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Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
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   Author  Topic: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy  (Read 145 times)
George_Harris
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Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« on: Mar 20th, 2017, 9:41pm »
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Thought we had a thread on this project.  For those who don't know, this is replacement of the tunnel on the Washington Union Station freight bypass.  
 
I will add more later, but here is the latest update from Progressive Railroading
 
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/csx_transportation/article/Project-update-CSXs-Virginia-Avenue-Tunnel--51027?source=pr_digital03/20/2017&email=emailAddress
 
I hope they have been smart enough to provide clearance for electrification should it ever be reinstalled.


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Henry
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #1 on: Mar 21st, 2017, 1:17am »
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The article says says "The new 4,100-foot-long, 21-foot-tall tunnels" so is that enough for catenary? CSX' "Doublestack 3" clearance is 20' 2" so I am guessing it isn't high enough. Maybe they can undercut enough if necessary.


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George_Harris
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #2 on: Mar 21st, 2017, 1:45am »
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on Mar 21st, 2017, 1:17am, Henry wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The article says says "The new 4,100-foot-long, 21-foot-tall tunnels" so is that enough for catenary? CSX' "Doublestack 3" clearance is 20' 2" so I am guessing it isn't high enough. Maybe they can undercut enough if necessary.

NO!!!!  Saw the article but just glanced through it.  I can't believe they did that.
This distance is less than AREMA recommended requirements, which is 23'-0", see the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association Manual, Chapter 28, Clearances.  If electrification is anticipated, the amount should be no less than 24'-3" if the power is to be 25kv or less.
 
 Back in the 1960's when clearances became a problem for piggyback, Southern went on a massive tunnel clearance project.  In that time frame they made some major alignment improvements on the CNO&TP.  As part of that the tunnels built/enlarged were to an overhead clearance of 30 feet.  The comment made, we want to never have to do this (clearance improvement) work again.  Though not stated in anything I read, it appears that allowance for electrification was part of that.


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Henry
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #3 on: Mar 21st, 2017, 2:54am »
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Was that when they daylighted some of the rathole tunnels?
 
It seems pretty short-sighted to go only to 21'.


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #4 on: Mar 21st, 2017, 8:37am »
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George - Henry - Lodge Members -
 
What we have here something of a classic DC Boondoggle? From appearances, CSX has only so much funding to throw at this.  
In the long history, this should not be a CSX problem? Used to be, PENNA RR ran a freight and passenger "cutoff" between a  
point at/near Seabrook, MD and Potomac Yards, VA. It was under "wire", yes?
 
This current project is just a mess?
 
SOUTHERN RR and possibility of running under wires? The line long tempted by the cheaper TVA power. The line must not have  
trusted that, so there are no electrics on the CNO&TP line?
 
...........  Vern  .................


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George_Harris
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #5 on: Mar 21st, 2017, 1:27pm »
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on Mar 21st, 2017, 2:54am, Henry wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Was that when they daylighted some of the rathole tunnels?

Yes.  In fact, enlarged or daylighted all of them.  As part of this, there were several line relocations.  I think a couple of new tunnels were built that bypassed older tunnels on better alignments.


« Last Edit: Mar 22nd, 2017, 9:30pm by George_Harris » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #6 on: Mar 21st, 2017, 2:32pm »
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on Mar 21st, 2017, 8:37am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
George - Henry - Lodge Members -
 
What we have here something of a classic DC Boondoggle? From appearances, CSX has only so much funding to throw at this. In the long history, this should not be a CSX problem? Used to be, PENNA RR ran a freight and passenger "cutoff" between a point at/near Seabrook, MD and Potomac Yards, VA. It was under "wire", yes?

