The train thread

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David S
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Message 1695682 - Posted: 25 Jun 2015, 21:04:15 UTC

5 reported leaving CHI a couple minutes ago. Couple hours or so to Rochelle.

Also, NIRC 3 will be coming around the wye in Chicago with one car and METX 401. It has been out of service for months with a bent frame. It's been shuffled around between various Metra shops and is now headed for 47th St. There is speculation that it is being stripped for usable parts.

It's been 20 minutes since I typed the first line. The update is that it stopped a mile out, probably to get a UP engine added to the front.
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Message 1695747 - Posted: 25 Jun 2015, 23:46:38 UTC - in response to Message 1695658.  

I'm a bit surprised to see them setting up the Lincoln car on the portable track they carry instead of on the real one.

Well either the nice new track is not ready yet, or they will be something else on it!

Here it is in place.



Also, NIRC 3 will be coming around the wye in Chicago with one car and METX 401. It has been out of service for months with a bent frame. It's been shuffled around between various Metra shops and is now headed for 47th St. There is speculation that it is being stripped for usable parts.


Yes it did



Fist time I have seen an M36PH, also fist time I have seen one on the airline!



Annoyingly looks like the 5 will get to Rochelle way too late for me.

That would have been quite a good shot!!
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Message 1695759 - Posted: 26 Jun 2015, 0:47:34 UTC - in response to Message 1695747.  
Last modified: 26 Jun 2015, 0:58:36 UTC

Annoyingly looks like the 5 will get to Rochelle way too late for me.

That would have been quite a good shot!!

5 is past De Kalb, so it should be at Rochelle fairly soon now, but I suppose you've gone to bed already.
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Message 1695772 - Posted: 26 Jun 2015, 2:02:41 UTC - in response to Message 1695759.  
Last modified: 26 Jun 2015, 2:04:02 UTC

Annoyingly looks like the 5 will get to Rochelle way too late for me.

That would have been quite a good shot!!

5 is past De Kalb, so it should be at Rochelle fairly soon now, but I suppose you've gone to bed already.

Here's the reeeeealy crappy screen shot, just before 9pm local.



It sat just east of town for nearly an hour, waiting for an eastbound local freight.
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Message 1696006 - Posted: 26 Jun 2015, 17:05:21 UTC

Yes that is particularly disappointing as Railstream has an HD camera at Rochelle that performs quite well at night.

I am hopeful that if the 6 makes it to Rochelle before 7pm local I can try tonight.

As was expected the "Exhibit Train" left Chicago about 20 minutes ago. Caught me out as I was not expecting anything, but as there is a "wind back" slider I was able to get a pic.



As usual the "Veterans" unit no 42 in the lead. Be interesting to see what they do at Galesburg. Where it is currently looking very wet.

Also today a P32 made a rare appearence at Chesterton on The Capitol 29

No 514 to be exact with 25 leading.



Oh yes and railfan included :-)
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Message 1696030 - Posted: 26 Jun 2015, 19:56:53 UTC
Last modified: 8 Jul 2015, 8:43:40 UTC

Well at a wet Galesburg IL things are starting to happen

The problem is that is seems a few people are watching the cameras so the refresh rate dipped to around 5 minutes, meaning a lot can happen you don't see.

Firstly this appeared backing down the track, looked like a BNSF freight loco and something else.



The "something else" turned out to the "The Leviathan"


Built by the same guy who built the Lincoln Funeral Coach.

One wonders why it didn't steam down the spur as it fired up straight away.



The BNSF unit moved forward and is apparently on display as it has some of its side panels removed.

It was during all this that the cameras went into 5 minute pause and so on the next refresh the Amtrak Exhibit Train had arrived and was parked in front, and I saw nothing of it arriving at all!



Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow!!
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Message 1696096 - Posted: 27 Jun 2015, 2:02:26 UTC - in response to Message 1696030.  

The "something else" turned out to the "The Leviathan"


Built by the same guy who built the Lincoln Funeral Coach.

Built to the same plans as the replica Jupiter the National Park Service uses to re-enact the Golden Spike ceremony at Promontory, Utah. Instead of wood, it burns oil, and it has modern air brakes. The headlight is powered by a motorcycle battery. BTW, that white trailer is their souvenir shop. I think I bought some small trinket there once. Tomorrow I may buy something else.

If they did the same as last year, they took Leviathan off its trailers and set it on the track south of the BNSF diesel shop.
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Message 1696118 - Posted: 27 Jun 2015, 4:30:11 UTC - in response to Message 1696030.  

One wonders why it didn't steam down the spur as it fired up straight away.

One explanation might be that it lacks the presently required safety features to run on the mainline.[1] So to be on the mainline it has to be under tow, but the private spur, is closed to other trains. However it doesn't look like it has anywhere to go! So maybe just steam to make noise with the whistle?

[1]Radio, brakes, PTC, qualified engineer.
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Message 1696597 - Posted: 28 Jun 2015, 23:53:34 UTC
Last modified: 29 Jun 2015, 0:00:55 UTC

Busy weekend and not had much time to watch the cameras, however I did notice that the California Zephyr 5 and 6 seem to be in total disarray, the one that left Chicago on Friday has been stuck at Denver and is apparently over 31 hours late. The 5 that left Chicago yesterday has a "service disruption label and hasn't reached Denver yet.

