Atlanta Railfan Locations: Top o’ the Slide 

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride

Till I get to the bottom and I see you again

The “top of the slide” is the CSX timetable name for the signal and control point at the south-eastern end of Tilford Yard. It is shortly west of “Howell Tower”. (Scare quotes because there is no actual tower there..)

I am not certain if “slide” refers to the Tilford Yard hump itself or to the corkscrew-ish loop that connects the main with the line that tunnels under it.

This location is clearly visible from the Marietta Boulevard bridge. NOTE: Marietta Boulvard is a separate from (but related to)  Marietta Road and Marieeta Street. Be aware this is a very busy bridge, and getting from one side of it to the other will put your jaywalking skills to a Frogger worthy test.

Your best bet for parking is probably on Huff Road. You might also find some on Marietta Street. There is no parking on the Marietta Blvd bridge itself.

The bridge also crosses the south-eastern extremity of NS Inman Yard. This is the northernmost bridge that crosses both railroads in a single span. 

You don’t see most of either yard from this bridge, especially not Tilford, so it should mainly be considered a location for seeing through trains as opposed to yard operations.

It is probably the best place from which to observe CSX trains going from Tilford to the Abbeville Sub and vice versa.

You will also be able to see, somewhat in the distance, trains coming into Tilford off the Manchester line. These trains tunnel under both NS and CSX.

The NS control points you can see from up on the bridge are Rockdale to the west and Howell Wye to the east. Rockdale is pretty much located on top of the tunnel.

CSX looking at the “top of the slide” signal:



CSX looking towards Howell Tower:



NS looking towards Inman Yard and the Rockdale signal. The train in the first photo is on the main line, the train in the second is on yard tracks.





NS looking toward Howell Wye:



A side view showing the CSX tunnel under the NS. This is taken from Marietta Road:




2 thoughts on “Atlanta Railfan Locations: Top o’ the Slide ”

  1. Excellent coverage of the Atlanta area.

    One minor correction: “Top of the slide” is not a reference to the Tilford Hump or the track that loops around and down through the tunnels. It is the track that drops straight down a 3% grade into the receiving yard at the south end of Tilford.

    In the photo above, the three tracks on the left pass around the south end of the Tilford facility and come back alongside it at Pine Street, where the yard office is. Crews usually change at Pine. The next track off the straight leg of the second switch is the infamous “Slide”. The rightmost track which curves off the second switch makes a big sweeping loop around to the left, crossing the “Slide” at grade and joins with another track coming south out of the yard before diving into the tunnel beneath the CSX and NS mains.

    “The Slide” is the straight track running diagonally through the center of this Bing Maps image. http://binged.it/1QIdaID

    1. Excellent info.

      Took a while to approve this comment because almost all the ones this blog gets are spam, and yours got lost in the flood.

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