RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
Acca Yard and the Amtrak Station
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the Amtrak Station
Up the Middle of I-195
4 CSX's Acca Yard
This was the RF&P's southern most yard, and is located northwest of the downtown Richmond area.
Entrance to Acca off Tomlynn St
From the overpass on Westwood Ave
Over at the engine maintenance facility as seen from Tomlynn St
At AY looking east from the Westwood overpass
Entrance to the yard off of Laburnum Ave
5 AY Interlocking
AY on the RF&P stood for Acca Yard, and was the southern most point on the RF&P. Mileage on the RF&P was from AY Interlocking, and Potomac Yard was milepost 107.2. Union station was at RF&P's milepost 113.5, although the tracks to get there belonged to the Pennsy.
The wye at AY is the junction between three of
1) Richmond Terminal Subdivision (From AY north on the RF&P to Greendale)
2) North End Subdivision (From AY south on the old SCL to Rocky Mount NC)
3) Bellwood Subdivision (From AY south on the Southern to Centralia, where it joins up with the North End Subdivision)
7 The Amtrak Station
Located on the north side of Richmond, this suburban station is the only area station. It is located on Staples Mill Rd, just north of Hilliard. Amtrak has decided to "fortify" this facility with gates all over the place, and by charging you to park, making it a hassle to get decent photos in the station. There is a restaurant to the right of the station, as you are looking at the entrance off of the street, where I have found to be an OK Place to park as long as you aren't staying for a long time.
Passenger trains layover about 15 minutes, which gives you ample time to go somewhere else to take pictures. I settled for going to the rear of a shopping center to the south of the station, but you need something to stand on to get over the fence. Pick-ups are useful here! :-)
Southbound trains have to crossover to the opposite side, as CSX still runs in RF&P fashion, on the left. I'm not sure if they use the track closest to the station, it is a siding.
Amtrak Train #89 with #84 on the lead
James River Bus Lines provides connecting service to areas west of Richmond
7a GN Tower
I haven't found much info on RF&P towers. I spoke with an Amtrak engineer, Scott, on my visit of December 2011, and he confirmed that the tower was only being used to house the signal relays. The tower is now called Greendale interlocking.
11 Up the Middle (of I-195)
The track coming up to West AY give the railfan some unique photo ops, being in the middle of I-195. These pictures were taken from Broad St -- It's too bad the city replaced the fence with the tightly knit weave type, for it makes getting decent pictures very difficult. On the south end, you might be able to get some decent pictures of NB's from Douglasdale, but I haven't checked it out.
Hilliard Rd Photo Spot
The Signals at AY
All of the signals in Richmond are color light signals, because all of the heritage railroads coming into town used them, the RF&P, C&O, SCL, and Southern. The C&O used a lot of these distinct riveted cantilever signal bridges, and a few remaining examples can be found by the airport.
I normally try to number the signals in some sort of logical manner, but this time, we'll just number them according to when they go on the page :-(
1 West AY
< Slow Clear < Restricted
2 South AY
Old telephone box at South AY
Looking from South AY towards AY and into ACCA Yard
Underneath Westwood Ave for trains coming from West AY
4 Acca Yard
5 SB North Acca
These signals are located behind the Comcast headquarters building. This is not a good picture spot, as a high fence separates you from the tracks.
at the Amtrak Station
Not wanting to tempt the usually not-understanding Amtrak people by taking pictures from the platform when a train was coming, I settled for this pictures... nothing unusual about them, they are the standard color lights that proliferate the area.
Of the two signals for trains coming out of the station NB, one of them is a single color dwarf... since they were not lit, I'm not sure of it's color, but it looks red.
Signals for NB traffic
Two dwarf signals for station traffic
Last Modified 24-Jul-2012