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CSX F7s Nos. 116 and 117 lead train R-211, the southbound RoadRailer train with auto parts destined for Atlanta, at Covington, Ky., on June 12, 1988. BRADLEY MCCLELLAND


MICHIGAN DETROIT


The CSX RoadRailer train was not


only competing with Norfolk South- ern’s “Triple Crown” RoadRailer ser- vice but the trucks on I-75 as well. It is interesting to note the CSX line that the RoadRailer ran on nearly parallels the highway the entire way. Unfortunately, CSX’s RoadRailer on-


ly lasted for two short years. The last runs of the RoadRailer trains occurred in July 1989, just before the summer shutdown of the assembly plants for model year changeover. Word came from the railroad’s corporate headquar- ters in Jacksonville, Florida, that CSX would not restart the RoadRailer pro- gram. When GM resumed production later that July, all the traffic previous- ly carried by CSX immediately went to NS’s Triple Crown Service. Thus ended CSX’s foray into the RoadRailer busi- ness forever.


“F” is for Family Lines During those short two years, the


typical motive power was one or two GP40-2s or equivalent GE four-motor. Starting in March 1988, the motive power assignment took on a very differ- ent look. The only four F-units on the


CSX roster were pulled from storage and assigned to the RoadRailer service. These cab units had a long history in Appalachian railroading. Two “A” unit and two cab-less “B” units were inherit- ed by CSX from the Clinchfield Rail- road. The Clinchfield kept these loco- motives in superb condition as they were used to pull the Santa Claus Train as well as various passenger ex- cursions and executive specials. In 1977, the Clinchfield came under the Family Lines banner as Seaboard Coast Line and the Louisville & Nashville consoli- dated their interests, and the four cab units were decorated in a simplified dress of Family Lines gray with “CRR” reporting marks in 1979. In 1983, the several roads in the Family Lines affiliation emerged as the new Seaboard System Railroad, and the F-units received the short-lived dark gray with yellow and orange trim. By 1985 the two B-units joined the A- units in executive service. In 1986 the Seaboard System and Chessie System formally combined to become CSX Transportation, and the F’s started working for their fourth owner. CSX re-


OHIO CINCINNATI


KENTUCKY TENNESSEE


Corbin


Etowah


ATLANTA the RoadRailers Route of Illustration by Otto M. Vondrak ©2012 Carstens Publications. 43 GEORGIA


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