Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

The Piedmont: Amtrak’s North Carolina-Only Line

The Piedmont #76, Charlotte to Raleigh route, is the Amtrak line that serves only North Carolina. From Charlotte it makes stops in Kannapolis, Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington and Durham. It ends is Raleigh. The reverse route is a part of the Carolinian line, train #79.

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The Halloween Derailment at Boylan, 1987

This was a Norfolk Southern train inbound to Raleigh early in the morning of Halloween 1987 from Linwood Yard over near Salisbury, NC.  I’m fairly certain it was NS Train #352.

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Raleigh Railroading


CSX operated General Motors Type SD60

As is evident by the photos sometimes posted here, train spotting is a hobby of mine. Part of this is from hearing family stories when I was younger. My grandfather on my mom’s side spent years seeing the country by hopping boxcars. It was by train hopping that he wound up in Washington state to join the CC Camp before heading off to World War II. My mom’s grandfather was a conductor as well.


above image credit: uliveandyouburn

My dad’s pop was the conductor of “The General“, part of the L&N line (later CSX). During The Civil War, The General was involved in Andrews Raid–which eventually became known as The Great Locomotive Chase. It was later restored as an oil burner for the Civil War Centennial. He’s in a photo on the linked page, as well as my grandmother. He later was the conductor of the Hummingbird. Unfortunately, I never got to know him or my grandfather and great-grandfather from my mom’s side of the family.

Although family history plays some part in my interest in trains, a good part of it lies in the experience of simply watching one go by. The loud roar (or screeching) of metal train wheels on the rails, the highly efficient humming diesel engine, and the overpowering (and often startling) horn is just a humbling experience. It’s also a throwback to the past, as locomotive transportation is what enabled the United States to expand westward during the 1800s. Many times when I’ve sat watching them go by, I’ve pondered what it would be like to hop on one without knowing where it was going–just to wind up in a new place and see the way there in a new way.
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