Stuck on the Buckingham Branch

Falling trees along the rail lines that connect Charlottesville to Chicago have put a stop to all rail traffic along the CSX/Buckingham Branch rail line. Empty grain cars have been stranded rail along Ivy Road, and there are coal cars out at West Leigh, as well as three other stranded trains on the Buckingham Branch. Even the Amtrak Cardinal has been sidelined, with a West Virginia stranding of 232 passengers that made headlines on the night of the storm, Friday, June 29.

Buckingham Branch general manager Steve Powell says that it took about five days to clean up the approximately 300 trees that fell onto the tracks that his company operates between Clifton Forge and Doswell. But problems on western connecting lines still kept five trains along the Dillwyn-based company's 200-mile stretch of track.

"The biggest problem was out in West Virginia," says Powell, noting that the troubles along the CSX line meant the Cardinal was still not running even as of Sunday, July 8.

So how much– between tree removal, damage repair, and lost business– did the storm cost the Buckingham Branch?

"I wouldn't be surprised," says Powell, "if it's in excess of half a million dollars."

–story updated 11:15am, Monday, July 9 with details from Powell


Rail cars still strewn along the line, and Amtrak's Cardinal cancelled again today.

Correction, the Amtak Cardinal does not run on Saturdays, so we'll have to see about tomorrow. The route - Chicago to NYC is Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

No trains through downtown Charlottesville... quiet... safe ... visualize it - rails to trails Woolen Mills-downtown-UVA-Ivy-Crozet....


Please don't reproduce. This attitude is why services are so strained and things are expensive. Sure, cancel valuable resources and replace them with things that do nothing for people that do nothing.

You know a single train carries as much as (4 x 50,000 lb truckloads per 200,000 lb carload) and does it with a tiny fraction per ton of fuel compared to trucks.

You probably dislike trucks too, don't you. Anything not cute and useless is bad.

Do you ever see full coal trains going through Charlottesville? You do not. There are options for trains other than routing through this populated area.

Honeycomb, good luck reproducing with that attitude!

Amtrak's Cardinal cancelled again today. That's a shame, last I checked it was sold out.

Norfolk Southern freight train derails in Columbus, Ohio . Anyone know what materials pass through Charlottesville ? Could this happen here ?