• Gardner Gawking

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

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  by jaymac
For 0325-0600/05-31-2019, there was curiosity at the start, a sometimes clear and sometimes broken D-3/POAY exchange, POAY being told that their cab would be at Burncoat, something about a marker, and then them taking that marker by cab to Lawrence for AYPO. Things continued with POAY advising they had a new leader. Then came a cancellation -- yes, cancellation and not fulfillment -- of Form D G303 at 0331, and followed by D-3 asking if they were ready to copy a new Form D, that being G304, a Line 2 for CSXT 5286 from MP X7 to Burncoat, time effective 0332. MP X7? Yup, the MP X7 that's 0.8 miles west of the Temple Street/Rte. 140/MP X7 crossing and 1.4 miles east of the Shrewsbury Street/MP X6 crossing. Why? I dunno., but there's more than a little I dunno about this.
There -- as usual -- were spurts of static, clarity coming at 0344 when D-3 asked FI-2 -- more about which later -- if they were ready for their run-around. At 0351, Mount Wachusett would let me know it was still there by selectively blocking the D-3 side of a convo with ED-9 and the 7643, more to follow. It was clear that there were 0x47, 24 of which were racks, and that 22K was getting close to 335, then some more sounds like Drogon, wherever he may be. A changing receiving position had me hearing D-3 saying at 0353 that he'd check with the Chief to find out the game plan following ED-9's pickup at Gardner.
At 0357, the 333 WLs were dark, but things were eventful at 0359 -- the 333 WLs came on with a Clear for 2, and D-3 fulfilled the G304 for POAY, asking again about the marker, rogering what they said, and saying to hand it to AYPO there. Oh yeah, ED-9's marker got called, so they were already west of me. NSs 1034, 9031, and 9115 got 3 -- yes, three -- racks and 95 well and table positions -- 1/2 or so MTs -- east at 0405, and a minute later, D-3 advised FI-2 that 22K was coming down Da Hill, so there'd be a wait at FG. Just to be extra sure there wasn't another WB, another couple minutes was invested at 333, the WLs going dark at 0408. Actually, there would be another EB, but my time-frame was smaller than the picture -- D-2 talked to POED at 0412, so they were hours away.
A straight shot up Da Hill was made, the 345s being dark. There was 1 -- yes, one -- loaded rack on Yard 1 just westr of the switch and a not-quite FP-FP of general -- covered hoppers, then gons, and then a single coil car east -- on Yard 2, and Yard 4 looking MT. The Sameoldsameold Ledger entries were unchanged.
An anticipatory offering was made, and a post was taken up and maintained in the Jade lot. At 0432, the 345 WLs came on, and at 0447, KCIRs 7643 and 7489 came to a stop on 2 by the air plant. The C walked west to eyeball the pick-up, returned, and stopped lat the air plant mailbox -- apparently MT -- to check for bills. ED-9 would now start to haul down to West Switch, and the earlier puzzlement got renewed. 6 racks and then a shortie and full-size covered hopper and then a box and then a long string of racks to down by the 345 Dunks and then general. Dunno how far west things would go before the racks get classed together.
I was straight-shot EB, and on the way, there were garbles involving 22K, mebbe yarding instructions, but more will follow. At 0514, the 333 WLs were dark, and D-3 OKd 22K to proceed east from Derby.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Stop for 1 and Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL at Slow Approach and the GL and FG WLs dark, and at 0525, solo, dark, and east-facing NewBlue 381 was in the FI-1/2 parking spot.
0526 was when an Approach was called for 22K, so the shove seemed about to start. And at 0528, AY-4 would ID themselves for a similar move, AY-4 and 22K alternating their transmission without stepping on each other for the balance of my listening.
0531 was when the EB staggers for Derby were dark. AY-3 would continue to be among the unheard -- to from. or about -- but not so TC 669, 0533 the time effective for Form D G307 a Line 2 for 1 on the Fitchburg at CPF- WL west to CPF-Camp with a Line 3 for no trains or track cars ahead, asking to call clear of CPF-AY, followed by the words that there would be a new Form D at Camp.
There was a D-3 follow-up at 0535 asking for any progress updates, rogering whatever got said. 669 was acknowledged west and clear of CPF-AY at 0551, getting Form D G308 -- similar Lines 2 and 3 -- for CPF-Camp west on 2 to CPF-330 made effective at 0557, with the OK to pass Stop signals at Camp, Derby, and FG and the request to call clear of Camp for G307 fulfillment, all crowded in just before the nominal start of Transfer Time.
Oh yeah -- the post-pick-up game plan for ED-9? Unheard by me.
  by jaymac
For 0325-0550/06-03-2019, there were some surprises. Besides some earlier static outbursts, it fell to Keolis Boston West at 0345 to offer the first proof that my scanner was actually working. There then came a coupla unattributable car countdowns along with equally unattributable 3-step activity.
