Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Update on new CSX RF&P Track 1 construction on Franconia Hill (Sunday, April 18, 2010)

At last, installation of the new Track 1 has been completed in the Franconia Hill area of the CSX RF&P Subdivision (CFP 99). A visit on April 18 revealed a tidy roadbed and perfectly-aligned rails either side of the Franconia Road overpass. As mentioned earlier, CSX erected a new signal bridge immediately south of Franconia Road, faced for the benefit of northbound trains. The old bridge on the north side is now configured so signals are only seen by southbounds. There are no crossovers between the two bridges.

Also completed was the new and improved set-off track that's been near the old signal bridge for many years, visible from its south end in the photo below:

Facing south, the newly-completed track is plainly visible as Q410 approaches:

As Q410 rolls downhill, P195 shoots upgrade like there's nothing to it:

I don't know what it is, but since first seeing it, I haven't slept well at all:

Here's P091 ripping along by the rebuilt set-off track. Note the strange track apparatus, apparently a derail. I recently saw one like this at Georgetown Junction on the B&O in Silver Spring, Md. and assumed it was old-fashioned. Now here's one that's brand new:

I then moved to the south side of Franconia Road, where the northbound signal bridge is located. Track 1 is completed here, too, and ready for use. The choo-choo is Q703:

As well as I've been able to tell, Track 1 has been completed from its south end (CFP 98) to the west side of Cameron Run signal bridge (CFP 102). Between Cameron Run and the current end of active Track 1 at AF (CFP 104), a work crew has begun to lay ballast. Of course, the new track can't be activated until the new bridge has been put in place at Cameron Run, so the two projects must be coordinated:

In this last picture, which faces RR north at the Seminary signals, a pile of crushed rock (Is this ballast? Seemed too small) awaits the crew that operates the heavy equipment on the set-off track (left background). Off to the right can be seen the partial results of the crew's efforts to prepare the bed for the Track 1 northward extension. At present, Track 1 ends at the AF signal bridge (deep background):

Monday, April 19, 2010

Update on Cameron Run bridge construction (CSX CFP102)--April 18, 2010


My reports on the CSX bridge being erected at Cameron Run in Alexandria have, until now, featured photos taken from the industrial-park side of the site (actually, NS's CR Tower area)--the Wheeler Avenue side. On April 18, after taking a few pictures from that side and not noticing much change since my last report, I went around and approached from the Eisenhower Avenue side of the tracks.

These two views are from the Wheeler Avenue side:

And these two were taken from the opposite side of the tracks, the Eisenhower Avenue side, which afforded a better look into the space between the new and old (current) bridges:

In the last photo (below), we now have a mystery: There's a wide gap between old and new bridges. On what will the new bridge be slid on to put it into position on the concrete supports after the old bridge has been removed? Will more piles be driven into the ground? Will some enormously-strong scaffold be erected?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Update (April 2, 2010) on construction of new CSX bridge at CFP102, Cameron Run, Alexandria, Virginia


The pace has picked up on construction of the new RF&P bridge at Cameron Run. In the short time since I last updated this story (March 9), the bridge "kit" has arrived (by rail, I understand) and is now being assembled on the framework seen in my earlier reports. Scroll down for pictures taken Friday, April 2, 2010.

VRE301, shown below, was running 3.5 hours behind schedule because CSX had shut down the railroad owing to a "police action" near the tracks in Alexandria:

I asked one workman when the new bridge would be shoved into place and he claimed he didn't know. Clearly, however, it won't be much longer.