• Current Military Rail Operations

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by Railman1396
I am the engineer for Shaw AFB. I can't give out our schedule (mostly because we don't have one! we operate on an as needed basis.) but we run fairly often.

We have two GE 80 tonners in perfect shape if I say so myself. (I do all the maintenance) #1644 and #1671. I have been told by the depot in Hill that the 80 tonners have been deemed obsolete in the DOD system, and are being phased out. As the Army is currently in need of all the locomotives in the rebuild pipeline, I'm unsure of what I will get next. I hope it isn't one of the trouble prone gensets.

We have 7 miles of track, some of which is on a 2.7% grade. Loads uphill and empties down, figures, right?

Here is a link to a few videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Th3Y4bUFQw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCuZj89-l1I" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l0vkmQq3eQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Let me know if you have any other questions.
  by JayBee
Crane NWS in Southern Indiana still has rail ops. I believe they have one or two gensets.
  by riffian
Railman1396, thanks for the update on operations and the interesting videos. It sounds as if your 80 tonners are semi-permanently coupled. With the current move to NRE gensets at the more active military rail operations, yours must be one of the few, if not only, facility still using 80 tonners.
  by RailVet
There are still quite a few military bases using GE 80-tons or other centercabs.

Beale AFB, CA (1)
Clear AFS, AK (2)
Shaw AFB, SC (2)

NWS Charleston, SC (maybe 4, plus possibly a couple of 65-tons)
NWS Earle, NJ (1, inoperative, never used since its arrival)
NCBC Gulfport, MS (1 65-ton)
NSB Kings Bay, GA (1 80-ton, 1 65-ton)
NSY Puget Sound, WA (3 65-tons)
NSA Mechanicsburg, PA (2)
NSY Norfolk, VA (2)
NCBC Port Hueneme, CA (1)
NSY Portsmouth, NH (2 65-tons)

Blue Grass Army Depot, KY (4)
Fort Eustis, VA (1)
Fort Sill, OK (3)
Hawthorne Army Depot, NY (1)
Hill AFB, UT (1 - switcher at the Army rail shop, a tenant activity on an air base)
Iowa AAP, IA (2)
Letterkenny Army Depot, PA (2)
Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (formerly Lima Army Tank Plant), OH (2)
McAlester AAP, OK (1)
Camp Navajo National Guard Training Site, AZ (1)
Pine Bluff Arsenal, AR (2)
Radford AAP, VA (1)
Red River Army Depot, TX (2)
Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, NC (2 - stored, not used for years)
Tooele Army Depot, UT (4)

MCLB Barstow, CA - had one but when I was last there a few years ago but it didn't appear to have been used for at least seven years. Yermo Annex to the east has a much more active rail operation.
  by Railman1396
I usually only break them apart if one is down or I'm doing the 92 day.

They were front to front when I first got here, but I couldn't stand to run them that way. They just coupled them together the same way they came off the flatcars, and left them that way for 9 years prior to me hiring on.
  by riffian
NRE gensets continue to be delivered to both the Army and Navy. The following is a list of confirmed delivered US Army units and their assignments, if known:

6500 and 6501 - Ft Bliss
6502 and 6503 - Ft Lewis
6504 - Ft Riley
6505 - Ft Hood
6506 - Ft Carson

6513 - Unk
6514 - Ft Stewart
6515 - Ft Bragg
6516 - Unk

Can anyone add anything to the above list?? Thanks
  by brianpwestgate
Is there a complete list somewhere of all the military railroads that have existed and what their current statuses are?
  by brianpwestgate
brianpwestgate wrote:Is there a complete list somewhere of all the military railroads that have existed and what their current statuses are?
According to the latest ASLRRA newsletter, Views & News, pp. 4-5, the military is thinking about privatizing it's lines
http://aslrra.org/images/whats_in_the_n ... -26-14.pdf
Included is a list of installations with active rail operations: http://www.aslrra.org/images/news_file/ ... il_Ops.pdf
  by RailVet
I recall the Army was talking about privatizing rail operations back in the late 1990s but that never seemed to lead anywhere. We'll see if they follow through this time.

Also, the list of installations with rail operations at

http://www.aslrra.org/images/news_file/ ... il_Ops.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

contains a great many inaccuracies. For example, the rail line into Corpus Christi Army Depot was already a distant memory when I visited the site 11 years ago. Fort Belvoir's rail operation closed with the transfer of its last locomotive to Letterkenny Army Depot in August 1993 and was subsequently pulled up. Fort Monroe has not had rail access for many decades. Picatinny Arsenal's rails are long gone, as are the tracks of the Conrail line that connected to the post. Fort Jackson's spur was pulled up a long time ago, as was the branch through Fort George G. Meade. The latter was clearly on its last legs when I saw it in the late 1970s and its locomotive departed in December 1982. Meade's line was subsequently pulled up. Fort A. P. Hill has never had a rail branch into the post, although units going to train there offload near the post at a CSX (ex-RF&P) siding and drive the final miles to their destination. And on and on with various other supposedly active base rail operations on that list.
  by riffian
Interesting development. I guess privatization would mean the end of US government owned locomotives and maintenance of equipment and right-of-way, although employees are already 100% contract personnel. Timing is strange in that the USG is in the process of completely reequipping motive power at the most active military bases with new Gensets.

There are some strange military installations included on the list of Army Rail facilities. The Presidio of Monterrey, to my knowledge never had rail service at any time in its long history. It sits on a bluff above Monterrey and is home to the Defense Language Institute. It used to be an annex to nearby Fort Ord, which did have active rail service, but that closed in 1994 and the Southern Pacific branch line was abandoned and the rails removed at the same time. When Fort Ord was in the process of being deactivated, 1991-1993, its last occupant, the 25th Infantry Division sent all its vehicles out by rail to their new home, Fort Lewis, WA.