 
I was working in DC on WMATA, 1972-1978 first for the contractor in what became the Major Repair Yard and the Wash Term Co East Coach Yard, later on the design side for track, so I have a little first hand familiarity.  We were right next to the passenger lines into Washington Union Station from the north.  The ex Pennsy lines were electrified (obviously) and the B&O lines were not.  South of the New York Avenue overpass all the Washington station approach tracks were electrified except for the westernmost, which were B&O only. WUT tracks 1 through 6 or 7 were taken out along with the easternmost three throat tracks, all sold to WMATA, along with much of the WUT coach yard.  Remember at that time the thought was that railroad passenger service outside the corridor was in a death spiral ending shortly with none.  
 
Back to the topic at hand:  These tracks were passenger only.  The split point was, if I recall correctly, Landover Tower, with all freight diverging to the east.  The freight lines continued on the Anacostia side of the Anacostia River, bridging it about 1/2 mile north of the crossing of the same by Pennsylvania Avenue SE. After crossing it they continued on the DC side curving into paralleling Virginia Avenue SE and the Virginia Ave tunnel.  Coming out of the tunnel they continued paralleling Virginia Ave in a more or less WNW orientation, meeting the passenger line at Virginia Avenue Tower, which was located at about 2nd or 3rd Street SW.  From this point they ran together to the crossing of the Patomac River.  The passenger line to the south out of Washington Union Station ran in a tunnel under 1st Street NE and SE, coming out and curving to join the freight line at Virginia Tower.  This tunnel and line south thereof was not electrified.  There was electrification for a short length at the north end just at the station so that for through trains the Pennsy engines could be cut off and the Southern, RF&P, or C&O diesels attached.  (Did the C&O ever run trains through north of DC?)  The freight line was electrified throughout.  South of Virginia Tower all tracks were electrified to the divergence of the freight tracks from the mains to enter Patomac Yard.  The tracks from the New York Avenue overpass north of Union Station to the Virginia Avenue tower connection with the freight line were owned by the Washington Terminal Company.  North of New York Avenue the through tracks were owned by either the Pennsy or the B&O, as appropriate, with the Terminal company owning the yards between.  The freight line was owned by the Pennsy throughout to the south end of the Patomac River Bridge.  Thus, the RF&P did not own any tracks outside of Virginia.  (The state line between the District of Columbia, along with Maryland and Virginia is at the south bank, I think the low water mark, but am not sure, not at the stream flowline which is the normal when watercourses are defined as state lines.)  I believe that for the part south of the bridge used by the Pennsy, including the tracks in Patomac yard that were electrified, the Pennsy owned the catenary and all else appertaining to the electrification with the RF&P owning everything else.
 
Quote:
SOUTHERN RR and possibility of running under wires? The line long tempted by the cheaper TVA power. The line must not have trusted that, so there are no electrics on the CNO&TP line?  
 
...........  Vern  .................

I was following railroad stuff at the time this idea came up. It was TVA on one side with Southern's CNO&TP and the L&N's Cincinatti to Atlanta line on the other side.   I don't remember who first approached who,  but the concept was that TVA would own everything electrical down to, or maybe it was even including the catenary and supports with all else being owned by TVA who wold be selling the power in the similar manner to that was done with cooperatives and town systems.  It seems that there was great enthusiasm by both railroads, but neither wanted to be first.  The preference of each was that the other be the guinea pig.  After being discussed with great enthusiasm by all parties for some time it faded away into thundering silence with nothing said about what killed it.  
 
There were a few little points that i remember from the discussions and news about it.  One was that if you had a paralleling barb wire fence at the right of way line with the wires reasonably well insulated, and dry wood posts provided sufficient insulation, that a 25kV 60hz overhead could induce over 100 volts in the wire which is sufficient to kill a cow.


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #7 on: Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:04pm »
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George - Lodge Members -
 
Just above, you have a "BTW" remark about C & O. See this "Wiki" link which tries to help...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_and_Ohio_Railway
 
Yes, yes, your writer recalls from the era that C & O power seen holding at Ivy City (DC). For dates of  
passenger services? This one better aided with a C & O scholar?
 
It is plausible there may have been C & O operating "joint line" with either B & O or PENN. Otherwise,  
perhaps thru Pullman schedules between NJ/NY and interchange at WUT DC? A rationale why C & O  
may have done it that way? Its activity at White Sulphur Springs an important on line point?
 
