Thursday, May 8, 2014

Myrtle Beach 2014, Part 1

Occasionally, even this clearly Canadian railway blog dips its toe into deep end of the swimming pool called big-time US railroading. A return visit to CSX's East Syracuse yard on April 26 netted six trains in less than one hour! Seems like my last visit was longer than a scant five months ago. Steaming south for surf, sun, sand, subs, sunrises, sunsets and suntans, and also some song lyrics! At Syracuse signature location NY MP 286, two trains pass (above).

We're the First to Arrive and the Last to Leave: CSX 7879-430 empty auto racks wait on the yard lead:
Looking Out my Back Door: CSX 5343-3150-9027 prove that intermodal trains can switch, too! This one see-sawed back and forth a few carlengths at a time. Also switching at the same time were CSX 6457-2230 with boxcars, farther away.
You Light up my Life. New signals that three crews were working on, intermodal still shifting:
Good Morning America, How Are You? Eastbound Empire Service: Amtrak 710-Amfleet 82740-82635-82666-82554-88520-48163 meets empty autoracks behind CSX 7820-682:
Happy Trailers to You. CSX 3134-7563-7711 zip through while the earlier intermodal shimmies. UP  and FedEx trailers, plus a mix of containers co-exist on CSX intermodal trains, unlike CN which is container-only on the Kingston Sub.
It's My Turn Now: CSX 7879-430 finally get a chance to leave the yard:
I've Been Everywhere: CSX Corporation - Jacksonville FL on the cab doors of these S&C trucks as the maintainers wait, and wait, and wait for track time:
Trailer on Flat Car becomes: Trailer on Trailer on Trailer on Trailer on Trailer. One rack is labelled CSX Chassis Pool. TSFZ and TSXZ are reporting marks for these Transamerican Leasing units.
I Ride Old Paint: Is American auto rack graffiti different from Canadian? You be the judge, on P&W, CSX, and brand-new KCS bilevels

That's What I Like About the South: April 27 at Selma, NC, just off I-95. Lighting is difficult due to being on the north side of the yard (the only access being an NS road access on the south side.) The north side road access parallels the yard, though largely without shoulders on either side. Drive-by time! NS 'yard power' 6712-8937 basks in the midday sun:
UP Where We Belong: What appears to be a road freight is actually making a cut in the yard. A few tank cars, cement cars, aggregate cars and an NS ballast car will be worked in the yard for awhile.
Wings - Band on the Run: FPNC! Foreign Power North Carolina: UP 5442 leads the locomotive consist. We checked out Selma in 2013 as well.
Down by the Station Early in the Morning: Myrtle Beach's Conway & Seashore, later Conway Coast & Western, and Atlantic Coast Line depot is preserved in the downtown, often used for civic events. The depot includes a passenger waiting room and large freight room, and a nearby plaque tells more of the story:
The last passenger service operating from the station was a mixed train service that ended in March, 1955. The service suffered from a lack of through connections to local mainlines, and the advent of increased  intercity automobile use.
Station rear view, toward Terminal Street (above) and front view, toward Broadway Street (below) 
 Front view showing the operator's bay:
While the line in front of the station has a few small trees taking root, the major problem preventing it from seeing train traffic now is the condition of the Carolina Southern trackage north to Conway. A lift bridge over the intracoastal waterway can be used, but the line requires some remediation, mainly the bridges on the line. The railway even rostered some ex-CN power, and I observed a couple of CS Geeps at Conway. In 2012.
In Part 2, we'll explore more of Myrtle Beach and head back north through Norfolk Southern country.
Detail on freight room doors:

Running extra...

I've heard of  AT&SF El Capitan transition cars built with a partial second level. I'd even heard of heavyweight cars that had their clerestories covered. But until last week, who knew that C&NW built dummy second level cars, including diners, to match bilevel coaches on their Peninsula 400 and Flambeau 400? I sure didn't.

Thanks, Trackside Treasure readers for casting your votes in the Bayview weekend posting poll. The test question even garnered some interest. (Bayview was not a TV show featuring the coiffed David Hasselhoff "I look good, but I probably have the insides of Elvis", or either of the buoyant Pamela Andersons.) Getting back to the poll, there was equal interest for a longer series of posts with more data/caption information, as there was for separate posts for CN, CP and VIA action I observed at the famous junction. Your input is appreciated, and I'll try to incorporate it in the output. Watch for upcoming posts as I GO and scan these ancient 110-format prints. (Below) Classic transportation in the triangle! Oh, and the train, too!


Anonymous said...

Fear Eric...Myrtle~Turtle Beach was an interesting views of US railroading. RDC part III was of interest with the live recount of events. Saw plenty of interest in Saskatoon and PA with a Meet up with Robert Gallagher and Carlton Trail and train show in PA with Warren Swaney of Tisdale showing his NScale talents. PA Highlight was a 1950s Western Flyer highway coach in STC colors with Sask Transit GMC fishbowl in olive drab with another 50s Flyer coach in green and white livery. Shot some fire app. R3K

Eric said...

Gotta love those fishbowls. Last Kingston ones were 1979-built:

Watch for Myrtle the Turtle part two...


Michael said...

I wonder if there will ever be a time when CSX locomotives have a consistent look. It's an interesting railway to be sure. Reminds me the trains I used to see back in Sarnia.

Eric said...

Good point, Michael. I'm glad CSX is closer to home than the basic black NS! I was going to try to differentiate the CSX schemes in my observations, but gave up. Blue & Grey, Large CSX, Small CSX, Shopping Cart, etc. My favourite was the CSX executive F scheme:

My daughter's favourite was the 'lightning bolt' on the cab!

A way-more-fascinating read than I imagined was TRAINS magazine's latest LOCOMOTIVE special issue which profiles each Class 1's loco fleet.

I'm not a locomotive guy; way too much louver-counting. But once in awhile is OK...

Thanks for your comment,