The National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA, is another post that has never had rail service, but is included on the list of Army rail facilities. There is a very active team track on Marine Base Yermo, where vehicles are off loaded from flat cars and moved by road the 35 miles to Ft Irwin. Yermo handles units cycling through the NTC and also handles USMC vehicles returning for rebuild, or disposal.

I still would like to see a current, accurate list of military facilities with active rail.
  by RailVet
Privatization wouldn't necessarily mean the end of government-owned locomotives, etc. Very possibly the Army motive power would remain and be operated by contracted personnel. Also, current Army rail employees are not necessarily contracted. Those at Fort Eustis are, but I know of others elsewhere who remain government employees.

The last division-sized unit at Fort Ord was the 7th Infantry Division (Light), not the 25th, which has traditionally been based in Hawaii but currently has two brigade combat teams in Alaska. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25th_Infan ... _States%29" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As for the rails running past Fort Ord, Google Earth shows they largely remain in place, with some rails removed at crossings and the lower end of the line converted to parking lots and a trail in Seaside and Monterey, respectively. The junction at Castroville on the north end of the line has been removed so the rails have no connection to the national rail network. Years ago there was talk of starting a light rail line but that has apparently not gone anywhere.

In any case, for privatization to take place, potential contractors must first show interest.
  by Deval
This is quite a tall and tricky order. There are a lot of bases that use rail, like Fort Drum NY, that do not have their own locomotives. Bases like Fort Rucker AL and Fort Lee VA have spurs, but seldom get cars. And Fort Irwin / NTC as you pointed out uses the USMC base at Yermo for their rail, then convoy to NTC.

Military Rails Online has the best roster I know of; at least the webmaster is honest and says it's 8 years out date: http://military.railfan.net/roster/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

riffian wrote:
I still would like to see a current, accurate list of military facilities with active rail.
  by RailVet
More on this subject:

Headquarters Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (G-4)
Request for Information
Public - Private Partnership concerning Rail Assets


The Headquarters Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (G-4) is conducting a market survey to identify the capabilities and availability of sources in the market place to meet the Government’s requirements to modernize the Army rail program. This Request for Information (RFI) may also assist with the further development and/or refinement of future Government requirements. Responses to this RFI are due no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Time, July 30th, 2014.

2.0 DISCLAIMER: This is neither a Request for Proposals (RFP) nor a Request for Quotations (RFQ). This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes. Neither unsolicited proposals nor any other kind of offers will be considered in response to this RFI. Responses to this notice are not offers and will not be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Responders are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this RFI. All information received in response to this RFI that is marked proprietary will be handled in accordance with applicable Government regulations. Responses to the RFI will not be returned to the provider/sender. At this time, questions concerning the composition and requirements of a possible future RFP will not be entertained. Funding is currently not available at this time. Submitting your company information does not bind the Government or the Army to any future solicitations or contracts resulting from this RFI.

3.0 DESCRIPTION: The Army seeks to develop public-private partnerships (Title 10 U.S.C. 2474) to modernize, gain efficiencies, and adopt best-business practices for operating its railroad enterprise. The Army seeks to accomplish the following by entering into one or more public-private partnership(s): 1) right-size the rail assets the Army owns, 2) operate the right-sized rail assets at demand levels commensurate with their capacity, with the objective that the operations tempo required to support peak military requirements is the normal operations tempo, and 3) maintain the assets and accommodate the demand in an efficient manner.

4.0 SCOPE: Respondents to this RFI should look across the entire Army rail enterprise for ways both parties can benefit from partnering. The Army desires to explore any areas where partnering may be mutually beneficial. Therefore, respondents should not limit themselves to the areas and actions listed below, nor are they expected to respond to all points.

The Army seeks information to determine the interest, availability, and capability of members of the commercial industry to:

1. Share Army rail facilities - the Army looks to more effectively employ underutilized but necessary facilities. The facilities available include, but are not limited to: trackage, including main track (both on and off installations), sidings, and yards; loading facilities, including ramps, container handling facilities, and paved staging areas; and auxiliary facilities, including small office buildings, repair facilities, warehouses, and unimproved land.

2. Move and/or switch trains – the Army wants to reduce its locomotive ownership. The Army will require short notice ‘power by the hour’ agreements for the use of locomotives and crews. The primary objective is keeping a proper balance between owned and leased locomotive power.

3. Provide maintenance support to the Army - the Army has locomotives, freight cars, and trackage on its installations. The Army is interested in alternative ways of providing scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repair. Locomotive, rail car, and trackage maintenance includes, but not limited to: refurbishment, emergency response, engine overhaul, upgrades, and scheduled maintenance.

5.0 AUTHORITY: Per Title 10 USC § 2667 gives military departments authority to: 1) Enter into long - term or short - term leases, 2) lease land and/or buildings, and 3) receive income on leased property, which can be used to fund other new construction and does not have to be invested in the leased property.

6.0 RESPONSES: Because this is an RFI and not an actual solicitation, respondents need not submit a proposal. Respondents should explain the details, and pros/cons of a partnership venture in which the contractor would be willing to enter into with the Government. Submission of a non-binding (draft) cost proposal is helpful. The Government appreciates any provided responses to all three RFIs under paragraph 4.0 above or just one.

Information provided by respondents that they do not consent to limited release must be clearly marked and segregated from other response material. Response to this RFI or lack thereof does not constitute any obligation on the Government to pursue a follow - on effort, in part or whole, with specific vendors or otherwise.

Please do not cut and paste your responses into this RFI. Remit any and all responses as a separate document. Any questions regarding this RFI may be directed to the POC below. Please email your response to this RFI to [email protected]
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