Monday, December 22, 2014

Planning Ahead

It has been a few months since my last excursion. Of course, I keep an eye on the local rail traffic. I live close to the route of Amtrak's Silver Star and listen for it's whistle when it is due. I have been looking toward vacation this summer. I have narrowed it to New England but more on that later. First, I need to get past Christmas. As you remember, I take some time and go to Richmond, VA. I spent a number of years living there and the weekend after Christmas, I spend in Richmond. I will add days until New Years Day, to that.

Several years, I began a new tradition. As you recall, Norfolk, VA began their new light rail, The Tide. I wanted to see it in operation so I took a day trip from Richmond to Norfolk to see the Tide. Last year, I continued with the tradition and took a day trip, by train, to Baltimore to see the B&O Museum. When I thought about this year, I had several options open. One was not a rail fan option. I could spend the day in Williamsburg, touring Colonial Williamsburg. I spent almost 20 years in Williamsburg, with 10 years with the foundation. I was a costume craftsman in the bookbindery. I have spent more than 25 years away from Williamsburg and have been in the Restored area only once since I left. And, that was not to tour. So this would be touring session in town.

I notice that DC has streetcars on the agenda. They were supposed to begin in November, but I have not found were they have actually started service. I could take my day trip on the chance of seeing them in operation. It could be like the Atlanta trip, all over again. I did plan a full fan trip, just in case. Perhaps to replace the streetcars.

Washington, Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, as the following rail watching opportunities. Alexandria, Va train station. Now Amtrak, it was once a union station shared between the Southern and RF&P Railroads. I is primarily in the style of Southern Stations, complete with under the track walk through. The classic is Washington Union Station. I has been remodeled over the years, but still a classic. Rail service includes The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) offering commuter service to Manassas and Fredericsburg. DC Metro offers subway and third rail service in the District and suburbs. Of course course, there is the Maryland commuter Rail (M.A.R.C.). One the corridor, they use electrics and on the other lines, they use diesel.

Two good locations for the MARC would be New Carrolton, on the Corridor and Silver Spring, on the Brunswick line and powered by diesel. Three locations would be ideal. At first, there wasn't a good way to take in all three.

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