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.
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!
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?