Trains seen on NCD!

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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:20 pm

In theory, yes. In practice, meh.
Because it can come East at Claypool or Alexandria, depending upon crew availability and traffic, it would be a large window as to the time it rolls through.

Just looking at some of my notes from the last two months, it has rolled through Bluffton at 0630, 0800, 0830, 1750, 1830, 1930, 2030, 2100, 2115, 2300 hours. 7-9pm is the most popular time. Figure it was in the fort an hour or so earlier. The timing of the crew change, waiting at HUGO and Kingsland for other trains, etc will have an impact.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:17 pm

NS appears to be playing with the schedule again.
282 and 216 used be regular evening/late evening trains on the North End of the NCD. Lately, they have been late morning/noonish trains.

200 has also shifted to roll through before noon moreso than afternoon. With this change traffic has grown. It used to have around 120TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and now it is well over 300 to rival 282 and 216 for size.

It also appears they are using the intermodal trains to move excess power. Lately all the day-time intermodal trains (day-time for me, at least) have have four or five units on the point instead of one or two. Speaking of moving power, I have seen two light power moves in the last 10 days. 961 and 951 were 7 units moving North from Cincy. Not sure where they went after Muncie. It's been over a year since I've seen any light power moves (outside of Progress Rail delivery trains)

Anybody else seeing this?
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:24 pm

Somebody is having a bad night. 25A was put into the siding. There was another southbound past Winters RD, but it doesn’t fit. 288 was told to stop while in Bluffton blocking all crossings. When they re-started they suffered a separation between the 90th and 91st cars.

An hour later and they are looking for space in sidings north of kingsland/market to clear the interlocking to get 288 by. Just in time for the freezing rain and snow tonight.
Last edited by rrnut282 on Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:02 pm

It's been a while, but I saw my first autorack train (289?) in a long time heading South THU04JUN2020. For the last three months, you'd see a car or two, maybe a block of six in a merchandise train, not a solid unit train. Since PSR ate the brains of rail leaders, 289 (the regularly scheduled rack train to the Kentucky Mixing Center) had a long block of mechandise cars in front of the racks. This one was all racks. One can hope this is a sign of things to come and not a one-time thing.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:41 pm

The train with autoracks is no longer 288/289, but 188/189. 189 has a block of general freight up front and lots of autoracks. Most days well over 100 cars. 188 doesn't seem to have much, if any merchandise block.

Tue08Sep2020. 174 had a pull apart just North of Ossian. This train had 2x2x0 dpu set-up, but if I heard correctly, only 1 locomotive up front was pulling. It was not just a knuckle, but the whole drawbar. They left a sizeable portion of their train on the main near the scanner at MP173.5. 200 was following and was directed to come North from WELLS and drag this segment back into the siding. As 174 departed the scanner failed (train too slow). Lots of radio traffic between the dispatcher setting up where they will trade crews; OS who needed to know what track the cars were left on to show in the computer, (their train was still over 10000 tons after the "set-off"); trainmaster getting power, dymanic, speed, amps, configuration, power management warnings; wayside equipment getting details and instructing on whether they could proceed or not after going into emergency; and MOW wanting some track time.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:29 am

An interesting evening on the NCD Fri30Oct2020.
I was working in Blackford County and heard 174 and L69 going North around 1030. It was quiet until 1350 when 65H rolled up to the Bluffton Holdout and waited. I thought maybe it was going to the ethanol plant. 200 pulled up behind 65H at 1420. MOW was working on a crossing and L69 was running around its train to go up to Yoder.
At 1455, L69 reported three cars on the ground, upright, but fouling the main. It was pulling three cars out and the first five trucks were off the rail.
52Q was building a train at Central States. The dispatcher directed them to go engine light up to 200 and drag it back into the siding at Montpelier. The crew did not have bulletins for North of MP154, so they had to find a fax machine to get them updated info to legally go up there. After that, they were to go back up to 65H and they used that train to “rescue” L69 whose crew wasn’t going to make it. They drug the engine and what cars were rolling and drag L69 back to Muncie. I heard L69 roll South at 1945.
They must have cleared the main at least, as 282 rolled North around 2130.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:07 pm

Something I haven't seen in a while just went by WB: export locomotives from Muncie. They were on 8-axle flatcars and wrapped, so no idea of the paint scheme or gage.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:34 pm

NS geometry car with power unit 34 went south. It might be going to piqua yard tonight.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 am

NS continues to play with "schedules."

