• CSX West Albany and Troy Local trains

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by RailKevin
I am wondering how the West Albany Yard and the American Rock Salt storage facility in Troy, NY get cars picked up or delivered.

Bullsheet does not list every possible train, but I don't see a local train from Selkirk to West Albany. How does WA get cars? I see locals from WA to South Schenectady and vise-versa. Maybe the cars are forwarded from S SCH from the Selkirk Branch Local train?

Also, American Rock Salt has a large outside storage facility in Troy. Troy is served by locals from WA (and maybe S SCH). I think mention had been made previously in the forums about a CSX salt train out of Rochester Goodman St Yard (interchanged from the Rochester & Southern served mine at Mount Morris, NY). Does that go directly to Troy as a unit?
  by Benjamin Maggi
At my old job I used to watch the CSX local switch out the Albany Salt pile. Sometimes it only had 4-5 cars, sometimes over a dozen. It was strange because mostly the tracks it operated on were Amtrak-only. Or, I should say, I only saw Amtrak trains on them. It would work the salt area and then join the Amtrak line that crossed the river and went into the station. I seem to recall seeing the train in the late afternoon (4-5PM) and ONLY on the loaded-return trip. I NEVER saw the train head into the salt area, only return.
  by march hare
Pretty sure that West Albany is served by a local based in South Schenectady, which gets setouts from mainline trains. There's also a local out of Selkirk (lost track of names of the trains back when CSX took over). The salt definitely does not go to Troy as a unit train.

You frequently see long cuts of LPG tankers (a staple diet for the unloading facility at WA) in South Schenectady. There's also a salt storage facility right there at SS. In CR days, that was generally a setout (BUSE, if memory serves).

My office overlooks the Livingston Avenue bridge, so I see the Troy local go over a few times a week. Normally Mondays, maybe Wednesdays, often a single GP38-2 or 40-2 and maybe 10-15 cars.
  by aabrea2
Does anyone have updated information as to when this local runs, specifically what days and times? On another web site I found that this local is designated B761 and also saw where it runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday around midday. I happened to be in South Troy last Friday around noon and went looking for this train but it was not there. At the same time the mountain of rock salt is quite large as there has not been any bad weather to speak of yet here in the Albany area. Maybe they have enough rock salt so the local is running less frequently? I know there is at least one other customer just south of the rock salt company but possibly they don't have the need for frequent deliveries.

Regardless, any information would be appreciated. Thanks.
  by jakirk
I believe the schedule is still M/W/F/ to Troy, and Tues/Thurs to the Port of Rensselaer.I too have been to Troy on a Friday and not have the train show. There are two other customers in Troy besides American Rock Salt. One is Interstate Commodities, which is an animal feed dealer. The other is located across from the salt pile in what I believe is the old NYC freight house? They receive insulated boxcars, almost always from a UP affiliated road (SP,SSW, DRGW,etc..),of what I assume is beer. I don't know the name of the company. They would seem to also be an intermodal user, as there most trucks on the property are 53' containers from Hub group, EMP, etc..
  by aabrea2
jakirk: Thanks. I might try again this Friday if I am around. There's another thread on this site:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... ny#p964984

that mentions this local. I see where it says the train gets to the bridge in Albany at around 9:00-10:00. I would think they could get up to Troy about a half hour after that. I was in Troy around noon so maybe they were there and gone. Like I said the pile of rock salt is huge and is covered by maybe the world's largest tarp. I don't see the need for bringing much more salt in until some of what's there starts moving out.

I did see the Interstate Commodities building. Looks like they have their own Trackmobile or similar type machine for moving their hoppers around. I also know of the other location you mention with the trucks and containers.

I have got to buy a scanner but that's another story. I don't have a clue what to buy. As mentioned in this other thread the train broadcasts a few places along the way from South Schenectady, Colonie, Albany, etc. I could get a better fix on its location if I could listen in. Probably save some gas too as I wouldn't be driving all over looking for trains!

I would like to see this South Troy local because when I was kid I used to watch what was then a Penn Central train go in and out of the same area. The difference was a lot of the buildings that today are boarded up or burnt down were open for business. The train crew was busy for certain. Too bad they didn't have inexpensive cameras around 1970 or I wouldn't have to rely on memories. I didn't even know a train still operated in Troy until a few months ago. Since then I have been trying to get a glimpse of what for me would be days long ago.
  by aabrea2
jakirk: Another thank you. This past Friday I had the day off and since my last post I bought a scanner. I located B761 in the West Albany yard and chased it from there to the Livingston Ave. Bridge in Albany and then up to Troy. Friday's B761 consisted of GP40-2 No. 6215 and one hopper. The hopper turned out to be destined for Interstate Commodities.

Not knowing the rules of this site, I don't want to crosslink but you can find a short video I took with my iPhone on Youtube by searching "CSX B761" The video shows the crew delivering the hopper in Troy.

I would also like to thank the people on another post : http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... ny#p964984 for the info they provided.
  by march hare
I routinely hear B761 on the scanner Monday and Weds mornings, getting permission out of S Schenectady onto the Carman Branch around 815 am while I'm in the car on the way to work.

Once out on the passenger main, he almost always calls every signal. Some days, you hear him telling the diapatcher that he has so many cars for W Albany or so many for Troy. In general if he quotes for W Albany that seems to indicate that he isn't going to Troy, at least for a while.

Later in the week has been less predictable, still appears to be generally Rensselaer on Tu and Thurs, Troy on Friday. But a lot of times I dont see him at all Thurs or Friday.

BTW, I have had a couple of really unpleasant encounters with the crew of this train in Troy over the past few years. Things like having them tell me they're calling the cops, even when I'm standing off the ROW on public property watching them switch. Not sure what the issue is with these guys or even if its the same guys each time.
  by jakirk
I made the trip to Troy today to see if I could catch the local, which I missed. The yard was packed. I noticed what appears to be a
new customer using a conveyor belt to load covered hoppers on the stub of the former main to Troy Union Station. Does anyone have info on this?
The customer in the old freight house had three insulated boxcars to unload, I've never seen more than one before.
  by Benjamin Maggi
This morning I saw the local to Troy around 8:45AM at the Livingston Avenue Bridge. It had two engines, both pointed towards the rear, and a number of cars. I couldn't count them, nor could I see if the blue caboose was at the end.
  by jakirk
I've been wondering about the caboose. It hasn't been on the local in months, and I haven't seen it parked in
West Albany either.
  by Benjamin Maggi
Where is the CSX yard in Schenectady that the local is based out of?
  by Ironman
The yard is in Rotterdam, right near the Railex and Price Chopper warehouses. The caboose was sent to scrap back in November.
  by jakirk
CSX has dropped a string of tank cars in the Troy yard, a new car type for Troy in recent times. I saw the cars from 787 across the river and didn't
get a chance to investigate. Does anybody have an idea what is being shipped and for whom? There was talk of a local
landfill shipping out contaminated water by rail, but the idea was to set up a transload in the Port of Rensselear.
  by jakirk
I answered part of my question. As of today there are six LPG (liquefied Propane) tank cars
sitting in the middle of the yard. Who they are for and how they would be unloaded is a mystery.