“Standard” Locomotive Cab Variations

Because while writing about wide nose variations I realized there also didn’t really exist such a catalog of non-wide cabs. Conventional road-switchers only!

Except for the railroad custom jobs at the end, standard cabs are not being built new since the 1990s. However, so many were sold over the years that they remain ubiquitous in all situations other than the lead unit on a mainline train: trailing power, locals, switching; not to mention museum-pieces.

EMD

Early high nose

The classic, original EMD look of the 1950s. Used on early road-switchers such as the GP7, GP9, GP18, etc.

GP7 (Sean Lamb)

Early low nose

Used on a very small number of GP9s, and then on GP18, GP20, etc. The factory low nose sloped downward from back to front. I have seen divided and undivided windshields, not sure if both are original or not.

Low-nose GP18 (Montgomery County Planning Commission)
GP18 (Sean Lamb)

Early, chopped nose

Most of the low-nose first generation EMD’s are the result of modification by the owners. These vary wildly in appearance depending on who rebuilt them and when.

GP10 – rebuilt GP9 (Mose Crews)
GP7 (Paul Rome)

GP30

Unique design, never used again, but serving as a transitional model between the generations before and after.

GP30 (Harvey Henkelmann)

If you think that looks unusual, check out the high hood version:

High-Hood GP30 (Richard Gibson)

Standard, aka “Spartan” Cab

This is the normal basic EMD cab, the face of US railroading for decades. Introduced with the GP35 in 1963 and used up through the SD70.

GP35 at the 1964 World’s Fair (Chuck Zeiler)

Final models (SD70s, some SD60s and GP60s) have a housing on the side of the nose for the “ICE” (Integrated Cab Electronics).

SD70 (source)

Standard, high nose

Associated with Southern and N&W. Considered more crashworthy than the low version. (It was also cheaper for a long time) These kept their high short hoods well into the NS era.

GP38-2 (Paul Leach)

The Snoot

Elongated nose to hold early radio control equipment. Used only on SD40-2 – taking advantage of the model’s long frame.

SD40-2 (Sylvester Herrera)

“Aerodynamic”

Used only for demonstration units, this is the standard cab with the edges rounded off.

GP59 demonstrator (Tom Golden)

GE

GE’s standard cabs had generally stubbier noses than their EMD counterparts.

There are probably more variations than shown here, but one so rarely encounters older GEs that I’ve never had a reason to try to learn more about it than this.

Early version, low nose

Characteristic of U-boats, Dash-7s. Short, “round but square” nose, rounded roof.

C30-7 (Ricardo Frontera)

The side view shows how short the nose really is:

C30-7 (my own photo)

Note the first model, the U25B, had a longer nose than its successors.

U25B (credits/license)

Early version, high nose

Southern ordered their GE’s with a high nose, because of course they did.

B23-7 (Bernie Feltman)

Hunchback cab

Transitional design used on early Dash-8s. The nose is more like the next version, but the round roof is still round. Notice the roof is lower than than body behind it.

C32-8 (Andrew Koenigsberg)

Late version

Seen on Dash-8s and the small number of Dash-9s that were not built with wide cabs. The roof is angled instead of round, and matches the height of the overall body. The nose has sharper angles and is not as blunt as the Dash-7 version.

C40-9 with air “top hat” air conditioner (John Mueller)
B40-8 (credits/license)

ALCO

All of these are museum pieces now, but relevant in the history of road-switcher design.

1st version

Used on RS-1, RS-2, RS-3, etc., all the way back to 1941. These were by far the most popular ALCO models, so this is the look usually associated with the builder. The short hood is the same height as the long hood, but the cab is notably taller than both.

RS-1 (credits/license)

Later models are “rounder” than the RS-1.

RS-3 (credits/license)

1st version, chopped

No low-nose alternative was offered for these early ALCOs. But like their EMD counterparts, they ended up getting chopped every which way, resulting in a snoot almost like an SD40-2.

Chopped RS-1 (Bob Krug)
Chopped RS-1 (Allan Williams)

2nd version, high

Starting with the RS-11 they made the hood as tall as the cab, and changed the shape of the nose.

RS-11 (Sean Lamb)

2nd version, low

The lowered version of the same nose as above. There appear to have been both one- and two- window variants.

RS-11 (Jeff Pfeiffer)

The length of the nose compared to its height is truly crocodilian, especially on the 6-axle RSD-15. The “Alligator” is disproportionately famous for a model that sold only in the double digits.

RSD-15 (James Huff)

On the even less successful RS-27, they shortened the nose down to a mere stub of its former self.

RS-27 (Drew Jacksich)

Century cab

The Century Series featured a totally new look. They simplified the look of the nose, and angled the front windows. Most models had a very short GE-like nose. The C420 had a different, longer nose than the others.

C424 (Roger Puta)
C420 (credits/license)

Santa Fe CF7 Cab

The CF7 program to rebuild F-Units into a road-switcher involved an oddly proportioned parody of the standard EMD cab. Both rounded and angular roofs were used.

