Saturday, June 13, 2015

Three Levels (Triple Crossing) of Trunk Line Railroads in Richmond, VA

(American-Rails, Satellite)

(Update: it was the only triple crossing until 2004 when a flyover was built in Kansas City, Kansas City now also has a triple crossing.)

Image: Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries
I keep seeing this photo on Facebook. I'm going to post this occurance so that I can find it again. The commentary is:
This unique photograph presents to view the only point in the world where three trunk line trains cross each other, at the same time and over their separate tracks. At the top is shown a train of the C. & O. Railway leaving Richmond for the upper James River Valley just beneath it a train of the S.A.L. Railway leaving the Main Street (Union) Deport for the South, and on the ground a train of the Southern Railway coming into Richmond from West Point on the York River.
One of the comments was particularly interesting:
Gary Sprandel Robert Richmond VA. Larry the last one I saw of the triple meet was Railfan magazine in the early 80's with Chessie Systems SD50's,Seaboard System GP50 and Southern E's or F's (IIRC). I've heard staging another triple meet has been rendered near impossible due to flood wall construction that limits the ability to line up the entire crossing.
Stephen Messer commented on a posting and Thomas Dorman added:
September 1, 1949 – a Thursday, at 12:01 pm, photographer Herbert Wilburn.•Chesapeake & Ohio Alco Richmond K-3A 2-8-2 #2327, standard freight engine on the James River line, a steam locomotive capable of hauling about 160 coal cars.•Seaboard Air Line EMD E7A #3048 3,000-horsepower Diesel unit like the ones used to pull the Silver Meteor, Orange Blossom Special and other streamliners.
•Southern Alco RS3 #2106 1500-horsepower, multi-purpose roadswitcher, a powerful Diesel electric unit.
•Southern Alco RS3 #2106 1500-horsepower, multi-purpose roadswitcher, a powerful Diesel electric unit.
A different reindentation of the colors.
Thomas Bilheimer posted
This unique photograph presents to view the only point in the
world where three trunk line trains cross each other, at the same
time and over their separate tracks. At the top is shown a
passenger train of the C. & O. Railway leaving Richmond for the
upper James River Valley just beneath it a train of the S.A.L.
Railway leaving the Main Street (Union) Deport for the South and
on the ground a train of the Southern Railway coming into
Richmond from West Point on the York River.
Richmond, Virginia
Date: 1949
Albert McFadyen: The top C&O train is clearly hauling coal cars and is not a passenger train.
Alex Peterson shared

I Love Trains posted
photo courtesy of Michael Wray - Another view of the triple crossing

Another issue with getting this view today is that there is now interstate ramps in the background. Satellite view.
 
Scott Rae posted
Famous picture of the triple crossing at Richmond Va. it was taken by Doug Lilly in 1983. I was hired in 1981, to the Railroad on the top!

Jenevieve Marie posted in Facebook

Steve Bolte added as a comment to the above Facebook posting
Steve's text for the comment:
This was the night photo session in 1983. NRHS national convention was in Richmond. Arranged by Jim Boyd of Railfan Mag.
Stephen Messer commented on a posting and Thomas Dorman added:
July 19, 1983 –National Railway Historical Society pre-Convention night photo session hosted by the Old Dominion Chapter. Photographer Sanford T. Terry.•Chessie System C&O GE B30-7 #8295•Seaboard (Norfolk Southern) EMD GP40 #6719•Southern EMD FP7s #6143 #6141

Also, Bill Neill shared
Jerry M Murphy commented on a posting
This is the very first one, I believe
Jerry M Murphy commented on a posting
This is the last one, as far as I know. This was taken from atop the City of Richmond floodwall.
Seija Gynther also posted
Allen Dial Rivanna jct .richmond va..top track is csx (rivanna sub) middle track csx (bellwood sub ) bottom is ns

Jose Vicente Sendin also posted
Oh, trains can fly ? ( well this is a train FLY OVER !!! )
Thomas Dorman October 21?, 1994 – to mark the completion of the James River flood wall, on which the photographer was standing, which now blocks the best photographic views of the triple crossing.
•CSX GE C40-9W #9044
•CSX GE C40-9W #9045

•Norfolk Southern EMD GP50 #7027

Becky Whiting Not a whole lot of clearance for the three routes. No HIGH WIDE loads for sure.
Steve Hartz shared
Lisa Pennell posted
Janet Simonsen: The top train is 9044 and the middle train is 9045. Consecutive numbers!
Vincent Rogers posted
Triple Crossing in Richmond VA: 1994 Photo by Ken Soper, VDOT. When constructed, it was the only place in North America where three Class 1 Railroads crossed at different levels in the same place: Southern Railway on grade, Seaboard Line on the middle level, and Chesapeake and Ohio on the top level.
Dean Freeman: No stack trains on the lower 2.
[There are some comments about the relatively new triple crossing in Kansas City, MO.]
Ed Poltera posted

A video of the above photo-op being staged

I Love Trains posted
photo courtesy of Leonardo San Martin Ojeda

Fred Fisher commented on I Love Train's post, cropped
What it looks like from the street and without any trains.

Raiford Wilson commented on Poltera's post

Jerry M Murphy posted
Here is the Triple Crossing from the cab on the top bridge.
Jenevieve Marie shared Heritage Railway Magazine posting
Haddy Niazi
Triple Railroad crossing in Richmond, Virginia (hand painted 1926)
Carl Venzke posted
I thought this only existed in model railroading until I saw this; C&O on top, SAL in the middle and Southern on the bottom. Richmond, VA c1939
[
So how can a 1939 photo be hand painted in 1926?]

Michael Wray commented on a post
Not color but nice all steam photo from the early 30s.
[This looks like a different exposure of the same photo.]

Steve Bolte commented on the above sharing
This was the last staged one at the James River Flood Wall dedication 10/21/94
Andrew Keeney shared
Triple crossing reenactment, 1966? Walt Gay collection
Curtis Nicolaisen posted two photos with the comment: "Triple Crossing in Richmond Virginia. Only place in North America(?) where 3 railroads cross over each other. A 1919 archive photo for perspective."
Dale Hokanson No floodwall or freeway!
1

2

Norfolk Southern Corp posted
Three trains meet at the famous "Triple Crossing" in Richmond, Virginia. CSX coal train N89530 on the upper level (former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad), CSX coal train T44230 on the middle level (former Seaboard Air Line Railroad), and Norfolk Southern mixed freight V24 on the lower level (former Southern Railway).
Norfolk Southern recently completed a clearance project on the lower level to allow high capacity box cars to clear the middle bridge, allowing for more shipping opportunities along the line, which serves industries between Richmond and West Point.
Disclaimer: This image is a compilation of three separate images taken within a short timeframe to achieve the "Triple Crossing" result.#OhYesWeDid

Virgil Fitzpatrick posted
Ever wonder what it's like to be on the ground for a major derailment? Here's your chance from my personal perspective.
April of 2006 finds us again in downtown Richmond VA but this time the Seaboard Air Line bridge (middle track in the triple crossing) has collapsed with a fully loaded Virginia Power Coal Train on it. This is just one of many photos in this album so here's the link for the rest: http://csxt163.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx...

So why did this bridge section give way?
Virgil Fitzpatrick


Vintage Postcard with Flickr comments

Joe Garnett looking down the Southern tracks

A video of the trains pulling into position and doing a lot of honking




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