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Three Trains Posed at Richmond's Triple Crossing (editor's title)

Richmond's Triple Crossing
Trains of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, the Seaboard Air Line, and the Southern Railway posed for ten minutes in 1949 at the Triple Crossing in Richmond, Virginia, the only place in the world where three railroads cross on separated grades. It was the third time since the crossing was completed in 1901 that the three railroads staged trains for photography. A color photograph from this session appeared on the cover of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This view is in Dubin's "More Classic Trains" (Kalmabach, 1974, p. 224).

Regarding the difficulty in arranging the three trains, the paper quoted S. F. Osteen, assistant supervisor of the Seaboard's Virginia Division. "You try to get three railroads to do anything together and you'll have a devil of a time, but when you fool with something like this where three sets of intricate schedules are involved, you really have a problem."

It took weeks of planning for the three railroads to agree to a time, finally deciding on a Thursday at 12:01 p.m. for a duration of 10 minutes. The autumn weather cooperated with clear blue skies. Both Southern and Seaboard sent new diesels delivered earlier in the year, but C&O opted for a steam-powered coal train on the highest level using K-3A 2-8-2 #2327. Somewhat ironically, the obsolescent steam locomotive occupied the highest position. Steam power fittingly held out the longest on the coal-hauling C&O, but even on it, the last fires were dropped in 1956.

The triple crossing remains active in Richmond, although two of the lines, the Seaboard's and the C&O's, are now owned by one company, CSX. Southern merged with Norfolk & Western to form Norfolk Southern in 1982. Additional photographs have been staged in the diesel era. See record 2334 for the first staged photograph.
Source Lake Forest College Library Special Collections
Coverage Spatial, Richmond, Virginia; Temporal, Fall 1949
Rights Lake Forest College
Date Created 1949
Resource Type
Extent Not available
Depicted Railroad
Location Richmond, Virginia
Equipment, Locomotive K-3A 2-8-2 #2327, E7A #3048, RS-2 #2106
Builder, locomotive ALCo, EMD, ALCo
Creator Description The Dementi Studio still operated in 2008 in Richmond, Virginia. A similar 1926 view appears in the studio's selection of its top fifty historical pictures on the web site at dementi.com.
Collection Arthur Dubin Collection
Where Published *More Classic Trains,* by Arthur Dubin, p. 224. Kalmbach, 1974
Image ID Dubin.I.3.3
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