CF7 (Roger Puta)
CF7 (Marc Grinter)

NS Admiral Cab

This is used by NS for some of their rebuilds. It is similar to the EMD standard cab, but with sharper edges, higher number boards (which go above the roof), and windows angled outwards (from bottom to top).

SD40-2 (Don Woods)

CSX “Dash 3” Cab

Some of CSX’s rebuilds use this blocky design which is very controversial among railfans.

SD40-3 (Brian Gessel)

Similarities to the cab used on various NRE Genset models have been noted, but they are not so identical as to suggest that CSX simply bought the cabs from NRE.

3GS21B (credits/license)

Wide-nose Locomotive Variants

There have been several flavors of wide-nose / wide-cab designs over the years. I have not seen a site that has pictures of all on one page. So here they are in rough chronological order.

This article covers only hood unit and cowl units. Carbodies and monocoque designs are a different subject altogether.

Early EMD

The earliest version from 1967 had no crash safety benefits over a standard cab, and was designed purely for aesthetic reasons. Used on the FP45, F45, DDA40X.

FP45 (from Wikipedia; credits/license)

Passenger-only no-steps version

This was similar to the first design, but lacked stairways and handrails. Used most notably on the ill-fated SDP40F of 1973, and F40C.

The first ones built had a nose almost exactly like the FP45:

SDP40F(Ron Hawkins)

On subsequent units the point of the nose, where the door was, was flattened.

SDP40F (Drew Jacksich)

When the SDP40F was put into freight service as the SDF40-2, stairs and cutouts in the nose were added.

SD40F-2 (credits/license)

EMD F40PH

Unique and unmistakable for anything else, especially by EMD. The F40PH of 1975 featured a much simpler nose design than its older cousins, and became the face of Amtrak for the next 20 years.

(Drew Jacksich)

Early GE

GE, like EMD, produced wide-nosed cowl units for passenger service. Unlike the EMD counterparts, these appear to be one-offs, not part of the overall evolution of cab design. Not very many of these were ever built, and none survive.

U30CG (Charles Stookey)
P30CH, the “Pooch” (Roger Puta)

Canadian Comfort Cab

The true “Canadian” Cab was created by CN in 1973. This was the first cab that was designed with crew safety in mind. All units with this design were originally sold in Canada but a number have been resold to US railroads and can be seen on shortlines and lease fleets.

For many years, US railfans tended to call almost any freight locomotive with a wide nose a “Canadian Cab”, as wide nose designs didn’t catch on down here until the early 90s.

The actual Canadian version can easily be distinguished by the four front window panes. Unlike the earlier (and most later) EMD designs, these windows are vertical rather than slanted back.

CN continued to order these from multiple manufacturers into the 90s, when they switched to the same 2-window models as US railroads.

EMD version

Used on GP38-2W, GP40-2LW, GP40-2W, SD40-2W, possibly others.

GP40-2LW (my own photo)

MLW version

Differs from the contemporaneous EMD design by the shape of the windows.

M-420 (credits/license)

GE version

Looks very similar to the EMD one, but on a GE locomotive. Used on C40-8M, C44-9LW, possibly others.

C44-9WL (James Gardiner)

EMD Triclops

Unmistakable 3-window design. Otherwise very similar to the Canadian cab. Introduced circa 1988 and used for the SD40-2F, F59PH, and the earliest orders of SD60M. This can still be seen on mainline freights, but is rare and much sought after by railfans.

SD60M (Terry Cantrell)

EMD North American Safety Cab

The most numerous EMD variation, starting in 1990. “North American” means the cab was sold in both the US and Canada, unlike earlier versions that were only for one country or the other.

Note superficial resemblance to the original 1967 design, particularly the shape of the windows. One visible, though small, difference is the nose on these is  slightly tapered and the corners are more rounded.

Used on SD60M, SD60MAC, SD70M, SD70MAC.

SD70M (credits/license)

Sante Fe offset-light version

Designed by Sante Fe and used only for the GP60M. This design has a headlight that is not actually in the center of the nose but just to the right of center when facing the locomotive. Unlike the standard EMD wide cab, the nose is not tapered and looks more like the FP45 cab.

GP60M (Sam Botts)

Whisper Cab

This looks nearly identical to the standard version, but was the first EMD cab isolated to reduce noise and vibration. A vertical seam is visible on the side of the nose. Used on SD60I, SD70I, SD80MAC, early SD90MAC.

SD60I (Dave Parker)

Later “notched” version

Used on late examples of SD70M and SD70MAC. Nose has a slightly taller mid-section to accommodate full-height door, resulting in a somewhat “notched” appearance. The whole nose is less rounded and more angular than before, and no longer tapered.

SD70M (David Sommer)

Current Design, “more notched”

Late SD90MAC-H (1999), SD70ACe (2004-2014), SD70M-2, and several others. The nose is deeply notched to improve visibility. The distinctive teardrop window shape of earlier designs is gone.

