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,
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!
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.