Appalachian Power Company plant. T379 was held here by the dispatcher to await R698.

After a few minutes, R698 arrives to meet T379 in Laurel.

Mixed freight R698 has 5 locomotives on the head-end for this test run.

Overall view of the second meet at Laurel.

After receiving clearance from the SD Dispatcher in Jacksonville, R698 will continue northward.

As R698 leaves town, the dispatcher has cleared T379 down the mountain to Salem.

Fascia and Backdrop

As I mentioned in the report above, the majority of fascia sections for the lower level have been installed and painted. The double height curved fascia on the right in this photograph hides the Wadesboro and Connellsville/Winchester staging yards from normal viewing angles.


Overall view of aisle separating North Salem on the left from Salem on the right showing the fascia. Some of the Loy's Toys PH-UP throttle jacks have been installed at North Salem.


Another view of the aisle between Salem (on the left this time) and North Salem (on the right). The fascia curves out at the south end of Salem to accommodate the end of the peninsula and the Roanoke River.


A view of the fascia as the railroad curves towards MC Cabin.


An overall view of the fascia at MC Cabin.


The fascia has been installed through Hanging Rock, Va., located at the rear of this photo.


Fascia has been installed and painted for the Catawba Creek Viaduct and town of Catawba areas as well. The piece of fascia located at the viaduct itself will be trimmed to final shape once the plaster scenery is installed.


Another view of the fascia in the Catawba, Va. area.


View of the fascia installed in the Abbott aisle.


Vinylbed and Track

The final piece of subroadbed has been installed at Connellsville/Winchester to close the loops.


Roadbed and track crews have made progress towards completing the work at Connellsville/Winchester.


A view of the last upper level subroadbed from inside the staging loop area.


Track crews have also laid the first trackage on the Potts Valley Railway heading south from Potts Junction at Covington, Va.


Centerbeam Flat Car Load

Recently, I purchased some lumber loads for Red Caboose centerbeam flat cars. These loads were made by a company called The Columbus Trainmaster, and look quite nice in a flat car heading upgrade just south of Laurel, Va.


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


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