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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Winter Twilight at Contentnea, NC, January 4, 2021

Date: 01/07/21 09:38
Winter Twilight at Contentnea, NC, January 4, 2021
Author: jaybest

The sun has set below the western horizon in Contentnea, NC.  Twilight transitions to dusk.   The air is a chilly and breezy 45 degrees at this lonely rural railroad crossing.  Contentnea Creek babbles along beneath and between the signal bridges.  

Then, the solitude and calm are interrupted by a slowly building drum, then headlights, then crossing bells and an echoing whistle.  The hotshot intermodal roars past with a wide-open throttle and flanges singing and holding fast around the 60 mph curve.  As the blinking red light on the rear disappears into the nightfall, the lone waiting car trundles across the tracks on his way home.  

1.  Contentnea, NC, MP 139.0 on CSX's South End Subdivision, is the junction of the A-Line mainline and the W&W Subdivision to Wallace, NC.  The W&W was formerly the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, then became the Atlantic Coast Line's mainline to Wilmington, NC.  The W&W hosts quite a few unit grain trains and other local business.  Looking north past the fairly new (PTC era) signal bridges are Wilson Yard on the left, then the crossing-at-grade with the Carolina Coastal Railway (formerly the original Norfolk and Southern Railway) at the next interlocking called "South Wilson".  The Wilson Amtrak station is 3 miles north at MP 135.8.  

2.  CSX Q031-04 (North Bergen, NJ to Jacksonville, FL) charges south with 2 locomotives and 232 axles (about 80 trailers and containers) of UPS and other priority freight.  Just around the curve are 7 miles of downhill straight track, followed by a slight curve (100 mph in the old days) and another 5 miles of straight track up and down Kirby Hill to Kenly, NC.  This is fast territory!

Enjoy this twilight!

Jay Best
Raleigh, NC  

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Date: 01/08/21 19:51
Re: Winter Twilight at Contentnea, NC, January 4, 2021
Author: BigSkyBlue

Well done video and good text to go with it.  Thanks for posting!  BSB

Date: 01/09/21 14:36
Re: Winter Twilight at Contentnea, NC, January 4, 2021
Author: ctillnc

In the last ETT that I saw, maximum authorized speed for Contentnea was 60 mph (passenger, intermodal, and freight) on the main line. 79/70/60 on either side. 40 on the W&W, which was the orignal ACL main line prior to construction of the Contentnea-Fayetteville-Pee Dee cutoff. Amtrak 52/53, 79/80, 89/90, 91/92, and 97/98 pass through Contentnea. 

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/21 14:38 by ctillnc.

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