Monday, May 13, 2013


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was our sunny spring vacation destination. Railfanning was not the reason for the trip, but that doesn't mean that the drive would be devoid of trackside treasure. Watertown, New York's Afgritech feed mill on Willow Street was a busy spot, with cars of feed all around the property. A Canadian Yankee in King Arthur's Court, CP/SOO 122045 awaits its trip to the unloading shed.  Syracuse NY and Harrisburg PA were Interstate 81 overpasses with views.
Selma NC is a busy rail junction of CSX and NS just off I-81.  Ex-Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac caboose 907 is stuffed and mounted near the unique diamond-dwelling Selma-Smithfield Amtrak station:
Looking south along CSX under the platform awning, with NS crossing at the diamond, with the Bailey Feed Mill in the distance:
Looking norh from the same location, the NS-CSX connecting track used by several daily Amtrak trains is at left, passing near a former freight station now used by CSX section forces:
There is at least one train in the NS Selma yard paralleled by Pine Level-Selma Road every time we pass by, a westbound while we were southbound: NS 6647-6649-7645-9865, as well as 9164-9889-8827 at the east end of the yard facing east.  This ex-BN Midwest Railcar Corporation woodchip gon MWCX 101501 languished in the yard:
This Helm-Pacific Leasing ex-UP tarped gondola HPJX 147572 has also been through the Folkston Funnel in Georgia:
Is this a NS yard switcher? NS 9889-8827 back into the yard with cars of aggregate, cement and tank cars.
Southern 101714 is a typical aggregate car, built in 1972 and over 40 years old:
Apparently it an online car, stencilled for the Association of American Railroads' Rule 88 governing the interchange of such elderly (by today's standards) cars:
Perhaps these cars are hauling bedrock. Fred Flintstone is aboard NW 150067. This type of clever, didn't-lift-the-chalk, nearly one-stroke yabba-dabba-doodle graffiti is head-and-shoulders above the hurriedly spray-painted variety.  Dated October 2012.
Roanoke Cement pressure-differential 45-foot covered hopper cars like RCCX 104 seem to spend a lot of time in Virginia.
Now we're at the west end of the yard, as the backup move appears at rear, with the ever-present NS freight at left with NS 2749-6646-9698-2668.
Some ex-BN, exx-Conrail PS2CD RFMX covered hoppers were on the freight, formerly seen traversing CN's Kingston Sub:
It's plane to see that the only non-road wheeled transport near Myrtle Beach, south of the inoperative swing bridge over the intracoastal waterway is to be found at the Warrior Park near the former US Air Force Base in Myrtle Beach. A-7 Corsair, A-10 Warthog and Super Sabre operated by the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing are stuffed and mounted near the current airport that sees multiple charter and scheduled civil flights, and during our stay Hercules, Globemaster, Cobra, Huey and Fighting Falcon flybys and touch-and-gos.
The post title?  Freight Cars plus North Carolina plus Norfolk Southern equals South Carolina. Seems we did most of our railfanning in southern North Carolina!

Running extra...

Favourite state to drive through: Virginia.  Prosperous though starchy, it's the only state that includes Starbucks in its Lodgings-Gas-Food signs on the Interstate.  Also home to the most personalized license plates, such as CYAJRZY.

Emporia NC has a historic train depot, and sees the Tropicana Juice, Auto Train, Amtrak and CSX trains as well. Did I mention Applebee's? I could produce several weeks' of posts on dining and trains in the good ol' USA on my other blog, Fast Food and Trains (see sidebar). I think I'd gain weight just writing about them, though. Would you like fries with that? And a Lipitor?

Good to be back in Canada, where we drive on the right, celebrate Labour Day in September and splurge by including a third major political party. It's said that Canadians are just like Americans, except unarmed and with health insurance! Thanks for joining me in this foray into the US and south of the Mason-Dixon line, y'all eh?


Anonymous said...

Hi Eric. Welcome back from what sounds like a really fun trip.

I really like that feedmill in Watertown (Agritech). Given my preference for minimalist layouts I think you could make one heck of a great little layout featuring that mill. I'll have to check out Google Maps and Earth to get a sense of what that mill looks like.

Eric said...

Glad you liked it, Chris. I took a few more photos, while my wife was in the craft store picking up some bargains! Trust me, on a trip like this, we have to find our own kind of fun in the rail enthusiast biz!

Nearby, a contractor was rationalizing some of the former Conrail trackage. That feed mill spur seemingly comes out of nowhere, and who imagined CP would have a presence there?

I'll send you the additional photos to perhaps give you more inspiration!

Thanks for your comments,

Anonymous said...

Dear Eric... Look at the NS images and I want to travel to the deep south. Saw NS in M-STP not long ago and CSX in Staples MN, and hope for more non BNSF power. Hope to have Gren Bay photos back soon, complete with CRIP Aero-Train and others. Walthers in MILW is something to behold from behind the scenes. Have I-Spy update to forward on Tues. Going to TRF-Thief River Falls MN for SOO-CP action on Sun, hope for some MP-15s or new CP 2200s. Bye for now. R3K.

Eric said...

Glad I've inspired you to head South, Brian. Big-time railroading these days!
Thanks for the update,

Bryan said...

Interesting post, with the usual fascinating examination of particular rolling stock.

Not really a topic for this blog, but how about putting up a picture of that A10 Warthog in a future banner (although the latest MOW night shot is a great one)? The Warthog is a scary piece of equipment. (There's no shortage of Youtube videos out there for the interested.)


Eric said...

Thanks for your comments and questions, Bryan.

I like me some freight cars, what with all this peripheral chatter about locomotives, louvers and the like.

Yes, I can include the A-10 in a future post. It's hard to get a clean shot of it, as the planes are quite close together, there are the usual gawkers (like me) and the paint scheme is a bit funky. We also saw a Warthog at the CFB Trenton air show. That thing can turn on a dime and spit fire!