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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested

Date: 12/02/21 18:01
Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested
Author: TerrapinStation

I have planned to take a trip to Oak Island this weekend Dec 3 from Greensboro NC and likely return Sunday or Monday. I asked my tour guide if we could swing through the area of the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway on our way.  I am curious if and what I might see in terms of  ACWR trains working.  I have perused my map and viewed associated areial.  Is there anything to see on the ACWR after noon on a Friday, ie tomorrow or return on Monday?  Is here any activity in Star?  We will veer off the Interstate in Candor (drive by their shop complex) and follow the ACWR to Pinehurst and look for their passenger train.  Then, I assume we would pass through Aberdeen and thence somehow down to Laurinberg or Lumberton where we would pick up NC 74 to Oak Islnad.  

Info on delivery of ACWR E units?  I will be in NC until Dec 10.  Would they come via NS or CSX and through which ACWR interchange point?
Any info on when their dome car might be coming back to home rails?

Any other advice would be appreciated.

Terrapin Station

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/21 18:31 by TerrapinStation.

Date: 12/02/21 19:22
Re: Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested
Author: scraphauler

If you are coming up or down I-73 / I-74 and have the extra time, get off at Spies Road and go into Star.  Go west on Spies Road from Interstate - it dead ends into US-220.  Directly in front of you is a good sized LPG transload facility.on the tail end of the line that used to go north.  Take 220 south from Spies Road - the Star yard will be on your left - turn left on Depot Street to check out it's contents (big string of ex CN SD60Fs and other misc stored locos).  You can then take US 220 south from Star to NC-211 in Candor - it follows the line fairly closely most of the way.

Candor shop is on the north side of NC-211 just east of I-73 / I-74.  Good amount of stuff visible around shop.  Cranemasters also operates derailment/construction gang out of the backside of the shop complex.  Directly across from the shop is MountainAire Farms.  They have a leased ACWR ex UP MP15 (still in UP colors) as their plant switcher - they receive unit trains, multiple car blocks, and single cars of corn and soybeans, off both CSXT Aberdeen and NS Charlotte.  Immediately east of that is the Candor Yard and Perdue Farms, who also receives unit trains, multi car blocks and single car blocks of corn and beans.    

NC 211 follows line fairly closely from Candor to Pinewild Country Club on the west side of Pinehurst.   ONLY thing in between is a siding in Seven Lakes when 3 of the Canadian Cab GP40-2s are stored (you can see them, but they are fenced in and inaccessible.  At Pinewild, the tracks and 211 split, with the tracks taking a straight shot through the huge gated Country Club community, headed straight into the Village of Pinehurst, while 211 curves the otheway to bypass the Village into the commercial development areas.   Turn right onto NC 5 - 5 will duck under the ACWR main about 2 miles down - Pinehurst Resort's transportation operations center is on you left as you come out from under the bridge - the house track the passenger train is parked in is right there.  You can access train from transportation center parking lot, or you can turn left on NC-2 BEFORE going under track, then into the resort parking lot at the traffic circle to access other side of train.   As long as you are not doing something stupid, no one should hassle you as it is a resort/tourist area.  

Return to 5 and follow it south into Aberdeen.  It parallels line all the way.  There is a short double ended siding at top of hill they often use to double cars to or stage plastic cars for a plastic user who has a siding right as you start down hill.  At bottom of hill, as soon as the tracks cross US-1 in Aberdeen, they wye. North leg goes into downtown to a dead end tail track along side the CSXT main, across from the Aberdeen and Rockfish HQ and transload yard on opposite side of CSXT and south leg heads down into CSXT yard.  The north leg, tail track, and base track past the Aberdeen depot only get used by special passenger trains or occasionally to turn the SD60F,  CSX yard in Aberdeen is inaccessible and you can only catch a brief view from the US-15/501 overpass.  However, the A&R's transload operation and shop are all easily viewable,   CSXT wise, line only has P091, P092, F741, F742 daily,, plus a W series stone train out of Sanford every 3rd or 4th day, and the host of G series trains coming up from Hamlet going to the ACWR.  The northbound Amtrak is due into Southern Pines at 0652, but is often arriving after sunrise.  The southbound is scheduled at 2236 and usually is fairly close to advertised.  

ACWR's operations from Candor to Aberdeen are more of a "When CSXT has stuff available" than a set schedule. It's been real hit or miss lately,  Last two weekends they've ran an empty CSXT grain train to Aberdeen Saturday just to have CSXT not move it until Tuesday or Wednesday.  This has resulted in the local running eastbound late Monday/Monday night and tying up on main on top of hill in Aberdeen waiting for CSXT to make a hole.  As info, my You Tube channel "Past The Office Window" is a "video log" of what passes when I am home and it's light enough to shoot.  For the most part, if I am home, and it's light enough, I've filmed it and posted it. There is just as much traffic that ends up running at night, plus while I do work from home, I am not always there obviously,  Overall, seems they run a "local" or manifest train 3-4 times a week,m and grain trains can be anywhere from just a couple a week to daily.  

Photo 1 is an inbound grain train from a few weeks ago,tied down waiting for crew on south leg of wye in Aberdeen.  CSXT power stays with inbound trains, and with ACWR's roller-coaster profile, they usually add one or two of their units to the head end.  This particular train got three, as the inbound local power was used on grain train (local runs 2 or 3 engines depending on size)

Photo 2 is a set of CSXT power tied down on the base of the way between the north and south legs.  Aberdeen "Union Station (ex SOU/SAL/AR) is hiding behind the power, CSXT main is out of view to right.  Depot sits between ACWR and CSXT.  

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/21 19:30 by scraphauler.

Date: 12/02/21 19:50
Re: Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested
Author: TerrapinStation

Thank you sir!

Date: 12/02/21 20:41
Re: Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested
Author: srman

First off excellent report from scraphauler! Now I live no where near the area. Southern Indiana is where I live however for the past few years my family has been renting a house on Oak Island in June and when I head down that way a AC&W stop is always in my plan. I've been fairly successful in catching something over the years. Last year I wanted to see those F units. They where parked on the east end of the shops so I went up to their office to ask if I could get a shot. I was granted permission to go so far as a fence. I could see the back side of them with sun in my face. So not much of a shot. I finally had to settle for a zoom shot from where their track crosses Hwy, 211. The two images are from 2016 and 2018 when I was fortunate enough to run into something. Neat railroad with a cool paint scheme. 

Date: 12/03/21 09:01
Re: Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested
Author: TerrapinStation

TO thread from Nov 25, 2021 regarding E locomotives bound for ACWR.

Date: 12/03/21 09:36
Re: Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested
Author: Mouse

As of last night, the full length dome and E9 engine were still in Birmingham, AL. Just past the diesel shop.

Date: 12/03/21 10:59
Re: Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway info requested
Author: scraphauler

The A and B coming from Colorado trace in Marshalltown IA this morning. No idea if they will go to NC vis CSX or NS. (I hope CSX so I have a chance to catch them by the house)

Posted from iPhone

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