Current idea for this page is to outline present-day CSX operations and the other is Operations on the model layout circa 1973. List of customers in 1973.
CSX - present day (2008)
Today CSX runs a local turn up to the Durham and back from Apex. This job starts around 8 am and works its way up to Durham. I've usually seen this in the RTP Hwy 55/54 intersection around lunchtime. They make their way back to Apex sometimes by 6pm in the late afternoon. These local engines will usually be found at night by the freight depot.
Lately there is a through-freight that runs north (F742) from Hamlet to Raleigh and it makes a stop in Apex sometime in the afternoon. This one will usually make its drops and pickups on the southern siding in Apex. The southbound (F741) makes it's pickups and dropoffs early in the morning and uses the siding to the north. This train forwards all traffic to and from the Raleigh/Durham/Henderson area down to Hamlet for classification.
To railfan what is left of the Durham & Southern, proceed north on N. Salem St. out of downtown Apex. The line will be over on your right. After you go under the US-64 bridge, this road will veer to the left and turn into Davis Drive. Stock Building Supply is just off behind you on the other side of the tracks here. Davis will parallel the tracks here for a bit until you cross them at Davis Drive Middle School.
Make a left on to High House Road. Take this for about half a mile and then turn right on to Carpenter Upchurch Rd. Next to this busy intersection is a bridge that goes over the tracks. This location is called Upchurch and had a small 3-car capacity siding at one time. Continuing north, the tracks will parallel the road again and take you into the small stop of Carpenter. Carpenter has a very rural photogenic Farm Supply store. The old freight depot is still here also (link on the Stations page).
At this point, make a left on to Morrisville-Carpenter Road, then make a right on to Highway 55 north/west. This will roughly go along the route all the way up in to Durham. You'll go by Triangle Brick on the right, which just recently tore down their huge sheds that were located here.
You'll need to hang a right on to Riddle Road. The rail-trail along Riddle Road was the original Norfolk Southern Rwy which made a junction with the Durham & Southern and then via trackage rights, accessed Durham. Make a left on to Ellis Road and that will take you to the current Norfolk Southern Corporation's East Durham Yard. Giant Cement is located on the left here on Ellis Road. If you make a left on to E. Pettigrew St., you'll cross over the DS track. There was a diamond just beyond, but the NCRR made some improvements here and replaced it with a bunch of switchovers.
This pretty much ends the tour between existing trackage between Apex & Durham.
Railbed tour south of Apex
Starting back at the Apex CSX freight depot, there is a road opposite the depot called N. Elm St. This dirt road will take you north towards the old wye that was here for the junction. Today, one leg of the wye is used for storage by CSX, mostly tie & spikes and other MOW stuff. There is still an old shack that may have at one time been used for small MOW motorcars or parts.
To the south, behind the row of bushes is the L. G. Jordan Oil company, there used to be a spur here to service them long ago. To the east towards Fuquay-Varina, the old line has been built on by the new Apex Community Center (and new town hall just north of it). When I was growing up, we rode our bikes along the fields and pond that used to be here.
To the east of the Apex Community Center is now N. Mason St., but when I lived there it was just Laura Duncan Rd.The railroad crossing here was in front of a Grocery Boy Jr. that I would get snacks from. There is a new development going up here that somewhat follows the old roadbed. There was an old coal loading platform here and a Purina building.
One needs to get back on 1010 Rd./Center St. and head east and make a right on to Apex Peakway/Schieffelin Rd. This road parallels the ROW until you get to the US1 highway. There was a steel girder bridge here, but they scraped it. Across on the other side, Lufkin Rd. continues along the ROW. If you stay west on Lufkin, it will dump you out on the Highway 55.
Continuing south on Hwy 55, you will pass Dixie Pipeline, a large petroleum pipeline distributor here. They had a spur that was serviced by the D&S. From here, the line continues along Hwy 55 until the new Bypass veers off to the right. You can make a left at the traffic light and stay on old Hwy 55 as it goes down in to Holly Springs.
There is not much to see in downtown Holly Springs, even though this was where the very first shovelfull of dirt was turned over for this shortline. The new Police Station was a partially renovated original building. There was also a large sawmill located near here.
The line rolls through a lot of country side out of Holly Springs, including a crossroads called Wilbon until it reaches Fuquay-Varina at 33.4 milepost. Here you should find the resident Norfolk Southern Corporation locomotives stored over on the adjacent NS Fayetteville branch.
The next timetable stop south of Fuquay-Varina is next to an airstrip called Kennebec. Just north of Kennebec is one of two highway bridges that go over the D&S line. The other one is Hwy 421 over the branch to Erwin. Here are two photos that Brian Deaton sent in from the airport there from 1977 and 1978.
Following Kennebec, the line will take you down Angier, then Barclaysville, which is off Hwy 55 and is marked by a water tower now and was formerly the site of Barclay-Barbee naval stores industry, the next stop being Coats.
South of Coats, once you get to Turlington, the line will deviate from Hwy 55 off to the left. You can make a left on to Ashe Ave. to somewhat follow the line through here. Back in the woods here is where the Erwin Junction is.
By staying on Ashe Ave., it will eventually take you into Dunn city limits.
From here, the city streets are laid out in a nice grid pattern making
it easy to navigate downtown.
Durham & Southern - (circa 1973)
Operating sequence for the D&S
A typical full-day operating session on the Durham & Southern appears to be following sequence of trains and activities.
Daily Except Sunday: