Railfanning The Decatur Area

Normally rivals, the Norfolk Southern and CSX join forces in Decatur to cross the mighty Tennessee River. Although the bridge is owned by NS, it actually sees more CSX traffic per day than it does Thoroughbred traffic. Decatur is on the Memphis to Chattanooga NS route and the Nashville to Birmingham CSX route. Both CSX and NS have medium sized yards here for interchange traffic and local industry. The NS recently expanded yard operations by adding additional trackage most likely due to increased traffic load. Local industries served by rail in Decatur vary from chemical plants to pet food manufacturing, almost all of which are located along the river.

An interesting recent development is the removal of the Norfolk Southern Decatur Operator's position. The NS opted to move control of the interlocking at Decatur to their West End Dispatcher in Knoxville. NS's Knoxville Dispatcher (often referred to as the K.D. by NS trains) seems to keep in close contact with CSX's A.H. dispatcher regarding CSX trains in the area.

You may notice that a large number of the photos at Railfanning in Alabama come from Decatur. This is the closest place for me to railfan and was about the only place I went railfanning up until a year or so ago. Decatur is truly a hot bed of rail activity in north Alabama!

  Useful Scanner Frequencies for The Decatur Area

Be sure to stop by the Live-Scanner Feed page to listen to live railroad scanner action from Decatur, AL!

AAR Channel 84 - 161.370 CSX Road (Channel 1)
AAR Channel 20 - 160.410 CSX Dispatcher
AAR Channel 56 - 160.950 NS Road (Channel 1)
AAR Channel 09 - 160.245 NS Dispatcher to Train (Channel 2)
AAR Channel 48 - 160.830 NS Train to Dispatcher (Channel 2)
AAR Channel 66 - 161.100 CSX Yard
AAR Channel 22 - 160.440 CSX Yard (Added 01/02/2011)
AAR Channel 92 - 161.490 NS Yard
AAR Channel 18 - 160.380 CSX Yard
AAR Channel 11 - 160.275 NS PBX Huntsville and Sheffield
AAR Channel 77 - 161.265 CSX PBX Falkville and Tanner
462.3125 MHz: Amoco Intra-plant Switching

For a full list of AAR Channels, see the Railfan Scanner Tips Page

  Latest Additions to The Decatur Area Photo Gallery

Click here to view a gallery of all photos from The Decatur Area!

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Norfolk Southern intermodal train 23N passes the signal at the east end of Decatur Siding with the Illinois Terminal heritage unit on the point!

File Size: 423 KBytes · Downloads: 825 · Uploaded: December 22,2014

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Norfolk Southern intermodal train 23N heads west toward Decatur Siding with the Illinois Terminal heritage unit on the point!

File Size: 473 KBytes · Downloads: 744 · Uploaded: December 22,2014

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Rails to nowhere. Found what was left of once busy industrial spur in Decatur, AL. As you can see in the background, trucks now carry the cargo these rails once saw.

File Size: 265 KBytes · Downloads: 725 · Uploaded: November 11,2014

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Another shot of the Norfolk Southern Penn Central heritage unit as it leads train 325 through Decatur, AL on a rainy, wet day!

File Size: 339 KBytes · Downloads: 728 · Uploaded: November 11,2014

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Southbound CSX train Q201-06 passed the Decatur HO control point before stopping at Oakworth Yard to meet a northbound train.

File Size: 250 KBytes · Downloads: 717 · Uploaded: November 07,2014

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After helping the crew of Q647-13 with a mechanical problem, train K809-13 gets under way from Oakworth Yard in Decatur, AL with a UP leader.

File Size: 271 KBytes · Downloads: 914 · Uploaded: March 20,2014

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After fixing a mechanical problem with the help of the crew from K809, train Q647 gets under way from Oakworth Yard in Decatur, AL with a CN leader.

File Size: 287 KBytes · Downloads: 866 · Uploaded: March 20,2014

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CSX trains K809-13 on the main (closest) and Q647-13 in the siding wait to head south after Q647's crew gets help with a problem from the mechanical desk.

File Size: 343 KBytes · Downloads: 913 · Uploaded: March 20,2014

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NS westbound 201 comes off the Tennessee River bridge in Decatur with a BNSF "GEVO" on the point.

File Size: 335 KBytes · Downloads: 1136 · Uploaded: August 26,2013

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Westbound Norfolk Southern intermodal train 201 rolls off the Tennessee River draw-bridge in Decatur with BNSF power on the point.

File Size: 375 KBytes · Downloads: 1240 · Uploaded: August 26,2013

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My trusty Yaesu VX-170 helps us know when the trains are coming!

File Size: 255 KBytes · Downloads: 1166 · Uploaded: August 26,2013

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Another shot of southbound auto-rack train CSX Q235 coming off the Tennessee River bridge in Decatur.

File Size: 373 KBytes · Downloads: 1168 · Uploaded: August 26,2013

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CSX southbound auto-rack train Q235 rolls off the Tennessee River draw-bridge in Decatur past a store of NS maintenance trucks.

File Size: 421 KBytes · Downloads: 1131 · Uploaded: August 26,2013

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Our only northbound of the day was CSX Q502. The sun was not really in the right spot for this photo but you take what you can!

File Size: 486 KBytes · Downloads: 1134 · Uploaded: August 26,2013

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Southbound CSX train Q519 rolls through the interlocking with NS as is passes under Alabama State Road 20. Notice the railings on either side made of old rail!

File Size: 546 KBytes · Downloads: 1138 · Uploaded: August 26,2013

Click here to view a gallery of all photos from The Decatur Area!

  Latest Additions to The Decatur Area Video Clip Gallery

Click here to view an gallery of all video clips from The Decatur Area!

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CSX Office Car Special, P901, heads north through Decatur, AL on a deadhead move. Just as I started taping, a coyote, the third I saw that night, runs along the fence, ducks under and runs across the tracks just 20 seconds before the train comes. Never know what you are going to see!

HD Video Clip - Views: 668 · Uploaded: May 28,2015

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After helping the crew of Q647-13 with a mechanical problem, train K809-13 gets under way from Oakworth Yard in Decatur, AL with a UP leader.

HD Video Clip - Views: 1032 · Uploaded: March 20,2014

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After fixing a mechanical problem with the help of the crew from K809, train Q647 gets under way from Oakworth Yard in Decatur, AL with a CN leader.

HD Video Clip - Views: 1083 · Uploaded: March 20,2014

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CSX Office Car Special (OSC) P921-19 Passes through Decatur, AL - 08/19/2013

HD Video Clip - Views: 1093 · Uploaded: August 19,2013

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Norfolk Soutern Penn Central Heritage Unit 1073 Leads west-bound Train 325 through Decatur, AL. 04/04/2013

HD Video Clip - Views: 1121 · Uploaded: April 05,2013

                            


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