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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Delmarva peninsula trip two weeks age (7/20-22)

Date: 08/02/22 18:03
Delmarva peninsula trip two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

My wife and I took a trip to Cape Charles, VA two weeks ago, on the southern end of the Delmarva peninsula just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.   This gave me an opportunity to observe a bit of Delmarva Central action and observe the abandonment and track removal on the former Pennsylvania line that was not included in Conrail in 1976, and was operated originally by the Virginia and Maryland, then the Eastern Shore, and most recently the the Bay Coast Railroad, which was abandoned in 2018 (save for the northern-most trackage between Pocomoke City, MD and Hallwood, VA.

The trip south on Wednesday the 20th did not yield any photos of the Delmarva Central, although I heard both of their Seaford, DE based trains, SE-1 and SE-2, around Delmar and Salisbury, MD.

Much of the trip in Virginia along US Rt. 13 parallels the the former line, where trackage removal is almost completed.  This first view is from first crossing after the trackage crossed Rt 13 as you travel into Cape Charles.  In better times in August of 2011, on our way to Virginia Beach with the kids, we came upon this interurban car being operated by the affiliated Bay Creek Railroad, which offered excursions over the lower end of the line for several years between 2007 and 2011.

The next morning, I stopped to take this view looking west from the Rt. 13 crossing.   

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/22 18:10 by sscannella.

Date: 08/02/22 18:09
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

The yard trackage within Cape Charles itself has also been almost all removed.  Seen here is the remains of the lead going into Bayshore Concrete, once one of the largest customers of the line. 

There is also some equipment on display in the town, including this passenger car. 

Date: 08/02/22 18:13
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

Former GP10 #2000 is now on display by the visitors center.  

Third is a photo of it in lest somber time - July 1, 2007, taken on the return from one of our family vacations to Virginia Beach.

Date: 08/02/22 18:17
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

On a "brighter" note, the storm which blew through late Thursday afternoon leg to a spectacular sunset looking out to the Chesapeake Bay.  over 20 freighters were observed off the shore f Cape Charles waiting to make their way up the Chesapeake to Baltimore.

On the trip home Friday, I stopped several more times to photograph the carnage. Here you can see multiple piles of ties and a pile of spikes, tie plates and other track materials in the background on the right.  It looks like they are separating out ties which can be used for landscaping and other similar purposes.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/22 18:18 by sscannella.

Date: 08/02/22 18:24
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

My wife likes to visit antique shops, so while she was browsing through one in Exmore, VA, I took a quick trip a couple blocks over to the old station there and grabbed this first shot.

I was scouting for a couple locations where I grabbed shots of Eastern Shore trains in the 2000s, here's one from Melfa, VA, where I grabbed the then ESHR 200 with 10 cars heading back to Cape Charles on July 21, 2004 (18 years prior nearly to the day.)

Date: 08/02/22 18:30
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

And yes, I did catch a couple Delmarva Central trains on the way back home.  Crossing into Maryland, I decided to head into Pocomoke City to grab a shot of the tower at the movable bridge.   I had photographed a Conrail job, WPDE-01, bring a dozed or so cars to the then interchange with the Eastern Shore there back on July, 11, 1997.  I took my then 17-month old son out with me for a few hours to give my 6 year-old daughter and wife a break from us on the beach in Ocean City, MD that day, and we lucked out and followed this jobs from DelMar to Pocomke City.

When my wife and I pulled off US 13 to head into the town, I turned the scanner on and the front end/rear end device channels started chirping.  Could it be...????

We got to the tower just as DCR SE-2 with two light engines - MP15s - was starting to cross the moveable bridge.   Luck.  Divine intervention.  Whatever it was I'll take it!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/22 18:31 by sscannella.

Date: 08/02/22 18:38
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

Further north in Delmar, I stopped to grab an updated roster shor of the former SOO geep used to shift aggregate around at the Pennsy Supply Company facility there.   This stuff comes out of their stone facility in Annville, PA, just about 20 miles east of Harrisburg, and is shuttled to Enola Yard near me on the other side of the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg.  It's then added to NS 36A to be forwarded to Delaware and eventually the DCR.

