Monday, August 24, 2009

CSX RF&P third-track extension at Springfield-Franconia VRE station (August 2009)


Track Work on North Side of Franconia Hill (August 22, 2009) CFP 99

G880 creeps up Franconia Hill southbound, the RF&P's ruling grade. Notice the new ballast between Tracks 3 and 2. That's where the center passing siding had been (1947 to the mid 1970s, per Bill Griffin and others) and the new third track is going. Or, more likely, Track 2 (right) will be shoved left into the gap, and new Track 1 will go where Track 2 lies now.

Trailers 'n' empty juice reefers on the Q741.

Maybe 75 feet south of the Franconia Road highway overpass, CSX has installed this new signal bridge to await completion of the third track.

Backing away a bit, and nearly falling off the cliff, one can see the relationship of the new signal bridge to the highway overpass. Obviously the signals will be for northbounds only.

P079 rushes by the site of the former switch, turnout and industrial siding into the Fleet Industrial Park. A favorite prop of mine at this location had to go to accommodate that third track, alas.

Looking toward the railroad from inside the industrial park.

No more trains for this park. Once the big customers were Xerox and Premium Distributors.

Looking south where the industrial lead had been.

Trackwork at the South End of the New Third Track (August 23, 2009)
Behold the VRE station at the humongous Springfield-Franconia Transportation Center, looking north from the south end of the station. The rest of the facility is off to the left and consists of a Metro station, a bus station with Trailways and Greyhound logos on it, and the biggest parking garage I've ever seen. A hundred yards north of here is the south end of the triple track installed by the RF&P in 1947 (per Bill Griffin) and torn out in the mid 1970s.

In this view (above) you can almost make out the place under the highway overpass (Springfield-Franconia Parkway) where Tracks 3 (left) and 2 (right) had been spread apart to make room for the passing siding. The siding began there and ran north to AF (CFP104). The new track will go in the same space. A new turnout has now been installed, off to the right. As I said above, Track 2 will likely be shoved left into the old gap and new Track 1 will go where Track 2 had been.

Note the cantilevered signal bridge on the other side of the highway overpass, which will only be visible, of course, by southbounds.

P099 rips through the station and across the new switch.

P080 flies north through the station.

The same view. Where is the new signal for northbounds when the third track is installed?

P099 clearing the station beneath the passenger walkway connecting the transportation complex's third floor with the VRE platform.