PROTOTYPE

 

Here are some sights from the real thing which have an inspirational impact on my Z Scale modelling.

 
 

MAY 2017

 
 
 

Bluefield WV
22 May 2017

NS GE SD70ACU #7248 (a former Union Pacific SD9043MAC locomotive acquired by Norfolk Southern in September 2014) is revving up and getting ready to pull out of Bluefield with a train of empty autoracks.

 

 
 

Bluefield WV
22 May 2017

Bluefield's signatory structure, the massive old concrete coaling tower, sees an unidentified pair of NS locomotives getting ready to pull their train of empty coal hoppers out of the yard.

 

 
 

Bluefield WV
22 May 2017

No doubt about the location which is proudly proclaimed to onlookers as NS GE SD70ACe #1030 sits in front of the Bluefield locomotive shop.

 

 
 

Bluefield WV
22 May 2017

NS GE C44-9W #9469 is tied down at Bluefield WV yard, just across from the famous coaling tower which still looms over the yard and locomotive shop.

 

 
 

Bristol Va/Tn
21 May 2017

 
It's a wet Sunday and NS GE ES44AC #8123, built in November 2012, is tied down at the Eastern end of Bristol Yard in the company of AAR M930 type NS caboose #555647, assigned to Bristol for yard work at least since 2007 although it does get around locally from time to time. Below is the famous Bristol sign (note heavy duty mainline rail in the foreground compared to the rails of the yard lead) and a view across the Bristol station canopy looking East towards the yard.
 
 

 
 

OCTOBER 2016

 
 
 

Dante Va
24 October 2016

There is zero activity at CSX's Dante Yard, which is filled with silence - and long lines of stored empty coal hoppers. Once an important hub for local coal operations on the Clinchfield RR, CSX as much as mothballed the entire line from Elkhorn City Ky to Kingsport Tn in 2015.

Coal traffic by rail in the US reached its peak in 2008 with a monthly average of 625,000 carloads; by 2016 this was down to 340,000 a month. The visible result on the former Clinchfield RR: empty coal hoppers were in storage wherever there was a siding.

 
Traffic has picked up a bit since and CSX runs a few trains on the line again, but it is nowhere close to its former glory.
 
 

 

Wildwood, located in Sumter County, Florida, used to be the dividing yard for the Seaboard Airline Railroad (and its successor, the Seaboard Coastline) where southbound passenger trains were divided up into East (Miami) and West (Tampa, Fort Myers and Naples) sections and northbound trains from both coasts were joined together. Today it's all about freight, and the busy yard which runs parallel to Main Street is run by CSX which operates frequent trains day and night through Wildwood on this busy stretch of the so-called "S Line". It proved a major source of inspiration for my Z Scale model railroading.

 
  Wildwood is a great place to be trackside, with trains passing through regularly both day and night. The town is situated less than an hour's drive from Orlando towards the Northern end of Florida's Turnpike; US 301 northwards takes you into town and right alongside the yard, where a small parking lot is conveniently located.

Just remember to stay within bounds - trains are frequent and usually pretty fast, too.

 
 

JULY 2015

 
 
 

CSX GP30 (Road Slug) #2270

25 July 2015

There is little activity at the North end of Wildwood yard as a few cars and CSX road slug (GP30) #2270 are tied down for the weekend, sitting it out on a muggy Saturday afternoon only minutes before a massive and lengthy downpour of summer rain.

 

NOVEMBER 2014

 
 

CSX GP39-2 (Road Slug) #2341

14 November 2014

Looking towards the North end of Wildwood Yard, CSX GP39-2 (Road Slug) #2341 is already tied down for the weekend together with two additional locomotives alongside a row of loaded CSX ballast hoppers wearing the distinctive MOW pumpkin paint scheme.

 
 

CSX AC44CW #552

14 November 2014

At 5pm that same Friday afternoon, CSX AC44CW #552 and AC60CW #678 are running full speed through Wildwood at the head of a southbound consist of empty stone hoppers. Looking closely at the full size image reveals the engineer making a friendly gesture towards the trackside railfan.

 
 

CSX AC4400CW #146

15 November 2014

By Saturday afternoon the next day, AC44CW #552 had joined the tied down road slug together with an unidentified loco and CSX AC4400CW #146 up front.

 
 

CSX C40-8W #7858

15 November 2014

It's 5.25pm as a trio of CSX locomotives (C40-8W #7858, C40-8W #7343 and GP40-2 #6018) appear at the South end of Wildwood Yard, heading a northbound manifest (i.e. a freight train with a mixture of car types and cargoes).

 
 

CSX C40-8W #7858

15 November 2014

Only a few seconds later, CSX C40-8W #7858, C40-8W #7343 and GP40-2 #6018 are rushing through Wildwood Yard.

 
 

CSX GP40-2 #6018

15 November 2014

CSX C40-8W #7858, C40-8W #7343 and GP40-2 #6018 are heading North with their manifest under a friendly sky.

 

MAY 2014

 
 

CSX SD70MAC #4792

13 May 2014

It's exactly 6.30pm as CSX SD70MAC #4792 heads a southbound manifest (i.e. a freight train with a mixture of car types and cargoes) through Wildwood.

 
 

CSX AC60CW #644

14 May 2014

Late morning yard switching in order to line up northbound empties.

 
 

CSX AC60CW #644

15 May 2014

Late morning yard switching in order to line up northbound empties.

 
 

CSX GP39-2 (Road Slug) #2383 - CSX GP40-2 #6983

15 May 2014

Late morning yard switching in order to line up northbound empties.

 
 

CSX GP39-2 (Road Slug) #2383

15 May 2014

Late morning yard switching in order to line up northbound empties.

 
 

CSX Dash 8-40CW #7812 - CSX SD70M #4684 - CSX GP40-2 #6360

15 May 2014

Dusk is settling in as a southbound manifest waits in the hole to let a hotshot southbound intermodal pass.

 
 

CSX Dash 8-40CW #7812

15 May 2014

Dusk is settling in as a southbound manifest waits in the hole to let a hotshot southbound intermodal pass.

 
 

CSX Freight Evening Scene

15 May 2014

(if file doesn't play in Firefox try here)

         

JULY 2013

 

 

There wasn't much happening that weekend when CSX SD-50 #8575 was laying over at Wildwood FL on Saturday, 13 July 2013. But even on such occasions there is usually an interesting selection of freight stock to be seen in the yard.

 
 
 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
All images on this page are (c) Adrian Wymann

 

 

page created 28 December 2012
page updated 5 December 2017