Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

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Bob Durnell
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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Bob Durnell » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:23 am

Also of interest, in November 2014, they ran eastward from Fort Wayne on the PRR. I can't remember where this trip started, but they stopped at Piqua Yard for awhile, and here they are, leaving town at Adams Center Road.
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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Hotbox » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:13 am

So, if anyone knows, when these business trains go out on the prowl, do they pick up resident crews to pilot their trains through local territories, or do they reserve some form of privilege for themselves, aka "universally qualified"?

Yeah, I guess at the root of this, I'm wondering how many employees NS maintains locally that are legitimately "qualified" to take these routings through indiana in one trip, versus potentially having to recrew twice just to get through Allen county.

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Bob Durnell » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:12 pm

From what I know of it, there has to be at least a pilot crew onboard that is qualified on that territory, if not actually running the train. These trains also run with local officials on board to discuss their territories with the big bosses. I have witnessed them stopping at NE, and a LOT of people got on and off the train. I don't know how many (if any) local crews are qualified on more than one territory.
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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Hotbox » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:38 pm

Bob Durnell wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:12 pm
. I don't know how many (if any) local crews are qualified on more than one territory.
That's what I am getting at, taking the routing you mentioned, I'd be extremely surprised if anyone had a single crew legitimately qualified to cover those three areas. (four areas actually)

Just for amusement, I can see the NS local crew being qualified to handle Mike to NE, but would they actually get on the PRR often enough to be qualified on that line? And would the railroad have these guys just stand around waiting on the OCS to show up, given it's often running on the late side?
And, the NCD crews are likely qualified from Junction to points west, and from Hugo to NE on the HD, but what about the PRR between junction and Mike?
Then, after all that, you recrew at NE for the train to go outbound to the east?

And, I think that the NS crews actually qualified to go east of fort wayne on the old PRR were based in Mansfield, do you taxi one of them in and have them sit and wait for the OCS to show up?

There was a big stink recently because of some crew elsewhere that was called-in to do a special move, they happened to go onto a wye that they were not qualified for, and got fired.

So, something like these OCS moves between districts seems like it would require either an exemption of some sorts, or some very time intensive staffing arrangements

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Hotbox » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:04 pm

LOL, I guess you could have the crew normally doing the Chicago turn drop the train off at Thomas rd, call in a CF&E crew to take the train to Mike, call up a crew from Peru to handle the train between Mike and NE, and then turn the train over to the usual crew to head towards Fostoria, but how much fun would all that be? (j/k)

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Bob Durnell » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm

All I can tell you is that on the 2011 trip on the CF&E, the train did NOT stop until it got to NE, so obviously there was no crew changes at Thomas Road or elsewhere. Maybe Kelly Lynch or someone else who knows can chime in, but some of 765's positioning moves must of made heads spin. For the Detroit Arrow trips, they dropped the passenger cars on the elevation, proceeded west to Hill, backed through the connector onto the Pennsy and ran backwards I believe all the way down to Hugo, then headed east on the Wabash through NE, and then backed into East Wayne, serviced the engine, and then backed up the NKP to hook onto the opposite end of the passenger cars to head back to Detroit. How many districts is that, and how many qualified pilots did it take to accomplish it?
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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Hotbox » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:36 pm

I don't doubt for a second that what you are telling me is 100% true. But with what I've heard others say about what is required to keep a crew "qualified" in a certain territory, it surprises me that NS crews get enough trips on the old PRR to filfill those requirements
Could that have perhaps been back during the time NS was temporarily using the line between Hill and Mansfield for east bound trains to relieve the water level route up North? Just wondering.

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Wayne Gest » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:36 pm

Any engineer working the Chicago District on a regular basis would be qualified on all of the routes into Fort Wayne accessible from the Chicago District. There would be no necessity for pilots or changing of crews.

Also, crews on those special trains are crews that regularly work that district. Usually, no, always, the crew has been handpicked for that run.

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Hotbox » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:27 pm

Wayne Gest wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:36 pm
Any engineer working the Chicago District on a regular basis would be qualified on all of the routes into Fort Wayne accessible from the Chicago District.
Let me assure you that I am not trying to argue with you.....however.....

"any" in the context you use it, sounds like "all" to me. So, you are saying that-- "all" engineers working the Chicago district on a regular basis-- would be qualified...correct?

