CSX Big Sandy and Kingsport SDs - March and April 2018
1. CSX 533-338-3297 enter Robinson Creek Tunnel on the Sandy Valley & Elkhorn SD. This tunnel was built by the B&O in 1912. The lining was burned out a couple of years ago in a case of arson. 03-03-2018.
2. CSX 533-338-3297. View 2. Robinson Creek.
3. CSX 533-338-3297. View 3. Robinson Creek.
4. Mine run C860-03 enters Long Fork Tunnel at Virgie. This tunnel also suffered an arson fire in the 1990s. CSX 533-338-3297. Virgie KY.
5. CSX 533-338-3297. View 2. Virgie KY.
6. C860 arrives at Cambrian Coal’s mine at Myra. CSX 533-338-3297. Myra KY.
7. C860 will pull to the end of the siding, return down the main, and start loading these 102 empties. CSX 533-338-3297. View 2. Myra KY.
8. CSX 3028-290 take 107 loads of coal for Duke Energy’s power plant at Brice NC across Pool Point bridge just south of Elkhorn City KY on the Kingsport SD (former Clinchfield). 03-04-2018.
9. CSX 4760-3411 shove the train of DKPX, MILX, TILX and GGPX rapid-discharge in distributed power mode. EMDs are rare now on coal trains. Pool Point KY.
10. CSX 979-7772-7718 arrive west end of Shelby with K851-31, an 80-car eastbound empty potash train (very, very rare). 04-01-2018. Shelby KY.
11. CSX 979-7772-7718. View 2. Shelby KY.
12. The depot (a converted house) sat in the vacant area on the right. CSX 979-7772-7718. View 3. Shelby KY.
13. K851-31 now has a Kingsport crew. They cautiously come around the curve expecting the Florence dispatcher to have the signal lined southbound. An ethanol train is parked on the lead awaiting a crew. CSX 979-7772-7718. View 4. Shelby KY.
14. CSX 979-7772-7718. View 5. Shelby KY.
15. Clear signal at the east end of Shelby for K851-31. CSX 979-7772-7718. View 6. Shelby KY.
16. Just after getting home from work I heard a train blow. I’m not getting out of my recliner and away from my beer for anything less than a Kansas City Southern unit. Guess what! The third unit on Q693 this day was a KCS!! It was the first one I had ever seen on Big Sandy. CSX 118-201-KCS 3937. KCS 3937 is a SD70MACe converted by Progress Rail from a SD70MAC. FO Cabin.
17. Eastbound Q693-03 is passing the reclaimed site of the Chaparral Coal tipple and approaching FO Cabin (in other words between Pikeville and Shelby). Q693 has 34 cars this day. 04-03-2018. CSX 118-201-KCS 3937. View 2. FO Cabin.
18. Q692 behind CSX 3306-3420-3263 accelerates west at Fords Branch with 19 cars. A 200-car McClure empty train is on the switching lead entering the Shelby yard. 04-03-2018. Fords Branch.
19. Q693 crosses over at Fords Branch to run up the main around the empty train for a crew change. The Kingsport crew is waiting. Frankly folks this much activity is a rarity anymore. CSX 118-201-KCS 3937. Fords Branch.
20. Medium approach at FO Cabin. That means medium speed over the turnout to No. 1 track then be prepared to stop at Fords Branch. I waited a while in my church clothes, but the train didn’t come until a couple of hours later. 04-22-2018. CSX signal FO Cabin.
21. Early the next Saturday morning, 04-28-2018, at FO Cabin. CSX 3027-3053-3361 have 100 empty hoppers (a rarity these days around here) on eastbound U209-28.
22. U209 takes No. 2 track which will become the switching lead at Fords Branch. In other words he is going into the yard. Does that cantilever appear leaning? Well it is. There was a big derailment here in 1968 or so, that knocked it cock-eyed. I think FO Cabin was derived from a flag stop named Fergo in the old employee timetables. CSX 3027-3053-3361. View 2. FO Cabin KY.
23. These new ET44AHs with all that radiator on the back are brutish. CSX ET44AH 3361. Shelby KY.
24. CSX 3074-252 cross US 23 at Penny approaching the Damron Fork Mine off the Sandy Valley & Elkhorn SD. 04-28-2018. Penny KY.
25. After running around their train the crew starts loading at CAM Mining’s Damron Fork Mine. CSX 252-3074. Damron Fork Mine.
All for now.