Friday, November 7, 2014

The CSX Alexandria Extension's Hyattsville Wye Project: Almost Done, But Not Quite (November 2, 2014)

They really are going to finish this project in our lifetimes ;-) Since my last visit (September 14) a lot has changed. I had a little time on Sunday, November 2, 2014, so I drove up to Hyattsville, Md. for a look. The contractor has completed laying track across the new bridge over the Anacostia,  installed crossovers south of the bridges, set up wayside signals before and after the crossovers, and modified the route north of the bridges so trains run only across the new bridge. The old bridge is currently out of service, and apparently will be replaced "by February" (thanks to a tip from our friend, Bob Edmonson, who had spoken with a contract employee).

Following the track-numbering scheme of the RF&P, to which the Alexandria Extension (this line) has been affixed by CSX, I'm told (again, by Bob) that the easternmost track is now numbered "2." Thus, the one on the west side is "3."

Let's take a look . . .


Standing on Tanglewood Drive and pointing the camera south, we find a new switch-and-signal shack (right). The rest of the scene is unchanged from my September visit.
This close-up shows that new switch heater at the crossover.
Turning around while still standing on Tanglewood Drive and pointing the camera north, we find another new switch-and-signal box for controlling the crossovers between this spot and the bridges. A new switch heater can be seen in the distance.
A different view of the switch heater and crossovers north of Tanglewood Drive.

Track 3 crosses the old bridge (left) while the new bridge (right) carries Track 2. The sign reads "Danger: Fall Protection Required Beyond This Point." Point taken!

Hello, what's this? The old B&O signal that's been on the left for decades has been moved to the right! (although the old headless mast remains). The reason for this move, which is temporary, is to control northbound trains bound for the wye, which now are running only on Track 2 (the new one on the right). Just beyond the curve, which I did not have time to investigate, the old track coming south from the wye has been welded to Track 2. Old Track 3 was cut and awaits replacement when the new bridge is installed. And then, the apex of the wye will be pulled apart so that Track 3 will run to the western leg and Track 2 to the eastern.

Driving north to the top of the east leg of the wye, near Decatur Street, I'm facing south and see little change from previous visits. The clear signal, however, told me to wake up and get away from the track--now!

As mentioned above, the apex of the wye still has its switch and is functioning. The track running from the switch south, away from the camera, has now been welded to the new bridge on Track 2 (not visible in this photo).
The clear signal was welcoming the arrival of Q409, visible in the background, now on the east leg and headed for the new bridge. He will continue south along the Alexandria Extension, pass through Benning Yard and downtown D.C., then cross the Potomac and enter the original RF&P at MP110 (RO tower).

To summarize: Remaining to be done at this project is the installation of a replacement deck-girder bridge for Track 3, then dismantling the switch at the south apex of the wye and connecting each leg to separate tracks across separate bridges over the Anacostia. We'll report back to you when there's news . . .

1 comment:

  1. I have a photo from online dated 1970, taken of a Monon freight in Frankfort, IN. It says "John Fuller Photograph." IS that yours? Do you have other dated photographs from Frankfort? I am modeling the Penn Central through Frankfort and do research to uncover details I've previously missed. My email is: -Ross Johnson