Current Military Rail Operations

A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

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RailVet
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:05 am

Re: Current Military Rail Operations

Post by RailVet » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:19 pm

I've never been to NSB Kings Bay but I recall hearing somewhere that most of its rail movements were on-base only and not so much to the interchange. That might explain the rusty rail.

The same was true at NB Kitsap (formerly NSB Bangor). Five years ago I visited the base and the head of rail ops told me they mainly did on-base movements and rarely interchanged anything.

sdmuleman
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 9:40 pm

Re: Current Military Rail Operations

Post by sdmuleman » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:12 pm

The Bangor base does occasionally interchange cars, as does PSNS. PSNS probably has more traffic than Bangor but in both cases most movement is internal. PSNS probably has internal rail movements at least 2-3 days a week on average moving various large components around within the yard. PSNS has 2 or 3 center cab GE switchers that are most commonly used and a new diesel/hydraulic unit that doesn't seem to get much use - may be reliability issues or may be operator preference, I'm not sure.

RailVet
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:05 am

Re: Current Military Rail Operations

Post by RailVet » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:45 am

A recent visit to Letterkenny Army Depot found the two Army GE 80-tons (USA 1674 and 1685), supposedly sold last year, are still there. They're stored outside and a Pennsylvania & Southern shop employee said they're fired up a few times a year but they don't go anywhere. He thinks the P&S may have bought both of them but isn't sure. Anyway, they're still there and show no signs of going anywhere. Although they're still marked for the US Army they are apparently not Army-owned and haven't been for some time. Given the P&S's other non-ex-military EMD motive power on site, the two GEs are excess to the site's current requirements and instead the EMDs are used. An employee said they'll occasionally haul loads for the Army but its seems to be mostly a commercial enterprise now on what used to be an Army depot. There's still an Army presence but it's greatly reduced from its Cold War days.

That day also included a visit to Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg. Five of the six cabooses/escort cars (901 through 905) filled the enginehouse while 900 was out on the road with a train somewhere. The two GE 80-tons, USN 65-00364 and 65-00385, were sitting outside in front of the enginehouse. They're no longer used and instead the base has two "shuttlewagons" that moves rail cars as necessary. One of the locomotives has been used as a parts sources for the other but I'm not sure which one that was, and from the outside both look intact. Expect the owning department to seek to unload the two locomotives to get them off their books. Apparently Naval Shipyard Norfolk in Portsmouth, VA, has expressed interest in them. That base already had two such locomotives and but would like to have them as parts sources.

The cabooses/escort cars will be retired in the years to come and replaced with larger, boxcar-sized cars which will be roomier for those riding on them. There's no firm timeline on their retirement and of course it all depends on Navy spending priorities in the coming years.

Almost all of the tracks leading to the warehouse areas on the base have been lifted and the one or two tracks remaining in there appear to be out of service. In fact, much of the base doesn't appear to be used. During the middle of the day there didn't seem to be that many people going out for lunch or doing much of anything. Tall weeds could be seen everywhere, along with buildings that appeared to be empty. The area around the enginehouse is full of junk and tall weeds, and initially one might assume this is an unused or abandoned part of the base. It is indeed used, but housekeeping appears to be nil.

RailVet
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:05 am

Re: Current Military Rail Operations

Post by RailVet » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:43 am

At rypn.org, news that the two GE 65-ton centercabs at NSY Portsmouth, MD, are to be sold or scrapped, having been replaced by a shuttlewagon.

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=43737

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