SD70ACe (credits/license)

On the SD70ACe-T4 produced since 2015, the nose shape is simplified – but still deeply notched – and the original EMD window shape has returned.

SD70ACe-T4 (Jonathan Camacho)

General Electric, Current Design

Unlike the constantly changing EMD, GE’s cab/nose design basically looks the same on nearly models since 1990. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There are thousands on the rails, the most likely thing to see leading any mainline train. Examples include Dash-8, Dash-9, AC4400CW, ES44AC, ES44DC, etc.

ES44AC (credits/license)

Prototype version

This one-off prototype was created in 1988 from a B40-8.

Prototype B40-8W (Bill Wilcox)

Canadian Dash-9 “Australian” Cab

This seems to have been used in North America only on CN C44-9W’s, and on  several GE models sold to the Australian market. Notice the EMD-like front windowpane shape.

C44-9W (Jon Hall)

 

Norfolk Southern Crescent Cab

Used for the SD60E rebuild program. This cab is designed by NS and manufactured by Curry Supply.

SD60E (Alan Niebel)

NS has a similar cab built by RLS that is used on the Dash-8.5 rebuilds.

C40-8.5W (Der Langsame)

 

The Roswell Railroad

This post gathers the information I’ve been able to find about the Roswell Railroad, one of the almost-completely vanished and forgotten rail lines of the Atlanta area. This was branch of Southern Railway that operated between Chamblee and Roswell from 1881 to 1921.

According to RailGa.com:

The Roswell Railroad Company was incorporated in Georgia in 1879 as successor to the Atlanta & Roswell Railroad Company. It was controlled by the Atlanta & Charlotte Air-Line Railroad Company, which constructed the 10-mile, 3-foot gauge line and opened it for business on September 1, 1881. In the same year, the A&CAL was leased to the Richmond & Danville Railroad (which became Southern Railway in 1894).

(RailGa.com)

The town of Chamblee was originally called “Roswell Junction”.

However, feeling the name of the settlement was too similar to nearby Roswell, they randomly selected Chamblee from a list of petitioners for the new post office name.

The railroad followed very roughly the present-day Chamblee-Dunwoody Road to the center of old-town Dunwoody, where the building located at 5518 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road was a section house.

 

The original Dunwoody depot was later moved and used as “Thompson’s Store”, but this building no longer remains.

(from Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum)

The line never actually reached Roswell, as the company was never able to build a bridge across the Chattahoochee. It ran along Roberts Drive and what is now Dunwoody Place, and ended near the present North River Tavern. This station was referred to as “Roswell” by the railroad. The engine house was “moved to by the river for use as a barn”.

Roberts Drive is named after Isaac “Ike” Roberts, the “only engineer of the Roswell Railroad”, whose house still stands at 9725 Roberts Drive.

The final stop was Roswell Station, on the south bank of the Chattahoochee River, just east of the current Roswell Road. There was no means to turn the locomotive around, so it simply ran backwards on its return trip. The train was powered by 0-6-0-arranged Baldwin 1878 steam locomotive named “Buck.”

(from Historic Roswell Georgia)

There was also a branch to the current location of Morgan Falls Dam.

The railroad famously was used by Teddy Roosevelt when he visited Bulloch Hall in 1905.

Theodore Roosevelt, who had begun his presidency on reasonably good terms for a half-northerner president, had infuriated the South by inviting Booker T. Washington to dine in the White House. Consequently, he waited a few years until the episode blew over and finally visited Bulloch Hall for the first time while touring the South in 1905. He was thought to be the first sitting President of the United States to visit the South since the end of the American Civil War, however this is incorrect as William McKinley had visited the South earlier while celebrating the victory of the Spanish–American War.

(from Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum)

Update:

It looks like I need to be paying a visit to the Roswell Visitors Center.

(from michaelhitt.com)

See also:

Atlanta area railroad mileposts

Here I reproduce information from the Norfolk Southern and CSX timetables. I have many times wished I had this to pull up on my iphone in a form other than the bulky PDFs this data is from.

Stations marked “not in timetable” represent signals that trains have been observed to call out (“Clear Doraville, NS 203 southbound”) over the scanner. NS generally does not list intermediate signals (between control points) in their timetables, but they may be shown on their track diagrams. Not sure about CSX.

Text in italics is additional commentary, not from timetable.

Norfolk Southern

First, a “British subway map” of these lines. Obviously not to scale.

ns_atl

Alabama Division

Source: http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/railroads/companies/NS/NS%20ETTs/NS%20AL%20Div%20ETT%20%231%208-4-2008.pdf