At 0355, the 333 WLs were dark, but the 334 ELs and 1 stagger were all at Stop. Although there was no marker visible, my WB trip continued, providing the sight of KCIRs 7605 and 7585 sitting dark on 1 just east of the Stops on the 335 ELs. The 335 WLs were also at Stop, so no EB was in the short-term future, the very short-term future, as will be seen.
As hinted at, brightiewhities were seen through the foliage on my WB approach to Pearson Boulevard, and coming at track speed was an EB, meaning I used the Pearson rotary to also become EB, meaning also that there would be no actual gawking of Gardner by me this date.
On my way to MP 340 and at 0422, D-3 began a convo with AY-3 and the 7609, both sides sometimes audible, about it being OK to take signal indication, being 10x11 and mebbe going onto the Camp, AY-4 clearing Track 1, but talking to them about AY-3. There would also be a 0430 D-3 shoutout to FI-2 with the 381 about -- again -- it being OK to accept signal indication. In one of the other surprises of today, that would be the last -- usual caveats in effect -- reception of D-3.
It had been more than a bit since I had been at 340, but there were still some staging of concrete signal bases plus masts and arms. Dunno where/when they'll be going. The bend got bright, and a presumed EDPO with KCIRs 7655 and 7898, OldPaint 351, and NewBlues 515 and 519 got 86 east of 340 at 0434. There were a coupla strings of Ciment Québec and other shorties, full-size covered hoppers, a Coastal Pro-Lam centerbeam, a coupla MT centerbeams, a coupla strings of company gons, Brand X gons and hoppers, 2 HCl tanks, a coupla sheet-steel bulkheads, and more company boxes than I've seen in a long time on the same train west of Ayer. The power seemed excessive, but there was probably a swap going on. On an only-slightly OT note, The Shrine Of The Deity Of The MP-340 Dunks was not yet open for services.
The decision was made to continue EB for the confluence of a possibly-late-outta-the-facility 400, the presumed EDPO, and the waiting WB, more audio input having come at 0440 had been when the 346.6 gave a no defects and 48°, but no train length. That there was no mention of the train being too slow kinda hinted that it might be another EB instead of a WB that had just completed its paperwork and was just getting going west on signal indication. Oh yeah, AY-4 was now a clear contributor to audio input and would so continue -- topography cooperating -- throughout the balance of the trip.
Back at 335, the WB was -- naturally -- still in place and, as the WB slow-hauled by 400 having given themselves the OK to depart from the platform at 0450, the presumed EDPO getting east of the 335 ELs at 0454. Yes, an offering was made at The Shrine Of The Deity Of The CPF=333 Dunks, the immediate reward being 0508 darkness on the 333 WLs.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2. The 330 WLs were both a Stop, a Slow Clear or Slow Approach normally expectable for the 2 WL when the 330.8 2 WB had been at Stop. An explanation will soon emerge. The GL WLs were dark, but the FG WLs were at Stop, the EB's marker clearing the 2 EL at 0519 and the cause for the earlier Stop on the 330 2 WL. That was pretty much the same time as the FI-1/2 parking spot was MT and dunno if they might be at Ayer, Lafarge, Derby, or even at Otter River. Remember the earlier 346.6?
The EB was crossing over the Main Street/Rte 13 UGB at North Leominster, the marker getting east of the the 2 EB stagger for Derby at 0527, the 1 at Approach. Never heard whether they were straight-lined to WL. Also never heard aught to, from, or about 22K or Q426/427, but I did hear a D-2 shoutout to AYPO at 0537, as well as the aforementioned ongoing AY-4 activity.
  by jaymac
Edited with apologies for the inaccuracy of the date below, which should have been 06-05-2019. Interest in extending a metaphor should never interfere with accuracy of data.

For 0325-0535/06-06-2019, 75 years after Allied forces crossed the Channel, pretty much garble and static-- with a few exceptions -- crossed the Yard, Road, and Dispatcher Channels of PAS. The first bits of clarity came at 0345 with a 3-way involving D-3, ED-9, FI-2, and East Side.
At 0354, the 333 WLs were all at Stop, a crewed 22K with NSs 9717, 7570, and 9811 -- the trailers again nose to nose -- followed by racks outta sight around the bend. A few later, all -- ELs and 1 stagger -- was read at 334, wells to the west and east. In another couple, D-3 OKd 22K to Derby, apparently any possible congestion at FG having been cleared. There would be bursts of Dispatcher Channel static, Mount Wachusett now in a relative position to be obstructionist. The 335 ELs and WLs were at Stop, but no EB marker -- more about which later -- was visible. Right around 0305, there was another static burst, the only intelligible reception being "Form D G304," more in the form of speculation about which later. At 0506 and from a slightly different position came a slightly clearer POED-with-the-5966/D-3 exchange, D-3 asking for a repeat of everything after the tonnage. The continuing change in position cost hearing either the POED or D-3 repeat. To save suspense, there was no further POED news observed or heard by me. 0413 would produce more scratchiness from D-3 to ED-9, and yes, more about which later.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were and would -- at least for longer than I was there -- remain dark. Yard 4 was FP-FP with general west and racks east, with a bit shorter ditto for Yard 2. There were racks on Yard 1 without interior reflections west of the switch and a pair of reflection-less racks on the Extension. Mebbe a local would be taking rack loads back west after ED-9 or POED opened up some space. Also, anyone expecting changes for the House or southerly Heywood should dial down the optimism a tad.
