The Train Thread 2

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David S
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Message 1708538 - Posted: 4 Aug 2015, 15:52:59 UTC
Last modified: 4 Aug 2015, 16:17:30 UTC

Per PM request, starting a new thread.

Where we left off, I was trying to decide how far to go looking for the UP and NS biz trains, and/or go downtown to see what the Zephyr Pit switcher is.
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Message 1708597 - Posted: 4 Aug 2015, 16:38:40 UTC - in response to Message 1708538.  

Per PM request, starting a new thread.

Well, we got to 1700+ posts, in a thread with lots of photos, proving that the several year old change to the preferences worked and there is no reason to knee jerk when the post count gets big. Unfortunately, old habits die hard.

Seems most evenings on the commute I pass a flatbed on I-5 just east of downtown Los Angeles with half a dozen wheelsets coming or going from a repair facility.
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Message 1708800 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 9:17:25 UTC

A new thread with none of my pictures!!

Lets change that.

Yesterday was the first day in a week that I have managed to see and record all the long distance trains that pass the Chesterton and Chicago cams.

Which if anyone is interested are:

29 - Chicago bound Capitol Ltd
49 - Chicago Bound Lake Shore
5 - San Francisco bound California Zephyr
6 - Chicago bound California Zephyr
3 - LA bound Southwest Chief
4 - Chicago bound Southwest Chief
58 - Chicago bound City of New Orleans

The reason I don't get both directions on some services it that they arrive/depart too late.

Also the reason I don't see all is usually due to either the 6 and/or 4 being delayed by more than 3 hours, which puts their arrival past midnight here.

So that meant I actually saw the 6 and its cargo, even thought it was close to 1am BST



653 arriving so unless any more are ordered there are 17 left.

Now continuing on the "why do they turn trains" debate here is something I noted last week.

On the 28th the Lake Shore had 192 and 193, interesting in itself.



Then on the 31st it was 193 and 192



And then of course on Monday



So not only do they turn the train but at some point they just turn the locos.

I wonder why.
"Proud to be born and bred in Croydon"
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Message 1708842 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 13:05:45 UTC

Well, I found a couple of trains, but not the ones I was looking for.

By the time I got out of the house, I had to give up on going to Streator. Instead, I went as far south as Dwight, where I got a couple of crappy shots of Amtrak 21, only because it had to stop to copy permission through a work zone and then go 10 mph through that zone.

Heading back north, I drove around the outside of Global 4. The whole place is landscaped so that you can't see in, but I noticed a sign by the admin gate saying UP EVENT, so that's probably where the biz train was. Then I noticed on my computer that a train was lined into G4, so I settled down where a road crosses the lead to wait for it. And waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, the gates went down and I looked up to see the engines... coming to a stop. I grabbed a couple of shots and got back in the car in time to hear the crew telling the dispatcher they couldn't get ahold of someone to get permission to enter the yard, and no, they could not clear the dispatcher's control point. As I left, I observed that it was just a light engine move, so at least it wouldn't take long to clear. The dispatcher came back on to say he'd called the permission guy on the phone. He said he'd talk to the train when he got back to the radio. The dispatcher had explained to him that he was never supposed to be away from it and he was delaying two Amtraks: 305 had just left Joliet and couldn't get past the light engines, and 22 was waiting in a siding a few miles south for 305 to pass. The situation had not changed by the time I drove out of radio range.

Last word last night was that the NS biz train would head east from Streator at 7am, an hour ago as I type.
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Message 1708850 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 13:37:48 UTC - in response to Message 1708800.  

So that meant I actually saw the 6 and its cargo, even thought it was close to 1am BST



653 arriving so unless any more are ordered there are 17 left.

Fans are speculating about whether they will skip 666. I think they won't.


Now continuing on the "why do they turn trains" debate here is something I noted last week.

On the 28th the Lake Shore had 192 and 193, interesting in itself.



Then on the 31st it was 193 and 192



And then of course on Monday



So not only do they turn the train but at some point they just turn the locos.

I wonder why.

Just a theory on my part: when 48 gets to Albany, NY, it is split into its New York and Boston sections. 48 to New York would get a 700 class P32DM, which is equipped with third rail shoes so it can shut down its prime mover to enter Penn Station. That much is fact. My theory is that the power that came from Chicago stays in Albany and another unit takes 448 to Boston. The Chicago power would then sit there without being turned, while the two sections of the train are turned in their respective terminal yards. I don't know why they would do it that way, but I'm open to the possibility of a logical reason for it.

My alternative theory is that the Chicago power takes 448 to Boston and is cut off and not turned with the train. Don't know why that would be either.

