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Posted by Jersey Mike on Tue Jan 12 23:11:45 2021

So my dad's side of the family is pretty blasť about getting together and by 2020, despite absolutely no animosity, it had been over 25 years since I had last seen my dad's older brother face to face. Spending half of his year on a retirement island in South Carolina, I had always considered taking the train down to see him, but I figured the station would be too much of a drive. However upon actually asking my Uncle if it was possible, I learned that the Yenassee, SC station was only about a 30 minute drive from his house and he had no issues picking me up. My chosen mode of transportation would be Amtrak's Palmetto, Train 89 and 90, which traveled between New York and Savanah, GA in daylight via the CSX A-Line south of Richmond. While I was no stranger to the northern end of the A-Line traveled by Carolinian trains 79 and 80, this would be my first time south of Selma, NC. Although a rear mounted baggage car prevented any sort of line survey, I was able to get a full compliment of photos at the various stops. You can see all these photos here (mirror).

While waiting for Train 89 at the BWi Airport Rail Station a northbound MARC train with doubleheaded SC44's, #85 and #83, pulled up on the opposite track.

My Train 89 was going to be hauled to Washington by ACS-86 #643.

At Washington Union Station I caught ACS-86 #654 swapping with P42DC #96 from a northbound Regional.

#643 was swapped with P42DC #135.

The next available photo location was Richmond where I had some great light on #135.

CSX power in Acca yard with ES44AC #774, SD40-2 #8463 and a new ET44AC.

Passing Rocky Mount SD70MAC #4814 and C40-10W #5357 standing by to take a manifest freight south.

Still being the middle of winter, the sun was setting by the time my train reached Florence, SC. The old Florence station building is not home to a human resources outfit, while the current station is an updated take on the Amshack concept. The seat of one of CSX's divisional HQs, the Florence station once had 6 platforms and 7 tracks.

The sun had long ago set by the time Train 89 arrived at Charleston, SC. The station had been recently rebuilt with a brightly lit, extended length platform.

Train 89 departing Yenassee shortly before 9pm at night.

South Carolina's Hunting Island lighthouse.

The warm 60-70 degree weather makes costal South Carolina popular with migratory birds and retirees alike. Here we see a variety of herons, storks and cormorants.

Yemassee station area looking southward with the CSX Agusta sub heading off to the right and a maintenance base to the left. The station's raison d'etre is that it is the serves the USMC recruit training center at Paris Island.

The Chessie System lives on CSX American MoW crane #916108 at Milepost 443 on the CSX A-Line.

My northbound Palmetto Train #90 was powered by P42DC #55.

The main A-Line track is rated at 80mph for much of the run between Richmond and Miami, however some of the passing sidings use jointed 128lb rail laid in 1947 and are maintained to the lower 60mph standard.

Back at Florence, GP38-3 #2012 and GP40-3 #4026 were flat switching cars.

Amtrak P42DC #55 at Richmond Staples Mill Rd.

A nouthbound manifest freight on track #2 was led by CSX C40-10W #5202, but was trailed by brand new SD70ACe-T4's #8903 and #8905, along with a whole string of AC4400's heading to storage.

The freight actually pulled out before Train 90 did, but I had to shoot from the stairs due to not wanting to get left behind.

To ensure that Train 90 does not miss its slot as a northbound Regional, there was about 15 minutes of padding at Richmond and then another hour of padding at DC. With plenty of time to kill I wandered the platform catching ACS-86 #654 along with a single Amfleet on one of the station tracks.

Train 90's power change swapped P42DC #55 for ACS-86 #669. Unlike other northbound long distance trains, Train 90 makes Regional stops to New York and cannot leave DC early.

The trip complete I arrived back at the BWI Airport Rail Station.

I was planning to make additional trips of this type in the future, but unfortunately my Uncle passed away suddenly in July of 2020 :-( Still, with everything else that happened later in the year I was fortunate to have made time for the trip when I did.


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