Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:19 pm

I ran the ballast train to Glen Mills last night. I had 2 P32's for power. 512-513 and 18 cars which was a mix of Herzog and Amtrak cars. This was my first time running this train(as was running a P32BHW) as Im now working out of the Philly crew base on the extra list. The crew signs up at 8 and the regular crews try to get out on the West Chester branch between 9:05 and 10:05. We came back from Glen Mills lite so expect a ballast train again soon. As I understand it, these trains run sometimes 2 times a week. If you have a scanner just listen for the Amtrak KP crew.......
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby Quinn » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:13 pm

Saw you coming by last night and, oddly enough, that was the first time I picked it up on a scanner. For most of the summer this year, it didn't seem as many trips as years before, but lately it's been picking up with 2-3 trips a week.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby scotty269 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:42 pm

BuddSilverliner269 wrote:I ran the ballast train to Glen Mills last night. I had 2 P32's for power. 512-513 and 18 cars which was a mix of Herzog and Amtrak cars. This was my first time running this train(as was running a P32BHW) as Im now working out of the Philly crew base on the extra list. The crew signs up at 8 and the regular crews try to get out on the West Chester branch between 9:05 and 10:05. We came back from Glen Mills lite so expect a ballast train again soon. As I understand it, these trains run sometimes 2 times a week. If you have a scanner just listen for the Amtrak KP crew.......


You must've had fun riding through SEPTA land again, eh?
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby RCman2626 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:25 pm

BuddSilverliner269 wrote:I ran the ballast train to Glen Mills last night. I had 2 P32's for power. 512-513 and 18 cars which was a mix of Herzog and Amtrak cars. This was my first time running this train(as was running a P32BHW) as Im now working out of the Philly crew base on the extra list. The crew signs up at 8 and the regular crews try to get out on the West Chester branch between 9:05 and 10:05. We came back from Glen Mills lite so expect a ballast train again soon. As I understand it, these trains run sometimes 2 times a week. If you have a scanner just listen for the Amtrak KP crew.......


Does Amtrak regularly use the P32BHW for power on the ballast trains? I've always remembered Amtrak's Geeps and other column 3 equipment getting that job.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby 60 Car » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:34 pm

I've never seen the P32's on the ballat trains, just the amtrak geeps and the NS GP40's.

I haven't heard them on the scanner either when I've remebered to bring it along.
I assume the SEPTA road freq is used?
I usually just hang out around Elwyn at about 11-12 o'clock, you can usually hear the diesels once they get past Lenni coming east.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby 60 Car » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:34 pm

I've never seen the P32's on the ballat trains, just the amtrak geeps and the NS GP40's.

I haven't heard them on the scanner either when I've remebered to bring it along.
I assume the SEPTA road freq is used?
I usually just hang out around Elwyn at about 11-12 o'clock, you can usually hear the diesels once they get past Lenni coming east.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:01 am

I don't know how often the P32s catch the Mill assignment but there are no restrictions with those units on that line. They are column 4 units and column 5 units have restrictions. I found out the crews were using channel 16-16 to call Septa and I told them that its now 71-16. I used it and she heard me and she said there you are we never hear you guys.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby 60 Car » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:22 am

All the SEPTA road channels are duplexed now to accomodate the repeaters.
This is good news for scanner listeners as it will improve coverage and allow you to hear trains when they are further away.

I have the chanel assignment listing somewhere, I'll have to dig it up and try to post it,
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:59 am

60 Car wrote:All the SEPTA road channels are duplexed now to accomodate the repeaters.
This is good news for scanner listeners as it will improve coverage and allow you to hear trains when they are further away.

I have the chanel assignment listing somewhere, I'll have to dig it up and try to post it,

The problem for Amtrak is, the locomotives you can type the channel numbers in but the conductors hand helds they need to be programmed for Septa's channels. As i found out from the conductor I was working with, they are programmed at 16-16. Even if you stay on 16-16 you can hear everything on south side Septa channel, but Septa(and the scanners) wont hear Amtrak. Personally I love Septa's duplex channel. I have a handheld radio here a home and I can hear almost all of Septa from my house but I CANT pick up Amtrak while at my house in Yardley..
A few weeks ago I was bringig a NB train thru Phil interlocking and saw the ballast train doing its reverse moves from Amtrak onto Septa and it had 2 units up front and another diesel on the north end. I guess theres no rhyme or reason. For anyone looking for the trains, when they do run, they try to get out on the WC branch between trains 387 and 389 which is between the 9:05 and 10:05 hour
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby chuchubob » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:10 pm

On Aug 31 512 and 513 were on the concrete tie train.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby Quinn » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:41 pm

I would imagine that, with all of the washouts from the rain, one's chances of spotting this train are going to increase.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:30 am

Quinn wrote:I would imagine that, with all of the washouts from the rain, one's chances of spotting this train are going to increase.

I'd say your assumptions would be pretty accurate.Of course we have to hope that nothing happened with this recent rain and flooding this week that nothing happened between Elwyn and Glen Mills.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby Jerr » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:25 am

I observed a freight train once again passing the Wallingford station (R3) last Monday at 10pm. Can anyone tell me if this is a regular siting.....like the ballast train to Glen Mills Quarry or not. I would like to be there when she passes thru the next time. I just happened to be in my car at the RxR crossing this time. Thank you in advance for any information.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby Quinn » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:37 pm

Jerr wrote:I observed a freight train once again passing the Wallingford station (R3) last Monday at 10pm. Can anyone tell me if this is a regular siting.....like the ballast train to Glen Mills Quarry or not. I would like to be there when she passes thru the next time. I just happened to be in my car at the RxR crossing this time. Thank you in advance for any information.


You likely spotted the ballast train. It doesn't have a regular schedule, but can run up to a few times in a week. You caught it on the early side of the timeframe in which it travels to the quarry.
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Re: Ballast Train on R3 Elwyn

Postby Franklin Gowen » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:52 pm

10:51PM -- East of here, non-Silverliner and non-AEM7 horns are sounding NOW for the Lansdowne crossings of the ex-R3 to Media/Elwyn! Ballast train??? Heads-up, people. :-D I think the sounds are for an outbound train.
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