• 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 riffian
Report on another site that the Clear, AK Air Force Base has switched their heating system from coal to oil and deactivated their rail operation. One GE 80 tonner has gone to Eielson AFB while the other is still at Clear. Their numbers are 1650 and 1679, both former Bayonne, NJ Army Terminal.
  by RailVet
A roster change: US Army 1873 was sold and is now up for resale on Sterling Rail's website:

http://www.sterlingrail.com/classifieds ... p?id=19111" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The GP10 had been in use at Fort Lewis, WA (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord). The operation there is very short on mileage. Locomotives operate only between the load-out yard and the interchange yard, which almost touch each other.
  by Deval
Mike Roque wrote:Can anyone confirm if 80-ton #1668 is still at Beale or has indeed gone to Shaw or elsewhere?
Still at Beale. It lives under a 'carport' most of the time.
  by riffian
With both Shaw and Clear shut down, this must be the last active USAF 80 tonner.
  by RailVet
A number of years ago I spoke with a member of the rail crew at Beale. The locomotive is used once or twice a month to bring in the special fuel required by the U-2 aircraft of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing. When the U-2 is finally retired, that will be the end of rail operations at Beale AFB, as there will be no more requirement for rail.

If GE 80-tons are flushed out of the Army and Air Force before the U-2 goes, then other arrangements may be made, but the end of the railroad will certainly come with the end of U-2 flying operations.
  by RailVet
I've received word that the two GE 80-tons at Letterkenny Army Depot have been sold. The Everett Railroad acquired USA 1674 and then resold it to the PSCC (Pennsylvania & Southern), which operates on former depot track, while USA 1685 was acquired by Dietzler Construction based in Yoder, WY. Looking in Google Earth and Google Maps, it doesn't appear that there's anything other than a company office just south of Yoder and there's probably no need for a locomotive at that location, and my guess is that it will be at a job site the company has. Any further information would be welcome.
  by RailVet
A few days ago a friend who lives near Letterkenny said he dropped by and noticed that the locomotives hadn't moved yet. They'll need to be mounted on flatcars to go to their new owners.

Note the B prefix to the numbers on the locomotives. These only exist at Letterkenny. Keep in mind that the depot previously had two Alco/GE MRS1 locomotives on site: USA B2044 and USA B2052. Both were donated to the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, MD, where they sat for years until they were scrapped in 2008. The B prefix indicated the locomotive was equipped with a boiler for providing steam heat for passenger train operations, if the locomotives were employed in such a role.

In September 1996 I visited the depot, saw the B prefix on the two GE 80-tons, and asked what the B meant. The employee said they thought that all Army locomotives are supposed to have a B, so they added the B prefixes by hand. I explained to him why the 2000-series MRS1s had B (because they had boilers) and the GE 80-tons obviously do not, but in response I got a "deer in the headlights" look and they continued to hand-paint a B on any Army locomotive that arrived.
  by RailVet
Clear Air Force Station, AK, no longer has its two GE 80-ton USAF locomotives:

http://www.alaskarails.org/glance/GE-80s/EA-GE-80s.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It appears that one (1679) has been transferred to Eielson AFB, AK, while the other (1650) has gone to the Napa Valley Wine Train in California.
  by sdmuleman
PSNS (Puget Sound Naval Shipyard) uses rail quite a bit in day to day operations inside the yard. On average there's probably movements every other day or so, but it varies. Flatbed cars are used to move large sections of recycled submarine submarine structure and other heavy items such as prop shafts around between various shops and drydocks. Several of the flatcar are rvittted steel construction and look quite old. Occasionally I have seen car loads of steel come in, and there's not much the seems to go out. Motive power is commonly one of the centercab older switchers. (65 ton GE IIRC). There's a fairly new (2012?) diesel hydraulic switcher but it is apparently very unreliable and generally not used.

The Bangor submarine base also does some rail though much less frequently. They seem to primarily ship and receive parts for various things in boxcars. There's at least 2 switch engines there that I'd guess to be EMD SW/NW series but I haven't been able to positively id them.

Both Bangor & PSNS connect to a branch line to Shelton WA which is PSNS owned but operated by a short line.
  by riffian
Fort Eustis 100th anniversary open house is on July 28.