About this time last year, railfans on the Pittsburgh Line and eastern Fort Wayne Line got word that NS would be removing many of its wayside signals preparatory to the installation of PTC. Throughout the summer, maintenance-of-way crews worked steadily westward across the Pittsburgh Line, removing former Conrail tri-lights and PRR bridges. On August 18th, when I got word that almost the entire Pittsburgh Line was completed, I headed down to Haysville on the eastern Fort Wayne Line one last time to shoot the PRR bridge at milepost 10.8. It turned into an interesting evening, but not in the way I hoped.
Over the summer, I had noticed that trains on Main 1 sounded like they were hitting a flat spot just east of the crossing. Between mid-July and August, NS decided to cut out the culprit worn section. Above is a detail shot of the markings left just before the cut.
The temporary joint connecting the splice and old section of westbound rail. Note the jumper for the crossing circuit. When I went back in daylight early in March, the joint was gone; the railroad probably welded the replacement rail to the rest of the original stick.
A shot of the worn rail left beside the right-of-way.
NS 8011 leads AC44C6M 4111 eastbound through the crossing with NS 10K. For whatever reason, I only saw eastbounds in my 3 or so hours of railfanning from 2 until 5:30.
The distributed power on 10K. Note the lack of class markings on ES44DC 7694, which is leading Catfish 9200.
One of several hi-rail heat patrols seen on this day glides eastbound toward the bridge.
The last train of the day, and the only one with an EMD leading, smokes across the crossing on the usually westbound Main 3.
Said manifest, the last train I would see pass under the signals, heads downtown under an approach medium aspect.
The sun sets on the signals, both literally and metaphorically.