At the DCR headquarters in Harrington, all was quiet as these two engines were sitting outside their office awaiting call to action in the evening.

I was holding out hope that we we run into their interchange job with NS at Clayton, DE, and as luck (or divine intervention) would have it, we intercepted them just as they were coming into Dover to make a set-off for their DE-1 local crew.  The move was short and sweet, and we got this shot from the overpass just south of the drop-off.

Date: 08/02/22 18:40
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: sscannella

I'll close out with this video of the HA-1 and its pair of SD40 units accelerating out of Dover with the balance of its train destined for Harrington.  Hope you all enjoyed

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/22 19:32 by sscannella.

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Date: 08/02/22 20:28
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: boejoe

Great photo story Sam.  
Here are some items to supplement your information - working north from Cape Charles VA:
I was told that some of the ships anchored in the Hampton Roads area are destined to Norfolk for export coal loading.  I'm sure many are also headed up the Bay to Baltimore.
(your sunset shot is spectacular, by the way)
At Exmore, very close to the station, were a couple of cabooses once upon a time.  I don't see them in your photo so they were obviously relocated (or scrapped)
Not mentioned, but a bit further north from Exmore, is a rail museum at Parksley VA.  Their rolling stock is now embargoed as no more rail connection to the outside world.
Hallwood VA is referenced.  One reason for the tracks continuing to that area from the north is to provide rail deliveries to the nearby Wallops Island rocket launching site. 
I once saw some US Air Force mobile launchers on DOD flatcars at the rail unloading ramp there.  The trip from railhead to the beach over narrow local roads is a task.
The tower at the movable bridge in Pocomoke City MD once had the name Casatt on the building.  The sign was painted in Penn Central green with white trim.  Seems to have "disappeared".
In Delmar DE, just across the street from Delmar MD, at trackside is a genuine ball signal on display along with a former Chesapeak & Ohio (ex-Hocking Valley) wood caboose painted and lettered for PRR.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/22 20:31 by boejoe.

Date: 08/02/22 22:26
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: refarkas

An excellent blending of past photos with present-day photos - Truly informative captions.

Date: 08/03/22 11:02
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: bobdavis

Sam, many thanks for posting these shots from my old home territory.  Somewhere in my collection I have a few shots from the same area including Cassatt tower.  Not much railroading down that way any more.

Thayne, WY

Date: 08/03/22 12:34
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: Gonut1

Good stuff. My family has roots in DelMarVa and we went there a lot as a kid. I remember seeing the PRR passenger train in Harrington a couple times as well as freight. The only thing I ever saw south of Salibury was a lone PRR Geep sitting idling on the main parallel to Rte 13, in the middle of absolutely nowhere! When my kids were, well kids, we would vacation in Ocean City MD, and despite many attemts at catching anything moving on the peninsula was for naught. Although we did catch the St Anne's tourist train behind a steamer at Lewes DE during its short time there. We were on the Cape May-Lewes ferry when I noticed black smoke and tracked it down once on shore.
Thanks for the memories.

Date: 08/03/22 15:41
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: Darthsimpletext


I saw all this on my trip south to carolina in what is our yearly family reunion, i didn't realize that the railroad down there shut down for good in 2018

seems like having locomotives on display is okay, but they'll sadly rot. Photos 1, 3, 4, 5 define exactly what i saw on my trip down.


Date: 08/03/22 18:38
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: Tominde

As you can surmise. that line was straight as an arrow and flat as a board.  It was double track in PRR days, and K4s would fly making their way to Wilmington, DE where it joined the now NEC and on to New York.  

Date: 08/04/22 04:28
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: jmbreitigan

A very enjoyable post in both photos and your information. In my case I have no knoweldge of the area nor have I been in the area. Part of what I look forward to here on TO, learning about places I have not been to.

Date: 08/04/22 12:37
Re: Delmarva peninsula two weeks age (7/20-22)
Author: ns1000

Great stuff..!!  Thanks for posting.

Looking at this post reminds me how I need a vacation.....:</

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