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.

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:




Atlanta Railfan Locations: Spring, South

This is very close to the first location discussed in this series of posts, and could be considered more or less the same location on the railroad.

South of the Peters Street overpass, the tracks exit the Gulch and emerge into the south side of Atlanta as a street-level line with occasional grade crossings (there are very few public grade crossings north of the gulch and inside 285).

The Railside Dog Park is a convenient location to access the tracks at this point. Located almost in the shadow of the Peters St. bridge (on sunny days you will wish it actually was in the shadow!) at the end of dead-end Castleberry St.  Outside of the dog fence you can walk up and down the tracks for some length.

(This dog park is unrelated to the CSX timetable station known as “Doghouse”. That refers to a Purina dog food factory)

Located across the tracks is Gourmet Foods International. It’s not as nice as the dog park, being a gravel parking lot with frequent coming and going of semi trailers.

There is no fence for the tracks here, and neigbhorfood residents and assorted vagrants cross the tracks on foot very frequently. So if you decide to just cross the tracks to get a different angle instead of going all the way up over the bridge, it’s not like you’re remotely the first to do so. It’s still trespassing of course.

This is just north of where the NS ex-Southern main line goes under the line shared by NS (ex-Central of Georgia) and CSX (West Point Route) and diverges off. That means it is the southernmost place to see the trains from all three of those lines. The actual crossover is near McDaniel Street.

The Central is the original railroad here, being the Civil War era Macon and Western.

The view north (of southbound trains) has pretty much the whole Atlanta skyline behind it.

The view south is less impressive but at least there’s this cool old water tower (seen from the dog park side):

From the other side, we heard you liek U-haul..

Railroading in 2015 vs 2000

As I mentioned before, I have only recently gotten back into paying attention to railroads to the level of caring what type of locomotive is used, etc. This is some of the changes I’ve noticed to have happened 2000-2015. Most of this is of a “duh, obviously” nature. A lot of these trends were started before 2000, but seeing their full development was notable.

  1. AC traction everywhere! A single model, the ES44AC, has only been in production for about a decade and is already one of the most common engines you see.
  2. The ubiquity of wide cabs. GE’s wide cabs don’t appear to have changed much cosmetically since 1990. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. EMD has messed with theirs little more, adding those notches on the nose. (Aside: I swear the EMD wide cab looks like you can see the old standard cab “under” it, like they just glopped modeling clay onto the nose to make it bigger)
  3. Stabilization of the horsepower race. Everyone seems to have decided that 4400 is enough. No more crazy shit like the AC6000CW.
  4. Permanent reversal of the old “EMD is #1, GE is #2” . This had already started in the 90s but back then you could think it might be temporary. Nope.
  5. Older GE units disappear. The Dash 7 has followed the U-Boat into the history books. The Dash 8 has already been mostly replaced and the remaining ones often look really nasty and beat up.
  6. Meanwhile in EMD world, the SD40-2 abides. And the GP38-2 as well.



Pictured: a rather rusty C40-8.