06/14/2004 Progress Report
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Connellsville/Winchester Staging Yard Activated!

CSXT Shenandoah Division crews have been busy since the 04/28/2004 Progress Report. As usual, a variety of projects are either underway or completed, but the biggest news in this update is that the CSXT track crews and signal maintainers have finished their work in the activating the staging yard at Connellsville/Winchester as of June 10, 2004!

Track crews finished working in the Connellsville/Winchester area on May 23, 2004, including laying the track around the back of the staging yard loops for the Potts Valley Railway. After the track work was done, the signal maintainers proceeded with installing feeders and attaching them to bus wires for each of the staging tracks (6 loop tracks plus 1 additional track). All 7 tracks are connected together temporarily via a terminal strip in preparation for the eventual installation of toggle switches to turn off each track.

The signal maintainers also successfully tested the wiring of this yard, including the operation of the automatic reversing unit built into the Digitrax PM42 supplying power to this part of the railroad. A brief moment of panic ensued before the Chief Signal Maintainer realized that one of the Configuration Variables had been programmed incorrectly for the PM42! :-) With the mistake rectified, motive power was successfully run on all 7 tracks to test the auto-reversing functionality, and the yard was declared in service on June 10, 2004!


Norfolk Southern Signal Maintainers Activate NS Charleston Yard!

Norfolk Southern signal maintainers have made a return appearance in the vicinity of Shenandoah Junction, Va. They have completed the installation of all wiring for the NS Charleston, W. Va. staging yard. Not to be outdone by the CSXT signal maintainers, the NS electrical crews also temporarily wired all 4 staging tracks together while awaiting the future installation of toggle switches to provide the ability to turn off staging tracks when not in use. The NS signal maintainers have also installed and wired slide switch turnout controls for this yard. All wiring in the Charleston Yard was completed by May 5, 2004.


Signal Maintainers Continue Additional Wiring

The CSXT signal maintainers worked on several other projects in addition to the Connellsville/Winchester staging yard. These crews have completed the installation of all LocoNet wiring on the Shenandoah Division. The LocoNet connects the DCS100 (Chief), a DB150 booster, a UR91 radio receiver, 3 PM42s, 5 BDL162s, and 17 PH-UP throttle panels, along with all the associated cabling.

In addition, the signal maintainers have been installing wires to power the turnout frogs via slide switches. Turnouts at Abbott, Laurel, Shenandoah Junction, High Meadow, and Ridgemont have been completed. Power has been provided to industry tracks at Laurel and High Meadow as well.


Roadway Crews Continue to Make Progress

The roadway crews have installed additional plywood subroadbed and Vinylbed roadbed at the Virginia Eastman plant in Carpenter in preparation for future tracklaying.


Fascia and Backdrop Installation Continues

Thanks to some help from the work crew, additional Masonite fascia sections have been installed on the railroad. The backdrop has now been completed at the NS Charleston, W. Va. staging yard, while fascia has been installed from Laurel around "Wall Curve" to Shenandoah Junction.


Photos of Progress as of June 14, 2004

Overall view of the completed Connellsville/Winchester staging yard showing a freight train on the outermost staging loop. The train has 5 four-axle locomotives, 35 cars, and a caboose.


Another view of Connellsville/Winchester showing the same train proceeding around the outermost loop track. All 6 of the loop tracks will hold 2 trains each, while the track to the right of the train holds 1 train. That track also ties into the Potts Valley Railway to form a short continuous running loop through Covington and Connellsville/Winchester.


View of Laurel, Va. showing recently installed fascia.


A view of the fascia at "Wall Curve" between Laurel and Shenandoah Junction. A ridge will rise to the right of the train between the mainline and the top of the fascia. A creek will be in the valley to the left of the train, with a concrete retaining wall following part of the curve. This scene is based on similar curves on the Clinchfield Railroad in the Nolichucky River Gorge and on the B&O's "Magnolia Cutoff" along the Potomac River.


Here's a view of "Wall Curve" from the Shenandoah Junction end of the curve. Jan, Rich, and Scott helped tremendously with the engineering and installation of this fascia.


Fascia at the "Wall Curve" area on the Laurel side of the peninsula. The intent of the high fascia at the end of this peninsula is to encourage crews to move to either the Laurel or Shenandoah Junction sides of the peninsula to follow their train instead of standing in the somewhat narrow aisle (~36") at the end of the peninsula.


Fascia at the "Wall Curve" area on the Shenandoah Junction side of the peninsula.


This view looking northward from Shenandoah Junction shows the completed NS Charleston, W. Va. staging yard and the newly installed backdrop sections.


Overall view of the Virginia Eastman plant at Carpenter showing the completed installation of Vinylbed for the plant trackage.


Northbound freight train entering the Potts Junction area at the south end of Covington.

Overall view of the progress at Covington.


This page was last updated on 01/01/11.


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