• CSX Boston and Albany Line

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

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  by J.D. Lang
 
Unless it's changed but it used to be that 424 would drop the cars in Pittsfield and 425 would pick up housy's cars. Yeah 425 can be maxed out going up the hill from Springfield and a lot of Housy's cars are loads of limestone and demo loads. Maybe because it's all downhill from there to Selkirk. :wink:
  by taracer
 
Q425 regularly runs 165+ cars after picking up at Pittsfield.
  by roberttosh
 
With the addition of the NS IM/Auto train to the line as well what's sure to be some additional CSX traffic resulting from the Pan Am transaction and organic growth in the waste market, the B&A looks to be getting quite a bit busier in the years ahead.
  by jaymac
 
roberttosh wrote:With the addition of the NS IM/Auto train to the line as well what's sure to be some additional CSX traffic resulting from the Pan Am transaction and organic growth in the waste market, the B&A looks to be getting quite a bit busier in the years ahead.
Mebbe the Commonwealth will decide that restoring double-tracking with intermediate crossovers every few miles is more cost-effective than DSing the Hoosac.
  by roberttosh
 
With all that's going on, I don't see any way that CSX would allow the state to run 12 passenger trains a day on the line without full double tracking. You'd probably be pushing 30+ trains a day at that point, many of the 10K foot variety and could easily picture the line becoming a parking lot.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Two specific observations/questions re: CSX B&A freight ops on Sunday 3/7/21:
1. At 0828, a wb road freight led by a pair of AC4400CW units (with both ACSES II & I-ETMS PTC facilities and with pilots suited for 3rd rail territory ops) crossed Pond St at Ashland with a medium sized consist that included the usual substantial block of loaded C&D gons - what train symbol would this have been? In pre-pandemic/pre-PSR days, this would have been Selkirk-bound Q437 but my understanding is that these days this is B722(?) headed for Worcester? This consist was later observed passing Palmer live cam at 2220 with consist unchanged except that a 3rd unit was added as leader at Worcester. At 0050, this train passed the Westfield bridges live cam with a block of largely empty double stack wells added up front trailed by the consist that originated at Framingham.

2. As I watched the Westfield Bridges live cam, at 2157 I saw W Springfield based local B730 (?) pass slowly west on the #1 track led by a pair of GP40s lugging a good-sized inbound block for Pioneer Valley interchange (eg loaded centerbeams). It returned with at 2238 with the PV outbound cars tacked onto the rear of the same inbound cars. B730 shoved back to the small Westfield yard to drop the outbounds and then headed west again at 2259 to deposit the inbounds given a PV yard track was apparently cleared. At 2343, B730 shoved back with a new set of cars acquired from PV and then finally at 0130, B730 appeared to have departed west for Selkirk, not to be seen again, with the cars originally pulled from PV. In times past, I thought B730 operated as W Springfield - Westfield turn so I was surprised not to see shove east one last time. Is this normal Sunday night operation?
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  by taracer
 
Q437 was abolished about a year ago with the covid downturn and Keolis running a reduced schedule. I think the symbol is now B725, usually on duty around 2200. They bring the Q436 to Framingham then bring the outbound cars to Worcester and put them on the siding or the yard, sometimes both depending on how many cars they have. Usually Q427 will come down the branch and double to them and take them west, so it is regularly a 130+ car train leaving Worcester. Q115 handles the P&W's, usually the shop cars out of the Worcester yard, and any excess cars from Framingham that Q427 can't handle. It also picks up more intermodal in West Springfield and sometimes freight that Q425 couldn't handle.

It looks like this was actually a Q115 based on the times you give. Sounds like it has the West Springfield pickup, which always goes on the headend. The extra engine was probably an addon out of Worcester due to tonnage or cab signal issues on the 400.

The B730 sometimes goes to Pittsfield.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Taracer, thanks very much for the detailed answers! It will be interesting to see what ops changes occur on the B&A once CSX acquires Pan Am and NS begins running its 22K/23K IM trains on the line.
  by J.D. Lang
 
So it sounds to me like they are down to around 10 road trains per day west of Springfield. 3 Intermodal each way and two manifest each way. It looks like all of racks are being handled on Q424/425 If so what a big difference from just a few years ago.
  by roberttosh
 
424 and 425 were already reaching capacity, are you saying they're now adding 8-10K ft of racks to those trains? I find that very hard to believe.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
BNSF runs 14,000 ft trains regularly over Cajon Pass in California in this PSR era. No reason why CSX can't do the same over the Berkshire Hills, IMO.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Single data points but at 0452 today, an eastbound 30 car (< 3,000 foot long) auto rack train passed the Westfield bridges live cam with single locomotives fore and aft. There was no mixed freight.

And at 0650 today, 2 engines took 50 auto racks (< 5,000 feet) west past the Westfield bridges live cam.
  by roberttosh
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:51 am Single data points but at 0452 today, an eastbound 30 car (< 3,000 foot long) auto rack train passed the Westfield bridges live cam with single locomotives fore and aft. There was no mixed freight.

And at 0650 today, 2 engines took 50 auto racks (< 5,000 feet) west past the Westfield bridges live cam.
I think this answers the question.
  by J.D. Lang
 
Whenever I've seen 424/425 on the Chester Ma. webcam most of them have 6-12 racks in the consist. So they must be doing it whenever they show up in Selkirk or run a dedicated train whenever E. Brookfield has a bunch of empties to send west. Hopefully they're not running them over the hump to put on 424.
  by roberttosh
 
424/425 have been handling racks for a while now, probably traffic that cannot be easily combined with 264 due to point of origin. Both 264 and 424 can exceed 9,000' so I just don't see any way CSX starts running a combined train of up to 20,000' over the B&A.
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