The post-offering straight shot down Da Hill produced several static salvos, 0431 finally producing somebody saying, "AY-3's coming in first. OK, got you, " followed in a minute by "AY-4, ahead." and followed in another minute by darkness on the 333 WLs.
Further east and after a refueling stop, the 330.8 WBs showed a Stop for 1 and Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL at Slow Clear and darkness at the GL and FG WLs.
At 0448, ED-9 gave their 1x56, 2023 tons, and 3740' update, D-3 advising them that they'd hold at Wachusett cuz EDPO was going through Gardner. To show the mutability of plans -- even mine to watch the ED-9 parade from the used car lot just east of the FG ELs -- ED-9 stopped pulling outta East Side, advised D-3 that they had gone into emergency, and that the C would be taking a walk. D-3 next advised that the Chief advised that they would tie down there and cab back to Ayer, ED-9 responding that they'd advise when they were ready. ED-9's power? Dunno -- they stopped far enough east and far enough west to be be fully obstructed by the fully-leafed trees between them and me. At 0455, an unobstructed and dark NewBlue 381 was sitting in the FI-1/2 parking spot.
At 0457, D-3 would roger that Q427 had tied down at Pine Hill Road, the timing appropriate for them having been the recipients of the earlier Form D G304, and at 0501, the EB staggers for Derby would show a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, 22K's marker a bit to the east. Dunno how far east 400 and others would be going on the 1.
Static on the rest of the trip would occasionally be interrupted by clarity from AY-4, naught further having been heard to, from or about AY-3, and naught at all having been heard to from, or about AYPO, even from D-2.

OT, but a source of gratitude for those of us with non-telltale names was in a human interest 06-06 story on BBC Radio this ayem. A British father wishing to mark the date had named his just-born son D-Day. It wasn't the unusual name that caused problems, but any half-smart bartender or older-than-him woman would know just how young D-Day was for too long a time.
  by jaymac
For 0325-0515/06-07-2019, more was heard than seen, starting at 0326 with a both-sides-garbled FI-2/D-3 exchange and followed at 0327 by the 7.8 talker announcing that it was checking train. 0330 was when no defects got announced, producing the possibility of a light-power move. 5 later, naught was visible either side of the Temple Street/Rte. 140/MP X7.8 crossing, nor would anything be visible in another few near the Oakdale OHB. To jump ahead, at around 0447, D-3 would ask Q426 when they entered DCS, repeating 0303 and making it seem probable that it was Q426 earlier. Given the normal transit times between Burncoat and Ayer, I had stopped listening before a fulfillment woulda been called.
0339 was when D-3 answered AY-3, advising that 22K was going through AY to start yarding, so AY-3 would be waiting, more about AY-3 to follow. 0356 was when the 333 WLs were dark, as would be things at 334 and 335. Yard, Dispatcher, and Road Channel garble -- thanks to Mount Wachusett's bulk -- would prevail.
Up Da Hill, the 345 ELs and WLs were at Stop, a presumed ED-9 sitting dark on 2 down by West Switch. The leader's ID was obscured by foliage to the south and a Pratt's building to the north, but the trailer was KCIR 7542. There were general west and racks east, the marker across from the old platform Things would be quiet while I was there, so I'm guessing it was a decrew, the new crew having a buncha yard tracks to lift. The racks on Yard 1 had no interior reflections, so also guessing that FI-1 or an AY local would be later hauling 22K's PW racks back west. The Sameoldsameold Ledger entries continued to be the House's brush-cutter and the southerly Heywood's untucked stone.
Post offering and late into the straight shot east, D-3 offered AY-3 the option at 0427 of tying down on the Camp, AY-3 opting to tie down at the Milling, and D-3 calling a cab for the Pine Tree.Almost immediately, D-2 called out to EDPO with the 7541, naught further immediately heard. At 0432, the 333 WLs were dark, and just TT east/compass north, new signage was seen, light coming sooner these days. What had been Newark and then Caraustar was now Greif, the sale -- per the web -- having taken place in December. The new signage? Dunno. Also dunno if Newark Avenue will ever get renamed. D-2 called out to POED again at 0434, just before I entered a Zombie Zone, so hoonose?
Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, the 330 2 WL at Slow Approach, the GL and FG WLs being dark. At 0439, FI-2 reached out to D-3, and by 0441, the plan was for FI-2-- having taken their 1 MT outta a lined-and-locked-normal Plastican -- to head to Derby ahead of 400 and then begin their runaround. At 0443, the FI-1/2 parking spot was predictably MT, but there was a tamper and mebbe more in the old layover. At 0449, the EB staggers for Derby showed a Stop for 1 and Approach that changed to Clear on 2, FI-2 apparently in the clear for 400. There were also loose old ties to the west and a few new ties to the east on the RVJ stub.
