Enola Activity

Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
Septa Fan
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Location: Philadelphia, PA

Enola Activity

Post by Septa Fan » Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:29 pm

Today, I was returning from a meeting in Selinsgrove, PA, I took Rt 11/15 south to the Pa Turnpike to return to Phila. Driving through Marysville and Le Moyne, I was amazed to see the level of activity at Enola. I thought that Enola yard was all but moribund. The classification yard was full with freightcars, the locomotive facility seemed very busy. However, I could not miss the "brown fields" where there were obviously tracks formerly under wire. Can anyone kindly put todays Enola into perspective for me, especially with the Enola of the PRR say in the late 60's. How important is this facility to current NW operations?
All Responses greatly appreciated.
SEPTA FAN

rswinnerton
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Location: Marysville, PA

Post by rswinnerton » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:16 am

Ahh, Enola! I live in Marysville and get to drive by there on a daily basis!
Currently Enola is a hotbed of activity and is only getting bigger. Although it is a shell of it's former self, it's gearing up to grow again. NS has decided that within the scope of it's Crescent Corridor Project, Enola will once again be a bi-directional hump yard and once the project is completed, they will discontinue hump operations at Allentown. As you're driving down from the north end, you see the eastbound recieveing yard, which is often full of freight cars. Just behind that is the westbound hump, which is active pretty much all times of day. Hump operations can be viewed from the "Spankies" auto dealer lot. A little further down is the locomotive servicing facilitys, fuel tanks, and yard office. This is an awesome place to watch locomotives being serviced, and to see power from Conrail, NS, CN, leasing units, and sometimes BNSF and Metro North power. Two things to note are that the turntable is still operational, and you can occasionally see Conrail "0", a home built shop mover.

The other end of the yard is used for trains coming and going to and from Vardo Yard, as well as coal trains for Brunners Island Power, and trains for the Lurgan Branch and the Port Road. Generally, you can see coal, rail, and grain trains next to the road, with their power parked by the yard office. In the center is the freight car repair shop, and on the far side is the coal yard. Generally this is for staging powerplant coal.

Hope this helps!
Russ
Russ Swinnerton - CRHS President
Conrail Historical Society, Inc.
Marysville, PA

LCJ

Post by LCJ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:55 am

It's hard for me to imagine Enola being modernized and used at a higher capacity again. I was a trainmaster for Conrail there in the late '80s when they couldn't make up their minds about whether it would get a single dollar of maintenance money again. I'll be interested to see how that project progresses -- and how they manage to make it a productive terminal. Conrail found it to be poorly situated and designed for the traffic patterns of the time, but not worth investing anything to change it.

Flat-Wheeler
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Post by Flat-Wheeler » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:36 pm

Yeah, but the NS scope of operations is a bit different than Conrail's operations. Conrail had all sorts of options and routes to work with. NS / CSX split changed all that. So I bet this is the most economical location for a yard to fit NS operations.
It seemed like a narrow & "tight" location for such a large yard, being situated between the river, highway, and the hills, but I believe they have enough area to make it work without expanding. I too will be impressed to hear about this rejuvination.

LCJ

Post by LCJ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:47 pm

The biggest problem (among all the many) with Enola operations was the grade at the west end. PUC regs mandated that all cars handled out of the west class yard had to have air brakes working. This meant that cars were inspected prior to doubling them out of the bowl, which put a real crimp in trying to get things done quickly.

I have to say, I hated working at Enola. I was mostly 2nd shift. They had a hump crew 1st and 3rd, and 1st worked overtime every day. If the trains didn't arrive on time, the hump crew would die before all of the work got done that needed to be done.

Did I mention that I hated working Enola? One election day, I was forced to keep the hump crew over. They ended up getting stuck in the bowl making up tracks and missed being able to vote. The engineer wrote a letter to Stanley Crane on my behalf for that one. Can't blame the crew -- I would have done the same.

Enola 2nd was always a recipe for failure -- subject to profuse second-guessing on the morning call the next day.

johnpbarlow
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Post by johnpbarlow » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:23 pm

The other end of the yard is used for trains coming and going to and from Vardo Yard, as well as coal trains for Brunners Island Power, and trains for the Lurgan Branch and the Port Road.
I'm guessing by "other end of the yard" you mean the south end of Enola yard? If so, how to do trains get to the ex-RDG line to get to Hagerstown and points south? Are they routed through Marysville/Harrisburg and back across the river? Or did NS finally get the Lemoyne Connector built?