No 5 departed today and no 6 arrived, although I saw what appeared to be and empty 5 or 6 sped through Galesburg without stopping, heading for Chicago.

Then I spied this coming down the wye



Iowa Pacific GP40FH 4135

So was the the new Hoosier State service, well yes and no.



As you can see it was actually attached to the rear of the current Amtrak service. Couldn't see the number on the 2nd engine but the rear was SLRG 4144, now I believe Iowa Pacific.




So what was that about "route learning"!!
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Message 1696651 - Posted: 29 Jun 2015, 4:29:01 UTC

If anyone had been watching the IRM webcams today, they would have seen

ME

QUALIFY

AS

CONDUCTOR!!!!!

David
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Message 1696653 - Posted: 29 Jun 2015, 4:40:02 UTC - in response to Message 1696651.  

Congratulations David!
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Message 1696655 - Posted: 29 Jun 2015, 4:47:46 UTC - in response to Message 1696118.  
Last modified: 29 Jun 2015, 5:09:23 UTC

One wonders why it didn't steam down the spur as it fired up straight away.

One explanation might be that it lacks the presently required safety features to run on the mainline.[1] So to be on the mainline it has to be under tow, but the private spur, is closed to other trains. However it doesn't look like it has anywhere to go! So maybe just steam to make noise with the whistle?

[1]Radio, brakes, PTC, qualified engineer.

It only had to come off the yard lead, go through a couple of crossovers, and into the stub track. [edit] It has standard modern air brakes. [/edit] For radio, they probably use handhelds. I doubt it goes fast enough to need PTC, if the tracks in question even have it. A qualified engineer would be provided by the railroad.

My first guess is some local manager just said no, you can't run on your own. Second guess is that a pilot crew would have had to be called, and get a whole day's pay for maybe an hour of work (and then probably have to have a full 10 hours' rest before being available for revenue service), whereas a switch crew already on duty could be ordered to get on the diesel, couple to the steam engine, take them over and park them a certain way, and be driven back to their regular assignment.

I can tell you definitely that Leviathan was sitting on track with no ballast. It looks like tying that track into the main at the east end might be part of the plan, but it would require a street crossing to be reconfigured and they have not done anything with that (yet).

What I did not know is that as part of the same project, they're expanding the Amtrak depot... which means that right now it has about 1/4 of its normal passenger waiting area and no rest rooms.

More details and some pictures tomorrow.
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Message 1696659 - Posted: 29 Jun 2015, 4:55:17 UTC - in response to Message 1696651.  

If anyone had been watching the IRM webcams today, they would have seen

ME

QUALIFY

AS

CONDUCTOR!!!!!

Congratz David!
The T1 Trust, PRR T1 Class 4-4-4-4 #5550, 1 of America's First HST's
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Message 1696663 - Posted: 29 Jun 2015, 5:03:39 UTC - in response to Message 1696597.  

Busy weekend and not had much time to watch the cameras, however I did notice that the California Zephyr 5 and 6 seem to be in total disarray, the one that left Chicago on Friday has been stuck at Denver and is apparently over 31 hours late. The 5 that left Chicago yesterday has a "service disruption label and hasn't reached Denver yet.

No 5 departed today and no 6 arrived, although I saw what appeared to be and empty 5 or 6 sped through Galesburg without stopping, heading for Chicago.

Then I spied this coming down the wye



Iowa Pacific GP40FH 4135

So was the the new Hoosier State service, well yes and no.



As you can see it was actually attached to the rear of the current Amtrak service. Couldn't see the number on the 2nd engine but the rear was SLRG 4144, now I believe Iowa Pacific.




So what was that about "route learning"!!

I've lost touch with the current 5/6 situation.

The IPH train did a test run, following the Amtrak train all the way to Indy Thursday or Friday night (I'll check on that) and, I presume, back the next morning. Tonight, I'm guessing the train was deadheading to Indy to be ready to go on the morning of July 1.

IPH is Iowa Pacific Holdings, a railroad holding company. SLRG is San Luis & Rio Grande, one of IPH's holdings and the one that is used as the reporting mark for all of their Amtrak-certified equipment.

IPH employees will only handle on-board passenger services. The current Amtrak operating crews will continue to operate the train with the new IPH equipment, so they only need to be familiarized with the equipment, not the route.
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Message 1696665 - Posted: 29 Jun 2015, 5:11:46 UTC - in response to Message 1696653.  

Congratulations David!

Thanks, Gary and Vic.
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Message 1696857 - Posted: 29 Jun 2015, 23:30:15 UTC - in response to Message 1696699.  

Well done David, I am very pleased for you!

Thanks.
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Message 1696868 - Posted: 30 Jun 2015, 1:44:15 UTC - in response to Message 1696857.  

Well done David, I am very pleased for you!

Thanks.

