Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out and Back, part 1, Alexandria

I begin my Washington out and back with arrival in Alexandria. My parents moved to northern Virginia while I was in college, so I would go home to there. At that time, Alexandria station was primarily a Southern RR station. Though, technically, it was a union station, jointly used with the RF&P. But at this time, it was only Southern and Amtrak that used the station. RF&P had turned over their few remaining trains, to Amtrak. Southern still ran the Southern Crescent, which stated as two trains, the Southerner and the Crescent, Limited. One was a Pullman train and the other coach only. When Pullman had to give up with monopoly. SRR bought the Pullmans and combined the two train into the Southern Crescent, an overnight train from Washington to Atlanta, with three trains a week going on to New Orleans.

I first saw the Crescent as  I was going home for a break from Virginia Tech. I followed the Southern RR for a portion and happen to see the Crescent on its way south.  In addition to the Crescent, the Southern was still running a daylight limited train called the Piedmont. In fact, the Piedmont, today, is a NC supported train running on NS tracks. I don't recall if it continued on to New Orleans.

In fact, when I first started watching, in Alexandria, SRR was running locals. If you saw these in Alexandria, they were one car, an old heavyweight.

South of Alexandria, the locals took on more engine power and a string of piggybacks.

to be continued

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