View Full Version : A day in the railfan life of Hoydie!

03-12-2006, 05:27 PM
I know some would think this type of information should probably go into the "Trip Reports" section. My personal inclination is to put it in this Eastern RR forum since it was only a partial day trip.

Heads-ups had started circling Thursday (3/9) afternoon that a very unusual set of power was coming into Roanoke on the NS 16T. KCS 4025 (SD70ACe) and TFM 1616 (SD70MAC) along with NS 2575 (SD70). This train travels to Allentown, PA by way of the NS "Valley Line" or also known as the H-line.

I'd had professional commitments to see to in the morning, that being said, I didn't expect to have any opportunity to catch this guy. Well as early afternoon rolled around on Friday, word was circulating that the train hadn't yet made it to NS's Shenandoah Yard (SY) in Shenandoah, VA. I decided to go to Front Royal, VA and wait at Riverton Junction to see if I could catch him coming North. I arrived at Riverton Junction around 1:30 PM and intel was suggesting that the train STILL had not arrived at SY.

With the afternoon passing and the sun making the start of it's descent, I decided to take a chance and head South towards SY about 60 miles away. My hopes were to intercept him along the route and then chase him back. As such I took my time getting South and exercised the opportunity to scope out some angles.

I hadn't intended to drive all the way to SY, I kept on looking at my DeLorme software with the GPS and picking intermediate points that I would stop and wait. . . . . *ahem* I pulled up the SY Yard Office at around 3PM, no sign of the train.

I looked at my ATCS display and there was a train occupying a block just South of the Yard. I'd decided that going any farther South was pointless. The map didn't show any roads getting very close to that part of the yard, so, feeling thirsty and the need to answer nature's call I went to a nearby quik-mart. When I came back out, sure enough a KCS SD70ACe was looking me right in the face.

Unfortunately, he was sitting in a spot that I just couldn't get any sort of an angle on, so I waited. He was supposed to get a new crew, the crew arrived and I watched him start to roll forward. I assumed he was departing and I took off to my first "ambush site". 4PM and the train still hadn't arrived at my position about 20 miles away. I consulted one of my Yahoo Groups with the heads-ups, apparently he'd needed to set about a dozen mis-routed cars off at SY, so that was the cause for the delay.

Finally, at about 4:45PM I got my first shot on the ACe, the MAC and the Standard. (Sort of an EMD evolution chain I guess.) This photo was taken at milepost H85 just Northeast of Luray, VA. Imagine that, KCS power in the same photo as Mountains. LOL


I continued North and got him a 2nd time near Bentonville, VA, you can see that the sun was getting very low by this point.


My last photo was taken just South of Front Royal, Virginia as 16T crosses over US 340. The sun was just high enough to make it look normal color, albeit a little dark.


All in all it was a very fun chase, my first trip down the "Valley Line" and certainly not my last. It is incredibly scenic, if not for the light volume of traffic, I would shoot it more often.

Hope you enjoy the photos!