I just had a thought that might explain my first theory. Chicago to Boston is over 1,000 miles, so the power would have to be inspected, which would add even more to the delay of splitting the train. Having a fresh unit would avoid that problem.
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Message 1708877 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 15:06:56 UTC - in response to Message 1708850.  

With all the rail fans out there, has anyone took the time to actually ask an engineer or someone in the know?

I ask that, because I've been following this thread since the start & now I'm curious as to why :-)
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Message 1708881 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 15:30:17 UTC - in response to Message 1708877.  

With all the rail fans out there, has anyone took the time to actually ask an engineer or someone in the know?

I ask that, because I've been following this thread since the start & now I'm curious as to why :-)

I don't know anyone who works out of Albany, but I'll see what I can do. I suppose someone in Chicago might know.
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Message 1708925 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 18:32:13 UTC - in response to Message 1708877.  

With all the rail fans out there, has anyone took the time to actually ask an engineer or someone in the know?

I ask that, because I've been following this thread since the start & now I'm curious as to why :-)

I also don't know a US engineer -:(

Not a lot of use asking a UK one as it doesn't happen here, which is why I wanted to know as well!!

I think it probably is something to do with the fact that the Lake Shore at The eastern end starts life as two different trains as David mentioned. Also due to the fact diesels are not allowed into New York Penn Station they use a hybrid, the P32AC, which can use 3rd rail then switch to diesel, these only pull the train as far as Albany, where the 449 from Boston also arrives and the two continue to Chicago as the 49. Obviously the reverse happens to the 48 which splits at Albany.

The question is do the units I see at Chicago stay at Albany or go onto Boston.

Looking at my daily records, the pairs seem to come through on a regular 3 day basis, however the one difference is that 192 and 193 are paired back to back, quite unusual the normal way is nose to tail which reveals something else.

The 49 on the 30th.



Then on the 2nd



I am guessing that only one of the engines takes the 449 to Boston, returns and is re-coupled to the one at Albany, but the opposite way round.

Well that's my theory!
"Proud to be born and bred in Croydon"
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Message 1708929 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 18:46:48 UTC - in response to Message 1708881.  

With all the rail fans out there, has anyone took the time to actually ask an engineer or someone in the know?

I ask that, because I've been following this thread since the start & now I'm curious as to why :-)

I don't know anyone who works out of Albany, but I'll see what I can do. I suppose someone in Chicago might know.

Okay, I put the question out on the Amtrak Facebook group (not the official Amtrak Facebook page).

The answer I got is that due to construction to add a fourth platform at the Albany station and expand the yards there, the Boston section is running as a shuttle and not being combined with the train out of New York. Said shuttle has its own engine, and with the P32 being put on for NYP, the power from Chicago is laying over in Albany. With two engines back to back, there is no reason to turn them.

Normally, the power runs through to Boston and, I presume, is turned with the train.
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Message 1708933 - Posted: 5 Aug 2015, 18:56:02 UTC - in response to Message 1708929.  

Thanks for checking David, appreciated.
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Message 1709071 - Posted: 6 Aug 2015, 0:51:01 UTC

Another mystery solved: the Zephyr Pit switcher is 2655.
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Message 1709307 - Posted: 6 Aug 2015, 16:27:51 UTC

(Not my) video of the NS train eastbound near Dwight, Ill.
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Message 1709508 - Posted: 6 Aug 2015, 23:10:45 UTC
Last modified: 6 Aug 2015, 23:11:36 UTC

Yes well that NS train has headed east missing out all three cameras it could have passed, bet they did it on purpose. As of 2 hours ago it was in Salineville OH, no I have never heard of it either!!

Still, I was busy doing something else with MH Tower in the background, and sometimes you just know something different is about to appear by the sound.

Sure enough CNW 8646 appeared.



Then to put the icing on the cake the next loco up was CNW 8701!



I have seen them both before but not together, that was worth a log on Heritage Units.

As I believe has been mentioned before, they are notable as they still have the old Chicago and North Western markings on.

Also today another first, not one but two F59PHI's 465 and 466



And running under their own power, well I assume one of them was!!
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Message 1709516 - Posted: 6 Aug 2015, 23:33:53 UTC

A little PS that I believe deserves a post of its own.

As you know I have been recording all the unit numbers of the Amtrak P42's and it soon seemed like I might see them all.

Not all 207 are still running as I have said before, large trucks parked on crossings have seen off several, others had fires due to a batch of faulty injectors and three have been involved in train to train accidents.

I have been collecting pictures and video but recently have not had time to view or sort them.

Well it seems that the last one I needed was 150



Seen on the 25th July.

So in just under 8 months all 196 have visited Chicago!!

Mission accomplished.