East End District

650 AUSTELL
652.9 LITHIA SPRINGS
655.2 BEN HILL
657.3 HBD-DED (Cracker)
658.7 Douglasville
663 HBD-DED (Winston)
664.6 WINSTON
666.6 CARROLL
668.2 BAGGETT
669.5 VILLA RICA
671.6 HBD-DED (Villa Rica)
675.5 TAYLOR
677.5 TEMPLE
680.6 HBD-DED (Morgan)
682.7 SEWELL
685 BREMEN
689 HBD-DED (Waco)
692.7 HUBBARD
695.2 TALLAPOOSA
697.9 HBD-DED (Tallapoosa)
699.9 GA/AL State Line
707.4 HBD-DED (Fruithurst)
708.4 FOSTER
710.4 EDWARDSVILLE
714.1 OWENS
716.3 HEFLIN
718.2 HBD-DED (Cleburne)
727.1 ARDREY
729.1 DEARMANVILLE
730.2 HBD-DED-HWD (Dearmanville)
733.4 LARDENT
735 ANNISTON (Amtrak station)
736.7 LETCHERS
741.6 HBD-DED (Bynum)
741.7 Coldwater Branch
743 BYNUM
746.4 GRAY
751.8 HBD-DED (Lincoln)
754.1 LINCOLN
756.1 EMBRY
758 COOSA
762.9 HBD-DED (Pell City)
767.8 HOLT
769.8 ROBERTS
771.6 HBD-DED (Cook Springs)
776.2 BROMPTON
778.1 COLEMAN
781.8 HBD-DED (Leeds)
781.9 LEEDS
782.7 CENTRAL
783.7 HENRY ELLEN
787.7 LOVICK
790.7 NORRIS JUNCTION (Norris Yard)
791.8 IRONDALE JUNCTION
798.1 32ND STREET
798.2 27TH STREET (Birmingham)

Georgia Division

Source: http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/railroads/companies/NS/NS%20ETTs/NS%20GA%20Div%20ETT%20%231%208-4-2008.pdf

Atlanta North District

240.0 A DeButts Yard (Chattanooga)
239.8 A WEBB
238.7 A PIERCE
238.2 A CITICO JCT.
237.3 A BROWN
236.6 A SPELL
236.0 A WILLIAMS
235.0 A JERSEY
230.6 A HBD-DED (Summit)
230.5 A SUMMIT
226.6 A/15.2 H OOLTEWAH
18.1 H HBD-DED (Collegedale)
21.7 H LONG
23.6 H GA/TN State Line
25.0 H HBD-DED (Cohutta)
27.0 H COHUTTA
31.5 H VARNELL
36.0 H WARING
36.2 H HBD-DED-HWD (Waring)
37.7 H NORTON
39.9 H N. DALTON
40.1 H HAIR
42.4 H WALNUT
45.1 H HBD-DED (Phelps)
45.2 H PHELPS
47.9 H FREEMAN
53.3 H DAVIS
55.3 H SUGAR VALLEY
58.2 H TALLEY
60.7 H HALL
55.4 H HBD-DED
66.2 H HBD-DED (Plainville)
67.8 H REEVES
69.6 H PINSON
75.1 H BERWIN
75.1 H HBD-DED
77.0 H Forrestville Yard
78.1 H FOX
81.2 H SMITH
83.9 H LINDALE
85.4 H HBD-DED (Silvercreek)
90.1 H BRICE
92.0 H GREEN
95.2 H HBD-DED (Seney)
98.5 H ARAGON
101.4 H OLLIE
102.0 H ROCKMART
105.7 H HBD-DED (Finch)
106.9 H FINCH
112.0 H ROGERS
114.5 H McPHERSON
118.2 H HBD-DED-HWD (Dallas)
121.4 H OAK
123.5 H HIRAM
125.4 H CLARK
128.2 H HBD-DED (Powder Springs)
130.3 H FOSS
131.3 H COWART
131.6 H SHIPP
132.8 H Whitaker Yard
132.9 H HBD-DED (Whitaker Yard)
133.0 H ENGLAND
134.7 H AUSTELL

East End district connects here.

137.2 H LOWE

Near Mableton

140.0 H NICKAJACK
140.7 H HBD-DED (Nickajack)
143.1 H JACKMAC

Visible from Buckner Rd.

Chattahoochee River
BRIDGE (not in timetable)

Accessible via Parrot Avenue.

145.5 H BOLTON
146.7 H FIELDS
146.8 H NORTH INMAN
148.0 H Inman Yard
149.0 H ROCKDALE

Can be seen from Marietta Blvd overpass.

Atlanta South District

149.9 H HOWELL

Behind Bim’s Liquor store/King Plow parking lot. See blog entry.

150.1 H KING PLOW

Visible from Marietta Street overpass / parking lot at end of 10th street.

JEFFERSON STREET (not in timetable)

Street dead-ends at tracks. Frequent crew-change point. Stopped trains visible from Marietta St bridge.

GRINELL (not in timetable)

Between Northside Drive bridge and North Avenue tunnel.

152.4 H SPRING

Visible from Mitchell, Nelson, Peters Streets. See blog entry.

153.? CIRCLE (not in timetable)

Very new signal sign just south of Peters St.

154.2 H WELLS

Across McDaniel Street from South Yard

154.6 H SOUTH YARD

Nearly-abandoned yard on McDaniel St, home to Pegram Shops and the Walking Dead’s “Terminus”.

155.4 H HENDERSON

University Ave/Hank Aaron Drive

158.8 H CONSTITUTION

Fayetteville Rd. and Old Constitution Rd.