0459 was when AY-4 emerged clear from the garblers, asking for the 3 to be dropped and to take things ahead. The last clear words would go to AY-4, but naught was heard to, from, or about POAY or AYPO.
  by jaymac
For 0325-0515/06-10-2019, things were more on the audio than the visual front, starting at 0329 when D-3 rogered that 22K's new crew was on board and that when ✻something lost✻ happened, he'd get them going. To save suspense, naught further -- directly -- was heard to, from, or about 22K.
More garble would follow, then a clear "We're working on it" at 0347. 0350 brought more garble, "AYPO" only escaping alone in clarity. 0354 was the start of a series of sometimes clear and sometimes broken exchanges between D-3 and Q426, 426 generally being clearer than D-3. At 0356, the 333 WLs were dark, and at 0357, the D-3/426 convo continued, involving tying down at MCI Crossing and would there be enough time for a power swap and what CSXT's plans for the 426 crew might or might not be. More about 426 will follow.
The 334s and 335s had been dark, and the 345s were, as well. At 0408, AY-4 got the word to back up, and at 0410, D-3 OKd AY-3 west on signal indication to drop cars on South Track. At 0411, D-3 would fulfill Form D G302 to CSXT 3474, 426 being east and clear of MP X25.To save even more suspense, these would be the last clearly IDable receptions to, from, or about 426, AY-3, and AY-4. Yard 1 had covered hoppers west of the switch, and Yard 2 had loaded racks from the MART garage west. Yard 4 was a guess, both cuzza the racks and cuzza the TT making a delivery to the Jade and occupying the prime viewing spot for the easterly end of 4. No over-the-weekend changes for either the House or southerly Heywood were visible.
The post-offering and straight-shot trip EB featured a TC 11508/D-3 exchange about foul time, that being granted on 1 between FG and Derby until 0450 at 0424, with additions about a platform problem, the Radio Room being notified, all freights having gone by, and Keolis running on 2 for possibly more foul time.
At 0429, the 333 WLs were dark, and further east the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, the 330 2 WL at Slow Approach. The GL and FG WLs were dark, and at 0441, solo and dark NewBlue 381 was in the FI-1/2 parking spot. and the old layover tracks seemed MT.
At 0445, D-2 would reach out to EDPO with the 7518 about tying down at 307 and a cab being sent. 3 minutes later, TC 11508 would give up the foul time, and at 0451, the EB staggers for Derby would show a Clear for 1 and Approach for 2. Dunno what that might mean for the 400 who would supposed be on 2 in another 10 or so.
Naught else was clear for the balance of the trip.
  by jaymac
For 0325-0520/06-12-2019, the key and unifying them was -- at least for visual input -- the right places at the wrong times. Audio input was distinctly lacking early on, only AMTK, and Keolis Bostons East and West offering proofs that the scanner was working.
The 0356 arrival at 333 showed the WLs at Stop and 22K EB, the headlights doing just that to the masts of the 333 ELs. Not being one to resist shiny objects, a trip east to Depot Street was undertaken, where 3 unIDable Ponies, 23 racks and 108 +/- well and table positions -the rear 1/4 MTs -- were east at 0405. A straight shot west to 335 was taken, things there being dark.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were dark, and as a hedzup, it seems paving in and around the Timpany Boulevard rotary soon will be complicating driving. At 0414, D-3 advised 22K that the something 22K had asked about was in process and that he'd bring 22K up to Derby, more about which later. Yard 1 had 3 loaded racks just west of the switch and another rack load and covered hopper were on the Extension, the rest being wide open, almost. The brush-cutter was still on the House and the untucked stone was still on the southerly Heywood.
Radio silence was a feature of the post-offering and straight-shot EB trip until 0433 and a D-3?EDPO exchange when it was revealed that "2500" was the answer to D-3's question. At 0434, the 333 WLs were on at with a Medium Clear for the Controlled Siding, too much in advance for 400 to be the shunter. Would EDPO soon be coming to a stop on 2, 2500 being less the the 4000' maximum for 2 between the 335 WL and 334 EL? No: The 333 WLs went dark at 0435. At 0436, the D-3 side of a convo with AY-3 repeated that AY-3 was ready to go back to the Hill Yard, D-3 adding, "Here we go." Naught further would be heard to, from, or about AY-3.
Further east. the 330.8 WBs, 330 WLs, GL WLs, and FG WLs were all at Stop, EDPO's marker east of FG on 1 at 0446, the same time the FI-1/2 parking spot looked MT thru the gaps in EDPO's boxes. EDPO's faster-than-me marker was east of the Main Street/Rte. 13 UGB at 0451 and east of the EB 1 stagger for Derby at 0452. @22K's marker, however, was still still, just E or just W of the 2 EB stagger and contributing to the all-red illumination.
