Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bye, bye wye: Hyattsville CSX project is finished

CSX recently finished rebuilding its wye that comes off the Capital Subdivision at Hyattsville, Maryland (originally "Alexandria Junction" of the B&O). Here begins the six mile-long Alexandria Extension, which then runs south to Benning Yard, crosses the Anacostia River, and joins the RF&P Subdivision. I had not visited the spot since December 2014. On Sunday, April 19, 2015, I returned for a look.

The switch at the apex of the wye had been removed and the two legs of the wye (east and west) separated. Replacing the switch a half mile south is a new interlocking with double crossovers. The east leg had been shoved slightly to the east and joined to the new second track, while the west leg was joined to the old single track. The east leg track now crosses a new bridge built adjacent to the old one over the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River. 

The Alexandria Extension continues south as mostly a two-track line where, until recently, it had been all single track originally laid by the B&O in 1874. Today, all but one segment, between the "Tuxedo" and Chesapeake Junction signals (just under 2 miles), has been double-tracked.

Below is what I found on April 19, which I've organized into a "before and after" format.


BEFORE, looking south down the east leg of the wye toward the CPL (January 2014). Notice that grading has already been finished to provide room for moving the east leg:

AFTER the project was completed (April 19, 2015):

BEFORE, looking north across the switch at the apex of the wye:

AFTER, same view (April 19, 2015):

BEFORE, looking south across the west leg crossover and switch:

AFTER, same view looking south. Note the (cough) kink in the east leg's rails (left):

BEFORE, looking north across the single-track bridge over the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River:

AFTER. Q416, on the newly double-tracked bridge, approaches the signals that replaced the old B&O CPL above:

BEFORE, in single-track days. Northbound Q400 approaches Tanglewood Drive:

 AFTER #1--two shots. First, the view from the south end of the bridge over the Anacostia River, looking at the southbound signals of the new interlocking. In the distance is the Tanglewood Drive grade crossing:

AFTER #2. And here's a closeup of the two crossovers in the new interlocking, one north of the Tanglewood Drive grade crossing, and the other just south of it:

BEFORE, in 2008, the original single-track bridge and HCD (High Car Detector) for protecting the Virginia Avenue tunnel. My understanding is the HCD has been moved farther south on the Extension:

AFTER: The HCD has been removed and the new bridge erected on this side of the old one. Signals for southbounds now stand where the HCD had been:

And finally, a few more views from my April 19 visit.

Signal controlling westbound trains leaving the wye for the Capital Sub:

And so concludes my progress reports on the Hyattsville wye project. Thanks for following along.