RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
Amtrak's Ivy City Facility and the Metro Shops
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Ivy City used to be home to some great trains back in the old days of the Baltimore & Ohio, the Pennsylvania RR, the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac, The Southern Railway, and the Seaboard System.
Now it serves as the maintenance facility for Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, MARC, and the VRE.
Adjacent to the Amtrak Yard is one of the Metro many heavy rail yards.
For the signal fan, this area contains a most unique set of signals as you will see below, where the Pennsy used PL parts to build a B&O style CPL signal... very cool!
1 Ivy City Yard
Ivy City Yard, where all of the passenger and commuter trains are serviced and staged for the rush hours. Union Station is to the left, Baltimore is to the right.
2 the Metro Shops
The Metro facility is built on the site of the former Washington Terminal coach yard. The aerial shot shows both the Washington Metro shops and yard, and some of the coach storage tracks (which is pretty much the way it looks when WT operated the yard). Union Station is to the left, Baltimore off the bottom, and points west off to the right.
Metro signals along the trail.
1 Amtrak NEC PCL's
This set of PL signals can be found behind the Comfort Suites hotel on New York Avenue NE, where Montana Avenue crosses. For inbound trains, this is the last set of "PL" signals. The pictures were taken from the green circle.
2 WB CSX CPL's
About a quarter of a mile west from the Comfort Suites hotel is this CSX CPL signal location for WB trains. The picture on the right was taken from the Comfort Suites hotel.
3 Amtrak NEC PCL's and B&O Style "CPL's"
The inbound signals here are quite unique. The last NEC signal set before reaching the CPL dwarfs on the signals bridges is located behind the Howard Johnson hotel along New York Avenue... if you look close, you will notice that the signals facing us are Pennsy PL's, and the signals on the far side, for inbound traffic to Union Station, are CPL's. However, what you can't see from the aerial shot, is that the CPL signals on the inbound side are assembled from Pennsy PL parts. This makes the two signals quite unique indeed! As unique as the signals in Northumberland PA. You can access the signals by going underneath the hotel, but take along a buddy, just in case, as our shoe prints weren't the only ones down there. You can shimmy down the embankment where the green line is.
The SB "CPL" side.
The NB PL side.
4 CSX CPL's at the Wye - East Side
These two signals control movements off the wye onto the EB track. They're almost directly under the Brentwood Pkwy NE overpass.
5 CSX CPL's at the Wye - West Side
These CPL's sit in the shadow of New York Avenue. The two curved tracks on the right is the NEC, the single one on the left is CSX.
6 CSX CPL's at the Wye - North Side
Last Modified: 09/15/2013