Misc Point here? It is difficult to even imagine C & O power, North (TT East) above DC running either  
B & O or PENN. On both of the Carriers, power set up with signaling systems, purpose built for the  
respective lines. Yes, one exception comes to mind. One time severe snow storm which shut down the  
PENN GG-1 types. With it, several "Southern Line" power (SRS, C&O (?), ACL, SAL, RF&P) ran thru  
to NY (PRR 34th St.)...
 
This one clearly "incidental knowledge. It doesn't get the new tunnels built! <G>
 
.....................  Vern  .....................


« Last Edit: Mar 22nd, 2017, 2:20pm by HwyHaulier » Logged

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Norm_Anderson
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #8 on: Mar 22nd, 2017, 3:17pm »
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on Mar 21st, 2017, 2:32pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Did the C&O ever run trains through north of DC?

 
George and Vern,
 
I can't comment on "ever," but I do have timetables from 1956 that show the following:
 
C&O advertised through service to New York on three trains:  The George Washington, the Sportsman, and the F.F.V..  But these were apparently through Sleepers and Chair Cars only, handled on Pennsy trains between New York and DC.
 
The George Washington:  
 
Westbound Train 1 received cars from Train 129, the Potomac.  
Eastbound Train 2 delivered cars to Train 174, the Federal.
 
The Sportsman:
 
Westbound Train 5 received cars from Train 111, the President.
Eastbound Train 4 delivered cars to Train 152, the Afternoon Congressional.
 
The F.F.V.:
 
Westbound Train 3 received cars from Train 137, the Mount Vernon.
Eastbound Train 6 delivered cars to Train 112 (which may not have been named, but which carried a Dining Car, and also carried through cars from Florida Service trains).
 
By the way, can anyone offer a difinitive answer to whether the name F.F.V. referred to Fast Flying Virginian, or First Families of Virginia?  I have heard both explanations offered . . .
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm


« Last Edit: Mar 22nd, 2017, 3:18pm by Norm_Anderson » Logged
HwyHaulier
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #9 on: Mar 22nd, 2017, 3:56pm »
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Norm - George - Lodge Members -
 
WOW! The published TTs don't lie! Yes, that's the way it happened. C & O - PRR interchanged thru cars at Washington.  
The practice should be documented in histories of PULLMAN...
 
Date here is fascinating. In the era, B & O ended its Washington - Jersey City services (ca. 1958?). In any case, your writer  
at Mount Royal (BAL) Station later in the evening. Its train arriving from Jersey City carried a C & O Sleeper! Never have  
figured why that was so. Also at the time, B & O had agreements with MOPAC, with Cars handled in the EAGLE System!
 
Eastbound PRR #112? IIRC, it was an earlier hour dept. from DC. Something of a "catch all" which carried all East Cars  
coming up from the South. That is: C & O, SRS, ACL, SAL. Perhaps RF&P, too, but the latter is a stretch...
 
Define "FFV". Who knows? Your writer favors "First Families Of Virginia". It always George Washington's railroad!...
 
......................  Vern  ...........................


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George_Harris
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #10 on: Mar 22nd, 2017, 9:39pm »
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on Mar 22nd, 2017, 3:56pm, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Eastbound PRR #112? IIRC, it was an earlier hour dept. from DC. Something of a "catch all" which carried all East Cars  
coming up from the South. That is: C & O, SRS, ACL, SAL. Perhaps RF&P, too, but the latter is a stretch...
 
Define "FFV". Who knows? Your writer favors "First Families Of Virginia". It always George Washington's railroad!...
 
......................  Vern  ...........................

Vern:  
Anything that was to/from ACL & SAL would have traveled to DC via RF&P.
I once heard that originally the FFV was "Fast Flying Vestibuled" with that going back to when there were still  many open platform cars in trains.  True or not, I have no idea.  (Remember when businesses used to advertise  that they were air conditioned?  Ceased to be any point in doing so after almost all were.  When I was a small kid, that was a major selling point in going to a movie in the summer, you would be sitting in a cool space.  When I say stuff like this my kid that lives near me asks what it was like to have a pet dinosaur.)  


