After a layover in Washington, DC, of about three hours, it was time to board Amtrak train #19, the southbound “Crescent” to Atlanta. The “Crescent” ordinarily originates in New York City, on its run to New Orleans, LA, going via Newark, NJ, Wilmington, DE, Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD, but due to summer track work at New York’s Penn Station, the train had been originating out of Washington, DC.

Thanks to a modified schedule used during the summer of 2017, the “Crescent” left Washington’s Union Station at 7:55 pm, on-time according to this schedule. With the exception of a short section to from DC to just south of Alexandria, VA, on which the “Crescent” travels on CSX trackage, the train runs on Norfolk Southern trackage down to Atlanta, with Norfolk Southern being a descendant of the Southern Railway (Norfolk Southern was formed out of a 1982 merger of the Southern Railway with the Norfolk & Western) which initially ran this train, albeit as the “Crescent Limited” and later the “Southern Crescent” until 1979.

Between DC and Atlanta, the train stops in Alexandria, VA, Manassas, VA, Culpeper, VA, Charlottesville, VA, Lynchburg, VA, Danville, VA, Greensboro, NC, High Point, NC, Salisbury, NC, Charlotte, NC, Gastonia, NC, Spartanburg, SC, Greenville, SC, Clemson, SC, Toccoa, GA and Gainesville, GA.

Following Atlanta, the “Crescent” continues on to the Big Easy via Birmingham, AL, Tuscaloosa, AL and Hattiesburg, MS. The train also passes through a small town called Bremen, GA, near the Alabama border, which is where my late paternal grandmother, Amilee Long Phillips, who I was particularly close with, grew up.

Dates of travel: Aug. 31st to Sept. 1st, 2017

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