So what do I record now??
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Message 1709522 - Posted: 6 Aug 2015, 23:57:59 UTC - in response to Message 1709516.  

Great bagging them all Bernie, as to what is next, that I don't know. I'm sure you'll pull the proverbial wabbit out of the hat sooner or later.
H.R. 1469 Cuts SSI, EITC, ACA, Medicaid, SNAP, LiHeap, Heap, etc, etc, etc, all temporary, w/a 5yr lifetime limit like TANF! Can't work? Die!!
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Message 1709572 - Posted: 7 Aug 2015, 2:15:52 UTC - in response to Message 1709508.  
Last modified: 7 Aug 2015, 2:19:51 UTC

Yes well that NS train has headed east missing out all three cameras it could have passed, bet they did it on purpose. As of 2 hours ago it was in Salineville OH, no I have never heard of it either!!

Still, I was busy doing something else with MH Tower in the background, and sometimes you just know something different is about to appear by the sound.

Sure enough CNW 8646 appeared.


MH himself also heard them going by and dashed out of his apartment to get decent pictures. He ended up catching them in the parking area behind an apartment building less than a mile to the south. Next time I'm there, I'll have to check out that spot for myself. He said he was only able to catch up with them because they had to stop to throw a manual switch.


Then to put the icing on the cake the next loco up was CNW 8701!



I have seen them both before but not together, that was worth a log on Heritage Units.

As I believe has been mentioned before, they are notable as they still have the old Chicago and North Western markings on.

I had heard they were back together and in the Chicago area again. I saw them out in Nelson, Ill., last year or the year before. They are the last ones that are still officially CNW, not relettered to UP. I understand there are also two or three still lettered SP.


Also today another first, not one but two F59PHI's 465 and 466



And running under their own power, well I assume one of them was!!

I saw 466 in the yard yesterday, near 653. Not sure why 653 was sitting around in the coach yard instead of the engine terminal or being sent out on 30. Maybe some minor defect that has/had to be repaired.

[edit]
Just off the right edge of the last picture is a big new signal control box that totally ruins the shot from the side of the street next to MH's building. Yesterday was the first time I'd seen it.
David
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Message 1709632 - Posted: 7 Aug 2015, 6:59:36 UTC

I understand there are also two or three still lettered SP.

Well actually according to Heritage units, 9

SP-107,177,187,266,309,319,335,343,352.

Never seen one on any cam!!
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Message 1709725 - Posted: 7 Aug 2015, 14:24:47 UTC - in response to Message 1709516.  


Mission accomplished.

So what do I record now??

Keep recording

You never know, a surprise package might appear every so often :-)

Oh & continue to post some excellent pictures.
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Message 1709825 - Posted: 7 Aug 2015, 19:29:07 UTC

While waiting for the Amtraks 29 and 49 to pass Chesterton I usually also video the passing freight traffic for anything interesting.

Today I got this which I thought was a nice contrast



BNSF 7225 an ES44DC leading and older "warbonnet" 4719 C44-9W. The "warbonnet" paint scheme was used by ATSF before it merged with Burlington Northern to create BNSF.

However looking online 4719 appears to be a bit special. Before the merger was complete ATSF had an uncompleted order for 100 C44-9W's, they were delivered with BNSF replacing the ATSF logo and apparently 4719 was the last one delivered, so is the last official "warbonnet".

Here is a bit of trivia, the Santa Fe railway never actually reached Santa Fe as the terrain was to difficult :-)
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Message 1709848 - Posted: 7 Aug 2015, 21:01:32 UTC - in response to Message 1709825.  

While waiting for the Amtraks 29 and 49 to pass Chesterton I usually also video the passing freight traffic for anything interesting.

Today I got this which I thought was a nice contrast



BNSF 7225 an ES44DC leading and older "warbonnet" 4719 C44-9W. The "warbonnet" paint scheme was used by ATSF before it merged with Burlington Northern to create BNSF.

However looking online 4719 appears to be a bit special. Before the merger was complete ATSF had an uncompleted order for 100 C44-9W's, they were delivered with BNSF replacing the ATSF logo and apparently 4719 was the last one delivered, so is the last official "warbonnet".

Here is a bit of trivia, the Santa Fe railway never actually reached Santa Fe as the terrain was to difficult :-)

The young punks out railfanning today call it a Fakebonnet. I'm not so unkind.

The Santa Fe did reach Santa Fe, but it was the end of a branch line off the main. It was sold a number of years ago to a short line called Santa Fe Southern, with some financial backing from the actor Michael Gross ("Family Ties"). Last I heard, that company was owned by a foreign firm and not operating due to having no business. The state of New Mexico built a separate line for its commuter service and only uses the northern couple of miles of the old Santa Fe branch.
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