« Last Edit: Mar 22nd, 2017, 9:43pm by George_Harris » Logged
Norm_Anderson
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #11 on: Mar 22nd, 2017, 11:16pm »
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on Mar 22nd, 2017, 9:39pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Remember when businesses used to advertise  that they were air conditioned?  Ceased to be any point in doing so after almost all were.  When I was a small kid, that was a major selling point in going to a movie in the summer, you would be sitting in a cool space.  

 
George, how well I remember those signs!  I grew up in SoCal, and can recall businesses downtown that had signs in the window reading Come In - - It's COLD Inside!  For added emphasis, the word "COLD" was extra-large, with icicles hanging down from the letters.  When I grew up and moved to the Upper Midwest (and lived through a couple of Minnesota winters), it finally dawned on me that icicles are a sign of relative warmth!  They only form when the air temperature is above 32*F (0*C), or when the sunlight is intense enough to produce a bit of melting.  On the coldest January days, when the thermometer reads twenty below zero, and the sun is hung in the sky only for ornamentation, the only icicles you will find are old ones, left over from the last "warm spell."
 
Those signs were clearly the work of a Californian or a Floridian.
 
 
(By the way, if F.F.V. does not stand for First Families of Virginia, your reasoning about the Fast Flying Vestibuled makes a lot more sense than Fast Flying Virginian, which sounds like a nickname, rather than a name the railroad itself would choose.  Railroads were always keen to advertise their newest innovations (from vestibules to electric lighting to all-steel construction to air conditioning to streamlining to radio music in the lounge car).  But I can also see Vern's point about First Families and "George Washington's Railroad."
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm


« Last Edit: Mar 22nd, 2017, 11:23pm by Norm_Anderson » Logged
HwyHaulier
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #12 on: Mar 23rd, 2017, 10:27am »
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George - Norm - Lodge Members -
 
SIGH! At this point, we are hardly getting the new tunnels built. Perhaps all this obscure detail about past PRR and C&O practices  
better in "Fallen Flags" for the two lines?
 
Your writer, in his Archival Library of venerable TTs has these on point gems: PRR Form 1 dated SEP 9 1956, and C & O Folder  
dated JAN 1 1955. To the point, PRR #112 an unnamed schedule EB from Washington at 0500 HR Daily. Recall, IIRC, it carried  
thru Pullman Cars from South origins.
 
More. In the PRR folder, the schedules did protect use of (SRS - ESPEE) Crescent name. Else, schedules did not display use of  
names of ACL & SAL Florida trains...
 
Maybe these obscure items better on "Fallen Flags"?
 
.....................  Vern  ............................


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George_Harris
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #13 on: Mar 23rd, 2017, 2:12pm »
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Vern:  True.   We have definitely veered from the original subject, however, that is the way many conversations do.  One thought leads to another until the original subject is buried in the past.  Now I will continue that  path some.
 
Norm:  Sorry, but I am going to pick at your point here:
Quote:
When I grew up and moved to the Upper Midwest (and lived through a couple of Minnesota winters), it finally dawned on me that icicles are a sign of relative warmth!  They only form when the air temperature is above 32*F (0*C), or when the sunlight is intense enough to produce a bit of melting.  On the coldest January days, when the thermometer reads twenty below zero, and the sun is hung in the sky only for ornamentation, the only icicles you will find are old ones, left over from the last "warm spell."

What you need is snow sitting on a surface that is above freezing with air temperature below freezing.  That is why you commonly see icicles off the house roof that are longer than those off an unheated garage or other such roof.  When you see icicles dripping it is either because the water running into them is flowing faster than the air can freeze all of it or the air temperature has gotten above freezing.  The reason you don't see them forming when the temperature gets well below freezing is because the cold has penetrated to the point that the underlying surface that was above freezing with warmer air temperatures can't get to being above freezing any more.  Some of my ancestors may have been from some parts of Europe where it can get that cold, but they got smart a few centuries ago and left, and I have never had any urge to live anywhere that cold, snow, and deeply frozen ground are the winter normal rather than events that occur at times during the winter.
 
