View Full Version : MD to GA Trip Report

01-09-2006, 03:43 AM
This past Thursday and Friday I had to make the drive from MD back to GA to get back to school. With a good weather forecast, I decided to stop and see some shortlines and mainline action along the way. Anyway, here's what I saw...

I departed MD Thursday at 0530 with an intended first stop at Sanford, NC (south of Durham) to shoot the Atlantic & Western Railway (ATW). I decided to bypass the Buckingham Branch/CSX at Doswell, VA (north of Richmond) since I had already shot it on an earlier day during my break from school. Anyway's, I arrived into Sanford at approximately 1030 and easily locate the interchange with CSX in downtown. There is a nice park with an old steam engine on display, though I didn't get any information on it. I move around Sanford and don't find them, though I now possess the knowledge of where to look for them if I ever come back through that town.

I continue south on US Rte. 1 to Aberdeen, NC to shoot the Aberdeen & Rockfish (AR) and the Aberdeen, Carolina, & Western Railroad (ACWR). I arrove around 1130 to find the CSX local, F742, arriving with a pair of old C40-8's to work the ACWR interchange. I shoot them passing the old SAL depot in town.


Next, I move over to the AR shops and find GP38-2/3 #405 sitting behind the fence.


I then decided to head west and follow the ACWR all the way to Star, home of their shops and a small yard connecting both of their major lines in NC. Along the way, I find lite power sitting in the shade just outside of Candor. I keep moving and get to Star at approximately 1445. I drive on a road that parallels their shop and see a ton of painted ACWR power and other old Geeps and switchers in various paint schemes and states of disrepair. The radio comes to life of a yard job working in Star, and I shoot them in several spots with several different consists. It appeared as if this crew was making up the road train to the CSX interchange at Aberdeen.

Shoving loaded woodchip hoppers with a widecab GP40-2...

Shoving loaded LPG tankers a GP16...

Outbound Aberdeen train in downtown Star with widecab GP40-2's...

With the light fading fast at this point (~1530), I decide to beeline toward I85 at Charlotte, NC with hopes of finding a hotel on the south side of Charlotte to avoid Friday morning rush-hour. I ended up staying in Kings Mountain, approximately 10 miles from the NC/SC border.

Friday yields another clear day, so I get up early and I'm on the road by 0830 heading south toward Anderson, SC and the Pickens Railroad. I arrive into Gluck, SC (just south of Anderson) to find the road job switching the Owens Corning plant (with U18B's 9507 & 9508) prior to running up to the NS interchange in Anderson. Also, I find U18B #9504 at the very south end of the track in Gluck.


I keep moving south, intercepting increasingly cloudy skies as I reach the GA state line. I make a quick stop to grab lunch at the local Hardees in Lavonia, GA and then shoot the Hartwell Railroad in downtown near the feed mill. I find the ex-CSX/CR GP38 and the ex-RF&P GP35 on the main with a cut of coiled steel cars. I shoot them posing with the grain facility.


Also, I find the ex-DRG&W unit sitting on one of the sidings with a cut of grain cars, but in a poor photographic spot. I then head over to Airline, GA, the location of the Hartwell "shops". I use the term shops loosely hear as this area better resembles an EPA toxic waste dump then a railroad facility. I find the ex-C&NW unit and one of the painted GP30's sitting in the sun.

After that, I decided to get back on I85 and head south to Commerce, GA. I followed the NS Commerce Branch tracks all the way south to the Goldkist Feed Mill near the Toyota distribution center and see the odd switcher they have at that GK facility. I then head all the way toward Lula, but I intercept a ballast train at Maysville, GA at the new Mar-Jac elevator. I shoot it at a small road crossing south of the elevator. Also, a grain train was at the elevator with three SD60's for power (1 NS and 2 CRIX ex-UP).


I move on up to Lula, GA where I see a poorly lit NB local led CR-painted SD40-2 #3395. I proceed south into Gainesville and see 4 more NS SD40-2's near the Amtrak station and the Pilgrim Pride elevator GP7 switcher. Lastly, I jump on down to Atlanta to complete the trip. When all is said and done, it was a total of 800 miles. The normal direct trip without any of these detours is 620. I'd definitely say that the extra 180 miles was worth it....

Thanks for reading & looking,

01-09-2006, 03:23 PM
Enjoyed your trip in MD and back to GA so much it was like being along I almost feel I should chip in on your gas(key word almost). Great shots hope we don't have to wait to long for your next trip.