Early in 2021, train #197 traditionally ran out of the fort early evenings. This year, it started running out of the fort in the early morning to work at Muncie. For a while it was late afternoon and now it is back to being part of the morning Southbound parade, but it doesn't stop in Muncie, currently.
Train #143 (the land barge) used to run early evening, but now is a part of the morning SB parade. It's become a DPU monster. I saw one recently with 141 cars in front of the DPU and another 132 behind. They make this monster stop to add/drop blocks in Muncie. How many crossings does this block for hours?
Train #189 also joined the morning parade. It, too has added DPU, but not always. It continues to have blocks of merchandise traffic and autoracks, though they are not as clear-cut as they used to be. The number of racks handled seems to be down, too. GM?
#L69 now comes North around noon. It works around Bluffton for a while, sometimes clearing up at the ethanol plant, before going up to Kingsland for a while. Sometimes it waits on #196 after its stop at Muncie and for #200 before running around its train and shoving to Yoder if it needs to work the South switch. It then ducks back into the clear at Kingsland (I know Market/Wells, but Kingsland is easier to type) for a train or four, until late in the afternoon when it heads back to Muncie. Occasionally, L69 has over 70 cars and they will drop a large block off in the ethanol plant. They keep assigning a catfish to this train instead of a road-switcher. The engineer either has to use mirrors half of the day or have a stiff neck.
#196 and #200 have been going into the fort around lunchtime, sometimes later. #200 had added a large block of merchandise traffic, usually on the rear, as PSR tries to maximize tons/train. I wonder if NS lost an intermodal customer as the number of TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) on #200 has shrunk dramatically.
While 200 has shrunk, #25A has grown dramatically. Last fall if it had 100 TEUs (about 25 wells) it was "big." Now it has 400-500 TEUs and a block of loose cars. It seems to run SB in early afternoons most days.
The evening NB intermodal parade has been a mixed bag. They used to run consistently late evening. Now #282 and #216 run anywhere from early afternoon to early evening. The show is over by 1800 some days, oh well, there is still enough daylight to mow the yard.
#188,the NB autorack train is a wild card. It has no schedule, or can't keep it. It's so bad, I have seen trains that were just truck frames for the GM plant to avoid a shut-down. It, like its SB counterpart #189, has gained a block of loose, merchandise traffic.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Fri Dec 03, 2021 1:23 pm

Sad to say, it appears the NCD is losing another customer. Due to a multi-elevator bankruptcy, the former Agland Grain (between the ethanol plant and silver street in Bluffton) was sold to a local farmer and they are in the process of dismantling it. Not sure at this time how much is going away, but the grain elevator and distribution legs are all gone.

Service to agland was rare, so the loss won’t be noticed right away, if at all. The switch has a flange-lifting frog, (mainline rails unbroken) so no rush to rip it out needed. Besides, mow loves parking a BR and tamper there.
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Re: Trains seen on NCD!

Post by rrnut282 » Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:36 pm

Fri17Dec2021 had some massive land-barges slog through Bluffton.

143 had a 3-2-0 dpu set up with 146 cars between the locomotives and 108 more behind the middle DPUs for a total of 254 cars. Not that long ago, 143 was only running 125 cars on average with 2 or 3 locomotives up front.

A few trains later 60C had a 2-0-2 dpu set up with 151 gondolas between the locomotives that I assume were heavily loaded with steel for the pickling plant. Normally this unit train ran with 3 units up front and only 95 gons, unless one was set out a Baer Yard as bad-ordered, which happened more often than you would expect.

That Friday was also unusual in that the local L69 never ran or didn't make it this far North. Normally, it services the ethanol plant 10 times a week. i.e. in both directions as it passes by.
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