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Freight, passenger trains crawl citywide

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Photo feature | Leo King

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This northeastern Florida city is rife with trains. For example, consider this CSX intermodal train leaving the city and Moncrief Yard today. The engineer is looking at a restricting signal – yellow on the bottom of a stack of three – to continue southward to the Florida East Coast Ry. connection. The upper lights on the mast are red. Amtrak will follow part of this route in less than one hour. Other CSX crews are switching various branch lines around the city, from the docks at JaxPort to the former Seaboard Air Line route to Yulee. Ex-Conrail -GE C40-8W leads this drag.

Amtrak’s lengthy Silver Meteor train No. 97, is running about 20 minutes late as it rounds CSX’s south leg of Honeymoon Wye en route to Miami. The train originated in New York City yesterday at 3:15 p.m. in Penn Station (NYP). The engineer has a clear signal leaving Jacksonville. The station is about 10 miles north. A pair of P-42s, each developing 4,200 horsepower, are moving the train at the posted speed limit, 30 mph (25 for freights), around the curve and Duke’s Crossing. That’s a place that used to connect over a diamond to the right in the photo, which is out of service. Track has been torn up and major rock distributor Conrad Yelvington Distributors gets its rocks from another entryway, on the far side of Yelvington yard, to the right of the passenger train. They even have their own switcher. The other leg of the wye has been long gone, so if commuter service ever begins along this route, it will have to be rebuilt. In a moment, No. 97 will pass milepost 643.

No. 97 traverses CSX’s posted speed sign. The engines are passing MP 643.

Yelvington’s switcher appears to be an elderly GP-30.

After Amtrak’s No 97 cleared the Moncrief yard tracks and was on its way down CSX’s A Line to Miami, a Norfolk Southern intermodal train made its way from Simpson Yard in northern Jacksonville and passes Moncrief toward the FEC. It’s a run-through that will become FEC’s No. 101 – FEC’s only hotshot. It will depart Bowden Yard at around 1:30 p.m. today and arrive at Hialeah Yard in Miami at about 8:30 tonight.

Map | Google Earth

These photos were snapped on July 28 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The sites were near Dennis Street in one of the city’s industrial neighborhoods.