Oh, by the way, this Friday I will learn to operate Cooperativa de Transportes Urbanos y Sub-Urbanos 19, more commonly called VC (for Vera Cruz, where it originally ran) 19 or "the open car." Shouldn't be hard to learn; they say it's very similar to 3142. Then, on Saturday, we're having the annual Trolley Pageant. I'm running 3142 in the morning and 19 in the afternoon. (Actually, there are two of us who learned 3142 last year who are learning 19 on Friday, and on Saturday we will switch off between motorman and conductor.)
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Message 1697019 - Posted: 30 Jun 2015, 11:48:39 UTC

I've been digging through RailPictures.net and keep coming up with beautiful shots. Some time back we talked about the size and horsepower of North American freight trains, here is a shot that might interest some. Taken in Jasper, middle of the Rockies, this month. A long line of coal hoppers plus mountain grades calls for lots of horsepower.



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Message 1697482 - Posted: 1 Jul 2015, 22:52:30 UTC - in response to Message 1697012.  

Well we've had the wrong snow, now we have the wrong heat!! Just seems to me that anything more than 10% out of normal and the UK shuts down and goes off air!

Buckled rails

I've seen (pictures of) worse heat kinks than that. Actually saw one in person once. Railroads here tend to cut speeds when the temperature gets above 90F, especially for passenger trains running on their tracks.
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Message 1697510 - Posted: 2 Jul 2015, 1:11:17 UTC

Okay, last Saturday in Galesburg.

I first went to the model and railroadiana show at Sandburg College, where I bought an Athearn Genesis NS 1070 (Wabash).

After leaving there and putting some gas in my car, I went out to the BNSF yard to look at trains. There are two street bridges that go over the yard. The one on Thirwell Road has shoulders wide enough to safely park and get out of your car, and many people do it. It's just to the south of the engine shop and over the north end of the hump yard's bowl tracks. Engine shop. Note the school bus; it's for the public tour, which I took a couple years ago. If I remember correctly, the shop can do any repair short of a complete rebuild. Servicing station. Fuel, lube, water, and sand, all in one place. BNSF 3965 is a slug, converted from a GP9. I understand it's been sitting there for years, occasionally getting shuffled around, not being used because of a broken frame. Why they don't either fix it or scrap it, I don't know.

After watching yard operations for a fairly short while, I went downtown to the station. Just as I arrived, so did Amtrak 5, somewhat late. Its front end stopped right next to 42 on the head of the exhibit train. Needless to say, there were numerous other people there. The trailer is the one that carries the trucks, portable rails, and other parts for the Lincoln Funeral Car; I wish they'd found a better place to park it. Train 5 turned out to be the set with the wrapped coach. After it departed, I walked down along the exhibit train (which turned out to be closed by then). This is not my first look at 42, but it's certainly the best look I've had. Note the blue flag under the cab window. By rule, no one is allowed to move the train while it's there, and only the person who placed it can remove it. It's also not my first look at 406. For some reason, I didn't shoot each individual car.

After the temporary pedestrian crossing of the stub track, the next display was BNSF 8358. I took several closeups of various parts. What, you may ask, is with the weight management? The answer lies in the model designation, ES44C4. The C4 means it's a three axle truck with no motor on the center axle (which actually makes it an A1A). The two cylinders take a bit of weight off the center axle, thus increasing the tractive effort of the other two, all controlled by the computer. Then we have the main generator and maybe (I'm not sure) something else. Next is the prime mover, with the turbocharger at the top left. Ownership statement decal; in the past, these would actually say what bank or other entity owned it, but now you have to look it up.

Here's what the museum looks like, with the Funeral Car behind it. The pole sticking up over the middle of the tent holds the web cams. The Funeral Car people must be getting tired of it already; they didn't install the steps and black bunting on this side. You can also see that the track Leviathan is on has no ballast; I don't think there was any under 8358 either. Entrance to the Funeral Car. Your view while waiting in line and after you got off.

Leviathan had been shut down for the night, but it was still hot. Close shot of the cab and drivers. Too bad they parked it by the light pole. The front link-type coupler. I was really surprised that the east end of the stub's extension has wood ties, not concrete.

You'll want to zoom in on this shot of the door of the Funeral Car. Here's one of the trucks. I just finally read the article about the car in the June issue of Trains Magazine and learned that it has friction bearings, which may be the reason BNSF didn't let them put it on a live track. The coats of arms on both sides were hand painted, guessing on the colors. Anachronisms: link and pin coupler, modern brake pipe (with the hose removed).

What I didn't know until I got there is that they are also expanding the Amtrak depot. The original ends of the building were behind the H on the construction company's sign on the left (toward Chicago) and between the flagpole and handicapped parking sign on the right. With the construction in progress, the rest rooms and most of the waiting room are blocked off. This building is from the 1980s, after BN tore down the old CB&Q depot and division HQ on this site.

Leaving there, I went and got a few truly uninspiring shots of Amtrak 3, which I won't bore you with. Then I drove out a few miles west and shot 4 coming out of the sun and off the Cameron connection from the Santa Fe onto the Burlington for the last 170 miles to Chicago.

After that, although it was still light out, I knew I had to head for home so I would be awake at IRM the next day (good thing I did!).
David
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