American Railroads

News each weekday of American railroads. Our focus is on freight rail, but Amtrak and commuter rail are also essential ingredients. Nothing published on holidays.

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Location: Middleburg (Jacksonville), Florida, United States

Published in Trains magazine, Railfan & Railroad, Passenger Train Journal

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fixing track is high-tech today

By Leo King

DOCTOR’S INLET, Fla. – I suppose it’s like a scene seen hundreds of times each day on a zillion railroads – a track crew comes along, surfaces a bump in the track, then moves on to another place.
Such was the case on July 25 around noon here. It was an ordinary railroad scene, in this bucolic place along the single track in northeast Florida, about 20 miles south of Jacksonville. Traffic, if there was any during the work window, was held somewhere, delayed, if you will, until a CSX surfacing gang could bring a curve up to standards.
On CSX in Clay County, it was a 94-degree sweltering day, and humid. Of course, the rest of the country was also sweating – California was well above 110 degrees, in Chicagoland it was around 90, and Northeast Florida was warmer than South Florida. Very unusual in these parts.
CSX calls it Milepost 663.17, but to the locals, it’s where Clay County Road 220 crosses the main line from Jacksonville to Miami, over which Amtrak trains also run.

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