158.8 H HBD-DED
162.5 H NORTH CONLEY

Moreland Ave (US 23) and E. Conley Rd.

164.5 H PLESS
165.7 H HBD-DED (Ellenwood)
171.5 H STOCKBRIDGE
173.7 H TUNIS (Flippen)
181.5 H McDONOUGH
183.5 H GROVE
187.4 H HBD-DED-HWD (Locust Grove)
193.0 H JENKINSBURG
195.0 H BUNCH
198.0 H HBD-DED (Jackson)
203.0 H FLOVILLA
205.2 H SANDY
208.0 H HBD-DED (Cork)
215.0 H BERNER
216.8 H JULIETTE
218.8 H SCHERER
222.5 H HBD-DED (Dames Ferry)
225.0 H GRUBBS
230.1 H DAMES
232.3 H ARKWRIGHT
233.7 H HBD-DED-HCD
239.1 H NORTH MACON
240.5 H MACON JCT.
242.0 H BROSNAN YARD

Griffin District

Ex-Central of Georgia. Shared with CSX to East Point.

S 294.3 SPRING
S 291.5 OAKLAND JCT.

Murphy Ave, near the Cut Rate Box Company building. Old A&WP belt line connects here.

S 290.0 TILLMAN
S 288.8 INDUSTRY YARD

Most of yard can be seen from Harold Sheets Pkwy.

S 288.2 EAST POINT

Near pedestrian bridge and MARTA. CSX leaves onto its own tracks.

S 286.4 HAPEVILLE

Sylvan Rd. crossing.

S 283.7 MOUNTAIN VIEW

Along Old Dixie Hwy. between I-75 and I-285.

S 282.2 FOREST PARK

Main St. and Hale Rd, at south end of yard.

S 280.1 LEE

Along Metcalf Rd. in Lake City.

S 277.8 MORROW
S 274.7 HBD (North Jonesboro)
S 273.4 JONESBORO
S 251.0 GRIFFIN
S 233.6 BARNESVILLE
S 223.5 COLLIER
S 221.1 HBD
S 217.0 FORSYTH
S 212.9 SMARR
S 206.1 HBD-DED (Bolingbrooke)
H 192.1 EDGEWOOD
H 197.0 RUTLAND JCT.

Piedmont Division

Source: http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/railroads/companies/NS/NS%20ETTs/NS%20Piedmont%20Div%20ETT%20%231%208-4-2008.pdf

Greenville District

484.1 Greenville (Amtrak station)
484.5 SOUTH GREENVILLE
486.5 FALLIS
489.2 CROSSWELL
492.5 HBD (Lathem)
493.6 HAYWOOD
498.5 METLER
504.1 TRABER
504.2 HBD (Traber)
508 JOHNSON
511.9 ROWLAND
513.7 HBD (Clemson)
514.2 Clemson
517 KEOWEE
519.6 COURTENAY
521.9 HBD (Seneca)
525.6 CHENEY
526.1 HBD (Cheney)
530.2 JASON
533.8 HUNTER
539.2 HBD-HWD (Madison)
542.1 TUGALO
545 PARK
547.3 TOCCOA (Amtrak station)
552 AYERSVILLE
552.4 HBD (Ayersville)
558 MT. AIRY
562 BALDWIN
564.1 HBD (Alto)
569.1 YONAH
572.5? Downtown Lula. Branch line to Athens connects to main line.
574 CAGLE
575.1 HBD (Cagle)
581.1 RED LANE

North of White Sulpur Rd. crossing.

584.6 Gainesville (Amtrak station)
585 MIDLAND

Junction with CSX Gainesville Midland sub

588 CHICOPEE
588.6 HBD (Oakwood)
592.3 GRIF

Near HF Reed Industrial Park Conn. bridge.

594.8 ALLEN

Near Flowery Branch

598.2 HBD (Walters)
599.8 WALTERS

Downtown Buford near Train Master model train store

605.2 SHADOW BROOK
611 HBD (Duluth)
612.7 DULUTH
615 CAROLINA

Between North and South Berkley Lake Roads.

619 NORCROSS

North-facing visible from Rowan Street / Stephens Rd crossing (near RockTenn).

619 HBD (Norcross)
621.4 RAY

Visible from Oakcliff Rd. bridge and from Bankers Industrial Dr.

622.7 (?) DORAVILLE (not in timetable)

Next to gravel truck parking lot on New Peachtree Rd, across from Marathon fuel terminal.

624.5 CHAMBLEE

Next to Peachtree St in downtown Chamblee

626.3 GOODWIN

Near Redding Rd

626.6 HBD (Goodwin)
630.9 FOREMOST

Near Piedmont Rd.

632.5 ARMOUR
633.3 ATLANTA (Amtrak station)
MECASLIN ST (not in timetable)

Grade crossing behind Atlantic Station Target, road is only access to Narjoe Lumber Co.

634.8 BIRMONT

Visible from Westside Provisions District, and from end of Foster Street by Goat Farm arts center.