I wish I could report that I heard a 40.2 report for EDPO, but I didn't. But what I did hear at 0456 was D-3 ask Q427 if they had made the pick-up (?!) at Clinton, rogering whatever the response was. At 0501, D-3 would reach out again to 427. If there was an immediate response I didn't hear it, but at 0509, 427 advised D-3 that they were west and clear of Burncoat, D-3 fulfilling Form D G302 to CSXT 3367, also at 0509. There would be discussions about changes in hazmat locations following the Clinton pick-up, 427 now garbled to me, followed by a discussion of the Clinton West Switch -- now lined and locked normal -- needing adjustment and giving the hazmat update at 0512. Never heard if 427 would continue west or tie down.
At 0513, D-3 told EDPO that they'd hold at Wagon Wheel, D-2 not being able to handle them. AYPO mebbe?
If you're wondering why AY-4 hasn't been yet mentioned, that's cuz the 0517 "AY-4, 65" was the first I heard from them.
  by jaymac
First, thanks for the migration!
For 0324-0520/06-17-2019 -- the first post-migration Gardner Gawking post -- the pattern of early radio silence sure was different. At 0324, AY-5 said something to D-3 about it being a transfer test and both sides would have to be walked, followed almost immediately by 22K being told it was 5 to go. Things were of a different quantity at 0328 when 22K's to-go was upped to 40, 4-0, so the big shove seemed to have started.
Also at 0328, D-3 began a series of attempted convos with AY-3 and the 7595, calling out to them frequently and even saying at 0335 that he could hear them, but if they couldn't hear him to call him on the phone.The 0337 attempt went better, D-3 asking if AY-3 was in the clear and wanted authority to enter. That was made official at 0338 with authority to enter 1 and proceed west to WL.
In the meantime, D-2 had given a 0333 and broken-to-me 241 to POED with the 7500 at 309. and D-3 had a one-sided-to-me convo with AY-6, followed at 0347 by a now-garbled reach-out to AY-6, this amidst a small storm of ongoing Yard Channel garble, some car countdowns being clear but unattributable.
At 0359, the 333 WLs were dark, as would be the 334s and 335s, and at 0400, D-3 confirmed AY-3's transmission that things were lined and locked normal for 1.
Even the 345s. were dark. At 0409 came "AYPO 7517," a 1-time-only reception. Yard 1 had loaded racks clear of the switch and west to the Pratt yard. There was general on 2 and 4, mostly covered hoppers with a coupla tanks and an MT centerbeam. If Gardner had been gawked on 06-14, the Sameoldsameold Ledger entries would have continued to be the continuing brush-cutter on the House and the untucked stone on the southerly Heywood. The post-offering straight shot EB was quiet until 0425 when D-3 241d AY-3 1 east to 1 at AY, and at 0429, the 333 WLs were again dark.
Further east and after refueling, the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, the 330 2 WL at Slow Approach. At 0449 and while I was in the Kimball Street Zombie Zone, D-3 had given AY-3 a broken permission to reverse from wherever they stood, but slightly more favorable topography by St. Bernard's between the dark GL and FG WLs permitted hearing him hedzup AY-3 that AY-4 was working in the yard, narrowing it down to west end end after checking with AY-4, the probable source of earlier broken receptions.
At 0447, NewBlue 381 was sitting dark and solo, and the the old layover tracks seemed MT while 7 minutes later, the EB staggers for Derby maintained the darkness motif. At 0458, AY-4's transmissions would become clearly attributable. At 0503, there was Dispatcher Channel garble, "telemetry change" being clear. AYPO and/or POED? Dunno.
The last clarity came at 0520 -- "AY-4, drop the 3 and back them up."
During the nearly 2 hour period, naught was heard to, from, or about Q426/7. Mebbe the he 0324 transfer test transmission from AY-5 might qualify inferentially. Dunno again.
  by jaymac
For 0325-0320/06-19-2019, fogginess -- on the ground and in the air and in the airwaves -- was the key and unifying theme. There would be occasional static spurts, St. Albans at 0330 and Boston West at 0340 offering the early proofs that the scanner was actually working.
A dark 22K with NSs 9269, 9283, and 7502 was sitting on 1 just west of the 333 1 WL at 0354, the Medium Clear showing that plans were to cross to 2 ahead of 400. A few minutes invested gave no sign of an imminent departure, so it was time for a jaymac departure. The 334 ELs and 1 stagger were all at Stop, as were the 335 ELs and WLs, the blinking red of 22K's marker a few feet west of the EL. And no, the tie-handler had not left its place in the 335 lot. In between 334 and 335, there had been a coupla spurts of garble on the Dispatcher Channel. Dunno if D-2 or D-3 or even a grounded C or U.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were and would remain dark for the drive-through duration. There were -- no surprise -- loaded racks on 1 from the Pratt yard to just onto Yard Lead, at least 1 tank on the Extension, general -- and mebbe racks -- on Yard 2, and racks -- and mebbe general -- on Yard 4. There were no changes for either the brush-cutter or untucked stone.