Now getting sort of close to the original:  The First Street East tunnel used by passenger trains is also an extremely close clearance structure.  It is more of a problem in the curve on the south end rather than the straight portion.  When that structure was built, 85 foot long passenger cars were in the future.  I think the car length at that time was in the range of 60 to 75 feet.  Obviously the longer the car, the larger the end car and mid car offsets when going around a curve.  I would that would be intuitive to anyone that has ever driven or watched the passage of any vehicle longer than a short automobile around the corner at an intersection or small radius curve, but I have been surprised by the lack of understanding of that by some people that I thought should have known better.  Back when I was working in the WMATA yard I was told by one of the Terminal Company foremen that there were long streaks and gouges in the walls of those tunnels on the curve.    
 
I have heard that the Autotrain cars are taken through these tunnels to Ivy City for maintenance, but maybe that is just the engines.  I really don't see how they could make a superliner car fit through these tunnels.


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #14 on: Mar 23rd, 2017, 2:41pm »
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George - Norm - Lodge Members -
 
Noted. Not that your writer has any plans as an "arbitrary and capricious" (legal term), hard case Web Master,  
mean school teacher. Not about wariness of straying from original intent on threads. It is fun to "follow the  
evidence" (legal term)...
 
Be that as it may, seems to me you have been sorely aggrieved wherein eager young, newly trained engineers,  
j.g. simply can't figure the "car swing" considerations. Maybe they had deprived childhoods, and never had a  
Lionel train set? For instance, your writer noticed the resident Jeep Wrangler does not have the inherent swing  
of, say, a Class 8 road warrior. Van of 53' overall dim, with the trailer tandems set way forward. Try in Manhattan?
 
Also, and BTW. The inarguable Laws of Physics ruled out any use of Dome Cars on the NY - Florida trains...  
Too, AUTOTRAIN operates to/ from Lorton VA, and Sanford FL...
 
......................  Vern  ........................
 


« Last Edit: Mar 25th, 2017, 8:58am by HwyHaulier » Logged

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ClydeDET
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #15 on: May 20th, 2017, 10:17pm »
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Seem to recall that B&O and C&O bought some custom, low-profile domes that allowed operation under wire for trains operating in and out of Washington. And I think that they also barred passengers from occupying dome seats while under wire. Says something. I guess.

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HwyHaulier
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel - Dist of Columbia, CSX, ex Pennsy
 
« Reply #16 on: May 21st, 2017, 8:22am »
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on May 20th, 2017, 10:17pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Seem to recall that B&O and C&O bought some custom, low-profile domes that allowed operation under wire for trains operating in and out of Washington.  
And I think that they also barred passengers from occupying dome seats while under wire. Says something. I guess.

 
Clyde - Lodge Members -
 
Yes! True story! For Baltimore purists, the two of "low domes" acquired by B & O, noted in JAN 1954 Official Register as 5550 and 5551.  
Reported as, "Strata Dome Coach, Steel". Recall, evidently Pullman-Standard build. IIRC, on New York (Jersey City) - Washington -  
Chicago, Coach schedule Columbian (Trains 25 and 26). Time Tables could not have promoted these as available daily. There remain  
some photo archives depicting  the Cars at Jersey City.
 
Much later, well past 1962, B & O also acquired a small number of Budd Built domes, promoted for service on Capitol Limited (Trains 5  
and 6). In any case, riders were not to occupy Dome Cars while under PRR wires in Washington Union Terminal District...
 
Southern Fried Railroads serving Washington? Your writer with no recall of attempts to run Dome Cars (or other higher equipment) on  
schedules which required use Tunnel, DC - Alexandria VA. So much for Florida schedules? <G>...
 
....................  Vern  ......................


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