CSX
635 HOWELL
148.0 H INMAN YARD

CSX

Atlanta Division

Source: http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/railroads/companies/CSX/CSX%20ETTs/CSX%20Atlanta%20Div%20ETT%20%233%201-1-2005.pdf

Work in progress… CSX timetable not as easy to cut and paste from as NS!

A&WP Subdivision

Abbeville Subdivision

Atlanta Terminal Subdivision

csx_atl_term

“Chart A”

WA 22.4 N ELIZABETH
WA 22.2 ELIZABETH

GNRR/Patriot Rail connection.

WA 21.2 SE EAST SIDING
WA 20.4 MARIETTA DEPOT
WA 19.5 BUTLER STREET
WA 17.6 LOCKAIR
WA 15.0 SMYRNA DEPOT
WA 13.1 SMYRNA
WA 12.5 I-285
WA 11.2 VININGS (HB-DED)
WA 7.9 OVERMYER
WA 7.5 JAC MAC LEAD
Chattahoochee River

WA 7.4

GILSTRAP

WA 6.6

BOLTON

WA 5.9

4700

WA 5.1

RAILPLANT

WA 4.9

TILFORD

Near Marietta Street bridge.

WA 4.7

PINE STREET

WA 3.8

TOP OF SLIDE

Visible from Marietta Blvd bridge.

WA 2.9

HOWELL TOWER

Behind Bim’s Liquor store/King Plow parking lot.

NS

WA 2.7

TENTH STREET

Street ends in parking lot at the tracks.

NS

WA 1.3

JONES AVENUE

The original name of Ivan Allen Jr Blvd.

WA 0.8

THURMOND STREET

WA 0.0

CIRCLE CONNECTION

Where Fairlie Street dead-ends into a pay parking lot. This is the “zero milepost”, although the actual historic milepost marker is slightly to the east, in an underground building.

YYG 170.0

BOULEVARD YARD

YYH 169.5

HULSEY YARD

YYG 168.5

HURT STREET

YYG 168.1

LAFRANCE STREET

YYG 167.2

PIE HOUSE

YYG 166.8

HOWARD STREET

YYG 165.9

KIRKWOOD

This is where Inman Park Belt (chart D) branches off.

YYG 164.8

DECATUR

YYG 162.5

SCOTTDALE

YYG 162.4

DTC BLOCK SIGN

YYG 157.7

PATILLO SPUR

YYG 155.2

NE STONE MOUNTAIN

YYG 154.5

DTC BLOCK SIGN

YYG 154.4

SE STONE MOUNTAIN
YYG 152.9 HB-DED

YYG 149.0

LITHONIA

“Chart B”

SG 559.0 TUCKER HOLDOUT
SG 561.0 TUCKER
SG 563.5 SE TUCKER
SG 567.5 BELT JUNCTION

Where the Inman Park belt joins (chart E).

SG 567.9 NE EMORY
SG 568.8 SE EMORY
SG 570.9 LENOX RD
MARTA
SG 572.0 MINA
NS
SG 574.0 EAST SWITCH
SG 574.7 EAST WYE
SG 575.0 HOWELLS YARD

Old SAL to Birmingham begins here.

SG 575.1 SOUTH WYE
SG 575.3 HUFF ROAD
TO TOP OF SLIDE, HOWELL TOWER

“Chart C”

WA 4.9/ANB 865.0 TILFORD
WA 4.7 PINE STREET
ANB 864.9 T.V.
ANB 864.8 SOUTH TILFORD
NORTH TUNNEL (UNDER CHART A)
SOUTH TUNNEL (UNDER NS)
ANB 862.8 BELLWOOD LEAD

Near intersection of Jefferson St. and Marietta Blvd. Goes to Bellwood yard.

ANB 862.4 SOUTH BELLWOOD

South of Joseph E. Boone, towards Andrews St.

ANB 861.8 CHAPPELL ROAD
ANB 859.7 GASCO

Where the tracks are running alongside I-20.

I-20
ANB 858.4 STRATFORD

Along MLK blvd.

I-285
ANB 855.6 FULCO JUNCTION

Near Cascade Rd.

ANB 853.9 NE BEN HILL

Between Melvin Dr. and Campbelton Rd.

ANB 853.7 BEN HILL
ANB 852.8 SE BEN HILL

Along Daniel Rd.

ANB 848.0 ACKERMAN

Near S. Fulton Pkwy

ANB 846.9 ??? tunnel under A&WP tracks
ANB 846.1 VAUGHN
ANB 845.0 NE UNION CITY
ANB 844.0 STONEWALL

MP 844 is next to the park in downtown Union City.

ANB 843.7 SE UNION CITY
ANB 842.6 DOGHOUSE

Nestle/Purina dog food factory.

ANB 836.9 HANSON
ANB 835.6 NE TYRONE
ANB 835.3 TYRONE
ANB 834.8 SE TYRONE
ANB 833.0 ROCK SPUR
ANB 828.1 NE PEACHTREE CITY
ANB 826.9 SE PEACHTREE CITY

“Chart D”

Shared with NS from Spring to East Point.