Just after the offering, D-3 acknowledged that somebody -- AY-3 or AY-5? -- was lined and locked normal at the old Ford plant (?) and would be going in West Wye. There was also some D-3 garble while EB a bit west of Aubuchon's, mebbe for west 354, and at 0434, the 333 WLs were dark, 22K having gotten east.
Further in that direction, the 330.8 WBs were both at Clear, meaning that the 330 WLs would be -- and were -- at Stop. The GL and FG WLs were dark, but -- as timing would have it -- a WB with unseen power was at track speed through East Fitchburg, revealing KCIR 5974 dark and solo in the the FI-1/2 parking spot at 0445. There'll be more about the WB in a bit, but the Irving and other wrapped centerbeams gave at least some weight to it being a POED.
The old layover tracks also seemed MT.
At 0452, the EB staggers for Derby showed an Approach for 1 and Stop for 2, 22K's marker also showing on 2. A minute later, somebody scratchily called out to D-3, adding in another minute that they were doing 16 up Da Hill. The WB's increasing distance increased the garble, but the words "another engine" did emerge clearly. D-3's response didn't, however, so no idea what mighta developed.
At 0457, the words "AY-4, 6" were both loud and clear, leading to a continued countdown, request for a 3-step, and variations on that theme would be repeated heard until the 0520 end of listening, yet another 3-step being the last words.
Unheard words included anything to, from, or, about Q426/7 and AYPO/POAY.
  by jaymac
The intermittent rain, fog, and gloom of 0325-0515/06-21-2019 kinda undercut this being the first day of summer, even if only of the calendar variety.
Early proof of scanner functionality fell to the St. Albans dispatcher ~0430, followed by unattributable static eruptions on the VRS channels. PAS clarity came at 0438 when AY-3 reached out to the Ayer U, advising that they were coming in with 9 and were looking for a place to park. The Ayer U continued to be the focus of attention when D-3 almost immediately gave him a hedzup that 22K was coming through Fitchburg. D-3 would have more to say, but my changing position had changed the relative position of Mount Wachusett, so content got lost.
At 0354, the 333 WLs were dark, but in a display of the random nature of gawking, the 334 ELs and 1 stagger were at Stop cuz of an EB -- mebbe 3, but unIDable KCIRs plus 52 -- getting east of the 1 stagger at 0400. Included in the mix were boxes with 1 Smurf and 1 Big G, full-size covered hoppers, a white tank, a sheet-steel flat, and enough MT centerbeams to bring smiles to Maine/Maritimes suppliers of building materials, the last item strongly suggesting that this was an EDPO. Naught further would be directly seen of or heard -- to, from, or about -- the EB, but there will be a later supposition.
The 335s were dark, as would be the 345s for the duration of the Gardner drive-through. Yard 4 was just about FP-FP with racks, ditto Yard 2 for general, and Yard 1 had rack loads from the Pratt yard east onto the Yard Lead. The Sameoldsameold Ledger entries continued to be the sameoldsameold boiler plate -- brush-cutter for the House and untucked stone for the southerly Heywood.
Post-offering and on the EB straight shot, the first intelligible reception was AY-4 doing a car countdown at 0424, andt 0429, the 333 WLs were dark. Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, and the 330 WLs were both at Stop, a break in the usual pattern. The GL WLs were dark, so was the earlier EB stopped on 2 at FG? No, the FG WLs were dark.
Also dark and also solo and west-facing was KCIR 5974 in the FI-1/2 parking spot at 0443. No idea what might or might not have been in the old layover. 22K was now clearly heard as a member of the Hill Yard Chorus, both 22K and AY-4 giving voice without stepping on each other.
In even more randomness, at 0450, the EB staggers for Derby showed a Stop for 1 and Approach for 2, 1 then going to Approach, and both next going dark.
The EB had been 18 miles west 50 minutes earlier, so mebbe an intervening crew change? Dunno. As mentioned earlier, never heard. Also -- and no surprise -- never heard any 40.2 report, although mebbe they'd gotten a hold at Catecunemaug.
The 22K/AY-4 chorus would continue, AY-4's 0515 car countdown the last words heard.
Completely unheard -- again -- was anything to, from, or about Q426/7 and AYPO/POAY
  by jaymac
For 0325-0550/06-24-2019, there were numbers of unusual things, among them Gardner being umgawked.
Static eruptions were the early soundtrack, including Road Channel garble at 0348, the E telling the C or U for AY-? that 3-step had been applied, and then "AY-5" and naught else at 0350.
At 0353, the 333 Wls were at Stop, and at 0354, they went dark. 22K or EDPO? Probably not, cuz in a few, the 334 ELs and 1 stagger were at Stop and a marker a bit west. Reds ruled at 335 with racks on 1 on the State Road/Rte. 2A UGB and slow EB general coming up to the ELs. A quick 2A-east-to-31-south straight shot was made back to the 333 WLs, and while there was noise to the west, the WLs stayed dark. There was, however radio noise -- "POED, drop the 3." -- at 0409, prompting a return to 335.