Someone presenting themselves as an authority on the subject of qualification recently said that in order for an engineer to be qualified in a given territory that engineer must make so many passes over subject territory during a set time span, (I forget what the frequency and time interval was that he stated, but it was like "a minimum of x trips every y days"...or he loses qualification.
Does that register with you at all?
He went on to say that the railroads are not generous with payroll, and did not pay engineers just so that they could make trips to preserve their qualification.

If what he was saying was 100% true, then I'm surprised that NS is paying 'ALL engineers working the Chicago district on a regular basis' to take the required minimum number of trips over all of the routes (particularly the old PRR) accessible through Ft Wayne...to preserve their qualification.
I'll admit that I'm ignorant of the details, so please don't let my curiosity offend you

The scenario that you are claiming makes a lot more sense than what I understood to be the case,.. but there was that story I mentioned earlier where a crew got themselves fired just for going onto a leg of a wye which they were not qualified for, so that really makes me suspicious that railroads are in fact that strict.

What am I missing?

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Bob Durnell » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:18 pm

I don't have much to add, but from watching train movements for years, my guess is that pretty much EVERY Chicago District (NKP) crew gets enough trips on the Pennsy/Wabash between Hill and NE to stay qualified. Beyond that, I would only be speculating. Once again, to interject 765, a few years ago they were deadheading back from Chicago and were scheduled to go NKP to the Pennsy to the Wabash to East Wayne. Meanwhile a New Castle District train stalled at Junction with a dead BNSF unit. Mere minutes before 765 was to get to Junction, they were swiftly rerouted onto an all NKP routing. Obviously whoever the pilot crew was, they were qualified on both routes into town. How many NS crews are/were qualified on the Pennsy west of Hill, or east of Mike, I would have no idea.
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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Wayne Gest » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:01 pm

There are two ways to get into or depart Fort Wayne for Chicago or Elkhart trains. Either trains are routed via the NKP through Fort Wayne over the elevation, through the connection onto the CF&E west of Thomas Road. Unless things have changed drastically, both routes are used on a regular basis and yes, one of the requirements is to stay qualified. It used to be at least one trip a year to stay qualified on most territories, it runs in my mind that Chicago Terminal required at least one trip every six months, but that could be wrong.

Unless it has changed, Chicago District engineers may still be qualified as far as Winters Road on the New Castle District. Crews used to change out there frequently, mostly westbound trains, I cannot say they are now.

Also, there are many engineers who are qualified on more than one district, mostly because their seniority does not always permit them to work specifically on one district. There are also those who change districts occasionally because they want a change of scenery.

I'd like to know the details of the crew who got fired for going around a wye, there has to be more to that story.

Isn't NS still running trains from Fort Wayne to Mansfield with Mansfield crews?

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by rrnut282 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:30 am

I've noticed an up-tick lately in the number of re-crews at Winters Rd for trains going to Chicago. Especially when there is a "fleet" of trains. One will stop at Thomas Rd. or Hill or even Hadley Rd, one at Junction (Taylor St?) and the 2nd or 3rd at Winters Rd or some variation.
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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Hotbox » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:22 pm

Wayne Gest wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:01 pm


I'd like to know the details of the crew who got fired for going around a wye, there has to be more to that story.

I appreciate your thoughtful replies Wayne, very helpful. I guess I'll just have to say to Bob and you both that I had no idea that NS was using the line (frequently) between Mike and Junction for Chicago bound trains coming out of East Yard. It's actually kind of hard for me to believe because during the summers of 2015-2017, I was spending quite a bit of time near west Jefferson, and the vast lion's share of traffic that I would see tended to come and go on the NCD and what trains I did see cross the river appeared to be C,F,&E doing their steel turns, and not much more. I don't even know if the molten sulphur trains still go that way, do they?

As far as the crew that got whacked for using a wye to turn around, I'll have to do some head scratching and go hunt. It's been a while, and I can't remember what site I was reading that at.... If I find it I'll be sure to post back here with a link. :oops:

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Hotbox » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:28 pm

Bob Durnell wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:18 pm
. How many NS crews are/were qualified on the Pennsy west of Hill, or east of Mike, I would have no idea.
Especially now that Triple Crown is no more. I would assume there is a local that still uses the part between the Harvester industrial spur and Mike?

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Re: Bob's Fort Wayne area photo of the week

Post by Wayne Gest » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:12 pm

There are things I can only speculate about, I'm nearly a decade-old retiree so some of my information may be well outdated.

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