The First RoadRailer Train
With the U.S. Capitol looming in the background, on October 22, 1980, 36 years ago almost to the day, the first RoadRailer test train to hit the main line eases out of Potomac Yard in Alexandria, VA for a round-trip test run to Richmond over the rails of the RF&P (Richmond, Fredricksburg & Potomac) Railroad. An RF&P GP40 is on the point, followed by Bi-Modal Corp.'s test car, the T-1 and 14 brand-new 45' Mark IV RoadRailer units, each carrying "BIRR" (Bi-Modal RoadRailer) reporting marks.
At the time I snapped this picture, I had been with the company just five months, having joined straight out of business school. We nicknamed this photo "Our Nation's Transportation Future".
Today the RoadRailer technology is back down to two trains a day between Detroit and Kansas City on the Norfolk Southern. The RF&P is no more, having been absorbed into CSX. And Potomac Yard, once the major north-south gateway on the East Coast, lies buried beneath the steel and glass buildings of Crystal City.