At 0415, POED with the 7545 -- the AYPO leader in Alan Marshall's http://photos.nerail.org/s/?p=251523 of 06-22 -- said something about 335 and then back to the train. POED called west and clear of 335 and was 241d Single east to 1 at 0421, the train back together at 0424. D-3 had obviously been talking to POED, but I dunno on what antenna cuz I wouldn't hear a single word outta D-3 until 0515 when he called out to AY-4. I did, however hear D-2 241 LA-2. In the meantime, the power was somewhere between the WLs and the layover, and the 335 WLs were showing a Stop for the Single and a Medium Approach Slow for the Layover Lead.
At 0445, 400's equipment was east with 3 flats, 1 bi, and mosquito-killer 1071, making repeated noise for POED. At 0447, POED advised that they were ready with new info whenever D-3 was ready to copy, giving 7545, 7523, 7620, 3402, 3400, and 7627 as the power, adding that the hazmat positions were unchanged, the marker was armed, and acknowledging whatever D-3 had just said about 345. POED was on the move at 0451, getting west with 45 racks on the tail at 0456. Dunno, but guessing that a POED/ED-9 marriage mebbe had just taken place at 335. Also, a bit before POED was west, a badly broken "AYPO" and naught immediately further was hear over Yard Channel.
Yes, an offering of thanks was made at The Shrine Of The Deity Of The CPF-333 Dunks, the immediate reward being darkness on the 333 WLs. Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, Stops being on the 330 WLs. The GL WLs were dark, as were the FG WLs. The previously noted D-3 reach-out to AY-4 got its content garbled by the Summer Street Zombie Zone, and at 0517, KCIR 5974 was dark and solo in the FI-1/2 parking spot.
The EB staggers for Derby? Dunno -- the RVJ lot was busy, and full foliage blocked the view along Nashua Street.
AY-4 would be the IDable source of audio input for the balance of the trip, with naught being heard to, from, or about 22K, EDPO, POAY, AY-3, and Q426/7.

Edited to amend my omission that 400 had meade noise for POED.
  by jaymac
For 0325-0525/06-26-2019, the foggy, hazy visuals were matched on the audio front, D-3 being a notable non-presence.
There were only occasional and unattributable spurts of static until the 0353 arrival at the dark 333s WLs. 3 minutes later and over at 334, the ELs were at Stop, but the 1 stagger was dark, as would be the 335s in another 3.
After a quiet climb of Da Hill, the 345s were dark for the short stay. Yard 1 had loaded racks from the Pratt yard onto the Extension, Yard 2 had more racks, and Yard 4 coulda had some obscured cars. Unobscured were the brush-cutter on the House and the untucked stone on the southerly Heywood.
The post-offering trip EB was remarkably quiet, only one exceptionally brief spurt of static. The trip EB was not, however, a straight shot. the 335 ELs were dark at 0424 as was the 334 1 stagger at 0427, the ELs still at Stop. Dunno if display arrangements mights been changed or if there might be equipment issues. 3 after that, the 333 WLs were again dark.
Further east and after a refueling stop, the 330.8 WBs showed a Stop for 1 and a Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL at Slow Clear and the GL and FG WLs dark. At 0449, 2 east-facing and separated KCIRs were were sitting dark on East Side, 7581 to the west and 5930 to the east. Any good view of the old layover's tracks is getting obscured by the regrowth of vegetation just south of the barrier along the Summer Street sidewalk.
0456 was noteworthy cuzza a clear "AY-4, 30" being heard, an Approach Limited for 1 and Stop for 2 on the EB staggers for Derby, and -- wait for it -- a covered hopper on the RVJ stub just east of the the small new-tie pile. Didn't see and didn't hear if there might be something further west on 2 that seemed to have 400 on 1 until Derby.
At 0500, a breaking 400 called out to D-3, but no D-3 response was heard, mebbe cuzza AY-4's car countdowns, a continuing occurrence. At 0522, there was more breakage from 400, something about a Line 12, followed by their being ready for a Form D, For the next 3, AY-4 would sometimes be heard, but no Form D.
Unheard was anything to, from, or about EDPO, POED, ED-9, AYPO, POAY, AY-3, and Q426/7. Although D-3 had been unheard, Bostons E&W, NECR, and AMTK had been clear and then locked out.
If anyone knows anything about D-3's radio that might stop me from applying 2-lb. hammer therapy to mine, I'd appreciate it.
  by jaymac
First, a hedzup to those w/ longer posts and/or posts with heavy editing or proofing: Save your drafts. I didn't and mine apparently timed out, so had to be redone.

For 0325-0545/06-28/2019, reception of D-3 was almost back to normal. There were the earlier and expectable spurts of static with a 0344 D-3 reach-out to POED -- slightly compromised by Mount Wachusett -- advising of 0x32 on 4 in Gardner, mebbe something about 2, and 22K having left 1 rack on 1.