WA 1.0 JONES AVENUE
S 294.3 SPRING (NS)
S 293.8 PETERS ST (NS)
S 291.5 OAKLAND JCT (NS)
XXC 5.2 A&WP BELT LINE
S 290.0 TILLMAN (NS)
S 288.8 INDUSTRY YARD (NS)
XXB 6.4/S 228.2 EAST POINT
XXB 8.4 COLLEGE PK DEPOT
XXB 9.3 NE COLLEGE PK STORAGE
XXB 10.0 COLLEGE PK
XXB 10.8 SE COLLEGE PK STORAGE
XXB 12.4 NE RED OAK
XXB 13.4 RED OAK
XXB 15.5 SE RED OAK
XXB 15.5 VAUGHN
XXB 16.2 MIXON
XXB 16.4 STONEWALL

“Chart E”

SGB 567.1 BELT JUNCTION
SG 567.5
SGB 569.6 EAST LAKE DRIVE
SGB 569.9
YYG 166.5 KIRKWOOD

Etowah Subdivision

Georgia Subvision

Manchester Subdivision

W&A Subdivision

Eastern Continental Divide: North of Gainesville

Picking up where the last one left off, this gets you out of the burbs and into the woods. At the northern end, it gets you into the mountains, even.

The route through Gainesville is rather arbitrary and I’m not sure how close it follows the divide.

You are pretty much running parallel to US 23 (when you are not actually on US 23) all the way.

The early parts of this route are very close to Lake Lanier.

From Lula through Mt. Airy, you are running directly beside the Norfolk Southern main line.

I have only been as far north on this route as Alto, so I can’t really say what the remainder of it looks like.

The end point here looks to be about as far as you can follow the ECD on public roads. From here, the ECD turns westward and generally forms the Habersham/Rabun county border until meeting the Tennessee Valley Divide at Young Lick.  I don’t see any roads that directly follow this ridge, not even dirt Forest Service roads. From Young Lick, the ECD continues north on the Appalachian Trail. At that point, following the divide becomes more of a matter of hiking than driving.

ecd3-fixed

Google Maps Link

Start on Aviation Blvd, continue east from last time
Right on GA 60
Left on West Ridge Rd
Right on Athens St
Left on East Ridge Rd
Left on Old Cornelia Highway
Right on US 129
Left on White Sulphur Rd
Left to stay on White Sulphur Rd
Left on Cagle Rd
Right on GA 52
Sharp left on GA 51
Continue onto Main Street (Lula)
Continue onto Gainsville Highway
Continue onto Old Cornelia Highway
Continue onto Willingham Ave
Continue onto Main Street (Cornelia)
Right on Highland Ave
Left to stay on Highland Ave
Continue on Chenocetha Dr
Right on Wyly St
Continue on Dicks Hill Pkwy
Left on Rock Rd
Left on Antioch Church Rd
Right on US 23/US 441
Right on John Wood Rd
Left on Tom Born Rd
Right on Old Historic US 441
Left on The Orchard Rd
Right on Bear Gap Rd

Howell Wye? More like Howell Weeds

One of the constant elements of southeastern railfanning is kudzu, sumac, honeysuckle, wisteria – you know, weeds. As summer turns to fall, we have one last chance to appreciate all that luscious green foliage.

Trains sneak out of the underbrush like wild animals.

DSC_0236a

In a few months this will all be gray and brown.

DSC_0210a

By the way, Pokeweed was traditionally used as a source of food in the South and in Appalachia even though it is toxic. I guess our ancestors would rather risk being poisoned by their food than not having any at all.

Sumac, visible in most of these shots, has some species that are used as flavorings (such as for tea), but I wouldn’t try it with this wild stuff.

Edit: this is probably Rhus glabra, smooth sumac. It is supposed to be edible, although it is not the same species cultivated for tea.

DSC_0203a

Kudzu leaves are edible as well but in the South you never know that the kudzu you pick wasn’t sprayed with something nasty in an unsuccessful attempt to kill it.

DSC_0250a

All these plants attract bees and wasps, which were buzzing around during these shots, although it was kind of hard to hear them over the trains.

Link: Flickr album with more of this

Tunnel Springs, Alabama

Near the town of Tunnel Springs in southwest Alabama is a feature normally reserved for more mountainous areas: a railroad tunnel, abandoned for years, and relatively easy to find.

The tunnel is located up the abandoned line past the north end of what is now the Alabama Railroad. Wikipedia gives us the date of construction of the tunnel as 1899:

The route of the Alabama Railroad was originally constructed over several years (between 1880–1901) as the Pensacola & Selma Railroad and quickly became a part of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad network. The original line proceeded north from Corduroy, Alabama to Selma, Alabama. That portion of the line was abandoned by the Seaboard System prior to the merger with CSX in 1986. There was also a L&N branch that went to Camden from a junction just northeast of Corduroy that was abandoned prior to the merger into the Seaboard System in 1986. The remainder of the line north of Peterman, Alabama was abandoned approximately 1994 to include an 800+ foot tunnel built in 1899 located at Tunnel Springs, Alabama.