LCJ

Post by LCJ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:29 pm

We always called it the east end (the Day tower end -- until a derailed train brought down the brick tower one night and it became Day trailer) that went to the Enola Branch toward the Shocks Mills bridge.

johnpbarlow
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Post by johnpbarlow » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:32 pm

I found this article dating from October '03 re: NS plans for Enola Yard:

http://www.ble.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=8137

I wonder how much of this plan has come to pass so far?

Interesting excerpts:

That study showed that more car sorting needed to be done at Harrisburg than could be done without the Enola Yard in operation, so Norfolk Southern set up a 15-track classification yard at Enola. That increased the number of cars that could be handled daily from 125 to 725.

"Now we're going to do the next phase, and that is to take the 15-track classification yard and automate it so we can classify cars more in an automatic process manner," Brown said. "That's the project we're starting now, and we'll actually go until next summer until it's completed."

The Enola Yard will again become a "hump" operation, where inclined tracks use gravity to help sort cars. Previously, it had been a flat-switching operation that used paper lists and human intervention to get the cars where they needed to go. Brown hopes the yard will be able to handle 1,200 rail cars daily when the work is done

and....

The other big project that is getting under way is the $5 million Lemoyne Connector, a new track that will allow Norfolk Southern trains from Hagerstown, Md., to avoid a circuitous, congested route through Harrisburg to get to Enola Yard. Those trains now must make a right turn onto the distinctive old Reading Railroad bridge across the Susquehanna River, then proceed through Harrisburg and up to the Rockville Bridge, where they cross the river again and proceed south to Enola.

johnpbarlow
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Post by johnpbarlow » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:32 pm

Are these artifacts found in the excavation just east of the tennis courts? I wonder how the tennis courts got built if there were Indian artifacts there? I wonder if the Indian artifacts were discovered before or after NS expressed an intent to build the connector? Click on URL below and then click of "Bird's Eye" option.

http://maps.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.qq72 ... &encType=1

D.Carleton
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Location: NY or FL, depending on what mood I'm in...

Post by D.Carleton » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:29 pm

A NS official told me the Lemoyne Connector is being built over a corner of a public park… a park built with federal monies. Because of the federal angle multiple layers of red tape have to be mitigated before any land can be appropriated from the park. Consequently they’re actively looking for native remains, endangered species and grains of dirt that resemble celebrities. However, when finished look for Enola to become even busier.

mmi16
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Location: USA

Post by mmi16 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:50 pm

LCJ wrote:Enola 2nd was always a recipe for failure -- subject to profuse second-guessing on the morning call the next day.
2nd Trick anywhere is the recipe for failure....

Flat-Wheeler
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Location: Nearest jammed interlocking

Post by Flat-Wheeler » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:47 am

I say start from square one. Raze the whole Enola yard, and single track it. When the ghosts of expired Indians start derailing trains, then put a second track around the mess. Gee whiz, doesn't the management know how yards are built in the 21st century ?

D.Carleton
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Post by D.Carleton » Tue May 06, 2008 10:30 pm

Passing through Lemoyne this afternoon I did due diligence on the area and may report there is NOTHING going on. As reported, there is an area fenced off on the eastern wooded periphery of the park with NO TRESSPASSING signs posted. It was late afternoon and not a soul was stirring regarding archaeological or construction activities. The local press has also reported concerns including how this “would make an extraordinarily valuable public asset -- the former Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge across the Susquehanna -- useless” for future commuter service. It would appear we’re stuck with the status quo for the duration.

RDGTRANSMUSEUM
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Post by RDGTRANSMUSEUM » Fri May 16, 2008 9:07 pm

Enola was always a mess,conrail would close the hump,send the work to allentown,get bogged down then reopen the Enola hump. They have been looking at closing Allentown for years,same as Enola. The whole Enola yard lays in a bad spot ,pure and simple. The old Pennsy traffic flow does not work with the Conrail big (now NS)X? Damn, I hated taking a train in that mess of a yard. My two cents...........
visit us at : readingtransportationmuseum.org

LCJ

Post by LCJ » Wed May 21, 2008 10:31 pm

RDGTRANSMUSEUM wrote:Enola was always a mess...
Amen, brother. I was TM there when they closed Morrisville (PA) hump. Enola then had to assume the building of 2 PIMO manifests (Conway-Morrisville) blocked for quick set-off and delivery in Morrisville. Basically it involved humping everything twice and shuffling the blocks all around. What a freakin' nightmare. And all of this without a hump crew on the 2nd shift.

It makes me a little sick to my stomach right now just to think about those days. GOD I hated that place.

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