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Thread: Railroad Thread of Mar. '17

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    Istanbul Expert N2NH's Avatar
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    Railroad Thread of Mar. '17

    One of the nice things about living in Kingston (the new QTH) is that it's a railroad town. In fact you can't get away from the sound of train horns at night, but getting used to it doesn't take long. We get BNSF, NS and CSX mostly here with a few CN thrown in. This is the River Line of the old NYC which was actually built by the Pennsy. When the NYC retaliated by starting a rail line in Pennsylvania, the Pennsy lost their appetite for New York railroading and the switch was made. The old NYC yard at Selkirk near Albany is at the north end and New Jersey at the south. We had a pretty impressive derailment south of here at Newburgh in the middle of an oil farm. That made the news, but this line is pretty important so things got cleaned up pretty quick.

    Here's a few scenes from the River Line here in town.
    wilbur bridge.jpg
    The Wilbur Bridge coming out of the Kingston Tunnel at Esopus Creek. Train is heading southbound toward Port Ewen.

    Kingston Rails.jpg
    This is the same bridge with a northbound train. The view is from the marina at Esopus Creek.

    There is also a pretty decent Railroad museum with a decent showing of NYC traction too.
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    Forum Addict WZ7U's Avatar
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    Cool! Not sure I want to live nearly directly under the trestle, just in case. It's that seismic state of mind coming out in me.

    I know, seismic is not such a concern in those parts....

    This thread should be most excellent indeed!
    Last edited by WZ7U; 03-11-2017 at 05:10 PM.
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    Pope Carlo l K6BSO's Avatar
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    Neat-o, John! Train horns have never bothered me. In fact, I enjoy hearing them late at night.

    As nice as San Diego is in many ways, it's a crappy place for railfans. Since there's no route eastward out of here, most of the railroad traffic runs through L.A. Now, If they should ever finally resurrect the old San Diego and Arizona Eastern line (it comes up from time to time), that would change things exponentially. It would require some tunnel repair but the tracks are still in place and run through some really extreme terrain, with a few truly spectacular trestles. This one is pretty famous:

    Last edited by K6BSO; 03-12-2017 at 04:57 PM.
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    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Anyone noticing CSX running long trains of empty auto racks with only one engine on the head end?

    Would make for a fun day for the crew if they're far away from a source of backup motive power and said engine fails. Judging from the sound of the turbos on many of their prime movers I'd say that happens a little more often than they care for.
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    La Rata Del Desierto K7SGJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8YX View Post
    Anyone noticing CSX running long trains of empty auto racks with only one engine on the head end?

    Would make for a fun day for the crew if they're far away from a source of backup motive power and said engine fails. Judging from the sound of the turbos on many of their prime movers I'd say that happens a little more often than they care for.
    Since they're empty anyway, they could make a bundle on their deadhead runs by letting people park their cars, with the occupants still inside, on the racks and let them enjoy a nice little mini vacation. It'd be a hoot to see a lot of places few ever see. Kinda like a moving drive-in movie. Maybe add walkways so when you get out of your vehicle, you can safely walk to the dining, potty, or cocktail car, and depending how many one has, safely get back to the vehicle.
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    Forum Addict WZ7U's Avatar
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    Problem with that Eddie is the view is a bit limited; at least with the units I'm used to seeing. Only holes for ventilation not for sightseeing. The liability lawyers would eat it alive.

    I used to work at the Port of Vancouver, WA for Subaru and working on the rail head loading new cars was the best paying job under management. Also the most fun, as in racetrack fun. Lots of work, little time.

    It's the season when a lot of ships full of new cars will start making their way to ports on both coasts just in time for summer sales events. If the economy remembers...
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    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WZ7U View Post
    ...If the economy remembers...
    The economy remembers all the oil which has recently been found in traditional (non-shale-locked) formations, and it observes the hurting which has been put on rail shippers of Bakken-play crude.

    For background, research "Ft. Wayne Line". It's an old PRR/PC/Conrail route which runs from PGH to Ft. Wayne and from there to Gary. NS acquired it, single-tracked portions of the line in the 90s and let it fall into relative disrepair. Then - due to congestion on the Water Level Route along the Erie lakeshore - they upgraded it to 40MPH standards in 2014 and began running loaded oil unit trains eastbound. At least 6 of them per day during peak shipper demand, with the empties returning via CSX Great Lakes sub.

    There hasn't been an oil train through here in many months.
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    Volcano Tamer W3WN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8YX View Post
    < snip >
    For background, research "Ft. Wayne Line". It's an old PRR/PC/Conrail route which runs from PGH to Ft. Wayne and from there to Gary. NS acquired it, single-tracked portions of the line in the 90s and let it fall into relative disrepair. Then - due to congestion on the Water Level Route along the Erie lakeshore - they upgraded it to 40MPH standards in 2014 and began running loaded oil unit trains eastbound. At least 6 of them per day during peak shipper demand, with the empties returning via CSX Great Lakes sub.
    < snip >
    Well, what do you know? I can see the beginning of that line out my office window! The Fort Wayne (RR) Bridge is just on the other side of the DLL Convention Center.

    It used to be a 4 track right of way from Downtown through the North Side of the City & up along the Ohio River (parallel to PA 65), and it used to be very, very busy. Not so much anymore. And I think they have the ROW down to 2 tracks now; I know CSX did that to the old P&LE ROW that goes past Station Square (the old P&LE headquarters and railyard).
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    Istanbul Expert N2NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WZ7U View Post
    Cool! Not sure I want to live nearly directly under the trestle, just in case. It's that seismic state of mind coming out in me.

    I know, seismic is not such a concern in those parts....

    This thread should be most excellent indeed!
    I went by there last week on the way to the docs. I can't imagine how they live there myself. But, there are people who live right next to the right of way and those trains blast their three horns for about 4 minutes apiece. You can hear them for at least 5 miles. I checked. Living right next to them? That's as bad as living on final approach.
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    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N2NH View Post
    ...That's as bad as living on final approach.
    I live about 200yds from the CSX Great Lakes Sub. It's single-tracked now but at one time it was a double-track Class I shared with PRR/PC/Conrail (as that system evolved). Located nearby was the Erie Lackawanna Marion District double-track Class I main, and sandwiched between was at least one ABB RR shortline track...though I seem to remember two.

    In the mid 70's I saw five (count 'em) trains on those tracks at the same time. Mind you, this was in the days of jointed - rather than welded - rail, and you can imagine the racket that meeting generated.
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