This should not be confused with the similarly-named and situated Alabama and Gulf Coast Railway, the former Frisco line only a few miles to the west.

As I’m always looking for things to do on that long stretch of Nowhere, Al, between Mobile and Montgomery, I decided to go find it. After looking at some topo maps, I got a pretty good idea of where it was.

This link in Google Maps gets you to a location where a trail that used to be the tracks crosses the road:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/31%C2%B040’19.7%22N+87%C2%B013’21.4%22W/@31.672144,-87.222623,18z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

From there, I walked south along the railroad. There were no ties or rails left on this part of the railroad, making a smooth walk.

IMG_7867.JPG

Obviously by the ruts in the ground, people drive off-road here a lot, so if you have a 4×4 you could just drive right to the tunnel.

Getting close to the tunnel:

IMG_7869.JPG

Nearing the tunnel entrance, the trail gets pretty muddy. You have been warned.

IMG_7872.JPG

This picture, you can kind of see how much water is right in front of the tunnel.

IMG_7874.JPG

It’s actually drier inside the tunnel itself.

 

IMG_7876.JPG

I walked far enough to see daylight from the other end, and then turned around.

The ceiling is home to a large number of bats. The sound of them chirping is quite loud, and the whole place smells like guano.

 

GIMPsplorations

I’ve been re-acquainting myself with some of the capabilities of the GIMP lately. This is something I’ve stumbled on.

So this is how the image looks to start with:

1

Duplicate the layer, because you are going to be doing stuff to it but still want the original:

2

Now in the top, duplicate later, use the channel mixer to make a monochrome image that is different from what you would get from the desaturate tool.  In this particular instance I like the red channel. The train is nice and bright and the background has unreal contrast between the clouds and the sky.

3

So now we have a black and white version, which is pretty nice in itself, but what else can we do with it?

4

Change the layer mode to “Value” and now the light/dark contrasts of the black and white version are being combined with the color information of the original. Now we have those crazy clouds in the color version!

5

It kind of darkened everything a little bit too much though, mess around with Levels to brighten it.

6

It may also be a bit too extreme in general, in which case adjusting the Opacity of the black and white layer will blend it with the original and split the difference.

8

Make a new layer “from visible” to apply further effects to the combined image, such as levels/curves/etc, unsharp mask, whatever else you want to do.

 

 

9

This can produce a somewhat surreal looking image, and I imagine it would look pretty jarring with human or animal subjects, but maybe that’s what you want.

Full size before (click to enlarge):

IMG_1062

After:

IMG_1062

Another one done in a similar way, this time just letting it be as dark as it wants to be. Realistic it ain’t, but it’s kinda neat.

IMG_1035

IMG_1035a

The first arbitrary award for train-watcher friendly architecture 

..goes to Westside Provisions District.

When they redeveloped this property – which happens to span both sides of the NS Piedmont division right at Birmont Junction (the northeast corner of the Howell Wye area) – back in the 2000s they could have hidden the tracks away. They had all kinds of ways in which they could have fucked it up.

But instead they put a camera-friendly pedestrian bridge over the tracks right in the middle of their shopping center.

And on both sides of the bridge, the tenants are restaurants with patio areas facing the tracks.









GE’s dominance of the modern locomotive market

In my earlier post about the changes in railroads since I got into the railfan hobby, I noted the continued dominance of GE over EMD.

I decided the check the numbers. Using these two (very handy) Wikipedia pages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_GE_locomotives

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_GM-EMD_locomotives

Let’s compare just “modern” locomotives. Let’s define that to mean SD60 or newer for EMD, and Dash 8 or newer for GE. Note that this definition takes in the last thirty years. Let’s also limit it to six-axle locomotives, as 4-axle models are largely irrelevant in the modern marketplace. This also neatly rules out passenger locomotives, since all modern ones are B-B.

So, by that criteria, GE has sold 13,047 to EMD’s 5,811. That is a ratio of 2.2 to 1. So yes, GE has sold twice the engines that EMD has over the past 30 years.

If you limit to 1990s and newer models by throwing out the SD60s and Dash 8s, you get 11,250 to 4,664, a ratio of 2.4 to 1.

If you look only at models that are still in current production (according to these article), it is 4507 to 1047 or an astounding 4.3 to 1.

That is, GE’s lead established in the 1990s has increased over time.

Also notable, no single model designation by either builder in the past 30 years has come anywhere close to the SD40-2 at 3,982. But this is likely to be due to regulatory shenanigans. Had EPA Tier 2 regulations not kicked in in 2005, its hard to predict how many more C44-9W and AC4400CW would have been made. DC Dash 9 sales would probably have fallen off, but the AC could have broken the record easily. (The combined total of AC4400CW and ES44AC sales is 4,972)

Pictured: CSX 451 is an AC4400CW.