Current Operations

Coal Trains..Local Freight..Miscellaneous Operations

Coal Trains

CSX currently operates two loaded coal trains (southbound) and two empty hopper trains (northbound) a day plus a twice-a-week local. All traffic originates in Benning Yard in Washington DC. The loaded coal trains operate to the Chalk Point Generating Plant located on the Herbert Secondary and to the Morgantown Generating Plant at the end of the Popes Creek Secondary and are both operated by PEPCO. Empty hopper trains return from these locations on a daily basis. These coal trains usually powered with SD80MACs, but there have been changes due to a new lease agreement with the Wisconsin Central.  Currently, typcial power are SD80MACs with SD70MACs and C40-8Ws.  All leading units must be equipped with LSL for use on Amtrak's NEC.  Non-LSL units such as CSX SD70MACs and AC44CWs have been appearing recently as middle units.  Both loaded and empty trains carry a symbol of B70?.  Also, in recent months, there has been an appearance of Norfolk Southern coal, but the power usually does not venture south of COLL.

Local Freight

More interesting operations revolve around the local.  The local uses symbol B701 for day-time operations and B702 for night-time operations.   Recently, the local has had a pair of GP40-2s of B&O lineage.  I have witnessed numerous six axle units, including SD80MACs, in local freight service along with non-LSL equipped four-axles. On one occasion, a CSX GP38 in Chessie Colors appeared in local service.  It was the first true CSX unit to shine the rails of the Popes Creek.

The irregular customer that the local serves is Allied Plywood.  They are a small plywood distributorship located in a small industrial park in Waldorf. This industry may only receive two to three cars a month. On a normal day, the local will just run past this location without stopping.

The local serves two regular customers.  As the local arrives in Charles County, it proceeds to the 84 Lumber yard just south of the limits of Waldorf in White Plains.  The local will first pick up any empty box or center-beam cars and pull them on to the main.  It will couple to the loaded cars and push them into the spur and drop them at the appropriate locations.  After the switching of the lumber yard is complete the crew will perform some minor switching to arrange locomotives for switching at the other customers.  This involves dropping one engine on to the spur of the lumber yard.  The other engine will couple to the remaining cars and pull them forward. After they clear the switch, they will then push the cars and engine on to the lead and couple to the engine.  They then pull forward, lock the switch to the lumber yard, and prepare to head north.  The local now appears to be a push-pull train.  After performing the required break test they proceed north into Waldorf for the other customers.

In Waldorf, MD, the local serves one customer along the Pika Drive Industrial Park. They are Chopp Lumber, a wholesale distributor of lumber to construction companies.  This is an easy job to do because all it requires is pulling out the empties and pushing in the loads. The work men at Chopp prefer to have center-beam flats at the far end of the siding away from the main with box cars closer to the switch.  The crew couples the cars together, performs the required FRA break test, and leaves northward for Benning Yard in DC.

Miscellaneous Operations

In current operation at the Morgantown Generating Plant are two operable ALCO RS1s.  These are the oldest operating diesel locomotives in the state of Maryland and the second oldest operating locomotive in general behind steam engine WM #734 operated by the Western Maryland Scenic RR in Cumberland, MD.  There is a third RS1, but it is being taken apart for extra parts to keep the other two running.  There are also two operable ALCO RS1s at the Chalk Point Generating Station.

Also operating from Indian Head, MD to White Plains, MD is the Route of the Blue Heron Dinner Train operated by the Northern Central Railway. Power for the train is a pair of former Cape Cod Railway FP10s.  This train operates over the NAVY owned trackage.  At present time, the IHC has shut down due to poor track conditions, and financial problems with its parent company, the Northern Central of New Freedom, PA.


Coal Trains..Local Freight..Miscillaneous Operations

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