At 0355, the 333 WLs were dark, and 3 later and serving as today's illustration of the caution to expect a train on any track in any direction at any time, the just-mentioned 22K -- power and racks unseen -- was EB at 334, getting east at 0401. D-3 would give 1-to-2-to-3 yarding instructions, adding that there would be a Utility and cab to assist. the 334 1 stagger went dark at 0403, the ELs staying lit at Stop, On the way over to the 335s and at 0405, there was more D-3 garble -- thanks again, Mount Wachusett -- to POED. The dark 335s kinda led to the conclusion that the new order of things is for the 334 ELs -- and mebbe WL -- to be constant-on.
There was some more static up on the way Up Da Hill, and a message board advised using Exit 23 -- Pearson Boulevard -- cuz Exit 22 --Timpany Boulevard -- would be closed on 07-02, presumably for the long-prepped for paving.
The 345s were and would remain dark during the drive-through. As advised, 4 was FP-FP with racks west and general east. Among the general were a few shorties, so mebbe there's a cement consignee to the south. There was a solo rack at the Yard Lead/Extension switch, and there could been a black tank south of the rack. The brush-cutter on the House and the untucked stone on the southerly Heywood kept the Sameoldsameold Ledger unamended.
The post-offering and straight-shot trip EB did feature some static, and then at 0428, D-3 asked FI-2 to stand by, and then gave a garbled -- Mount Wachusett again -- 241 to someone from somewhere to the OOS track, getting back to FI-2 and saying whatever they said was correct.
At 0433, the 333 WLs were again dark, and in another couple, D-3 241d TC 11508 from Camp east to Main Street, asking them to call east and clear when they were on the siding so their Form D could be cancelled. Coulda happened while transiting Zombie Zones, but never heard. D-3 also asked if the foreman was restoring the crossings.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and a Stop for 2, the 330 2 WL at Slow Approach, the impact of that routing for 400 to be seen. The GL WLs were dark, and a couple later, FI-2 started car countdowns. The FG WLs showed a Stop for 1 and Restricting for 2 and then darkness,
There were dark KCIRs sitting WB just onto Freight Main East, and the FI-1/2 parking spot was MT at 0449, ditto -- most likely -- for the old layover. My EB journey got reversed at at 0451 when POED called out to D-3 who asked them to stand by. By the time I was getting WB, so was POED, evidently having gotten a favorable signal. The 9-for-9 reds on the 330 ELs were unfavorable, and POED with KCIRs 7609, 7517, and 7528 came to a stop before 400 came to their stop on the Controlled Siding after crossing over and the 330 2 EL now going to Clear. 400 with 4 flats, 1 bi, and the 1171 was east at 0502, and blocked an accurate car-count for POED. The 20 +/- had paper-service tanks, boxes that included a Big G, MT centerbeams, and 3 stories on the tail, all west of the ELs at 0503.
When I was back EB, the FG WLs were back to dark, but given the earlier Clear on the 1 WL, 400 was probably a straight shot on 1 through Ayer, no yarding sounds having been heard from 22K, though AY-4 had been and would stay busy. At 0509, the FI-1/2 parking spot was now occupied by sharp-looking NewBlue 5936. Dunno how long that cab roof stays white, given GE dust.
Summer and North Streets -- to the sorrow of shock-absorber installers -- are now fully repaved, though still work zones, and at 0515, the EB staggers for Derby would be dark, and a solo covered hopper would again be on the RVJ stub.
With all that had been heard, naught had been heard to, from or about AY-3, Q426/7, or POAY/AYPO. ~0530, a breaking D-2 would say something to someone about a marker, but coulda involved a local.
  by jaymac
The 0322-0535-07-01-2019 time slot was one of MT spaces, as will be seen. The 0322 point of precision was when D-3 called out to FI-2, no deets heard, but speculation to follow. As has become pattern, only occasional and unattributable static eruptions would come over the scanner. At 0351, the 333 WLs were dark, bat -- as again has become pattern -- the 334 ELs would be at Stop and the 1 stagger dark.
In another few, the 335 ELs were at Stop, and it seemed there might be noise to the west There was no change in volume after a coupla minutes, and and after a slight WB trip,it looked through the foliage like the 335 WLs were dark. They musta been cuz the return to the lot showed the ELs also now dark. A WB? A later wait at Gardner produced extended darkness on the 345s, so mebbe my flawless timing had me going west while FI-2 had been going east. Dunno. The noise was probably wind-direction-augmented power over at the layover.
The trip up Da Hill was quiet, and the 345s were and would remain dark until at least the 0435 departure, kinda ruling out the WB guess. There were a few general on the westerly end of Yard 4 and the rack on the Yard Lead plus the black tank just south, as noted on 06-28.
The EB straight-shot trip had no clear receptions, and a decision to try to stay ahead of 400 for however long had me bypass the the dark 333 WLs at at 0444. Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Stop for 1 and a Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL at Slow Approach and the GL and FG WLs dark. At 0455, there had been a clear "AY-4, on the pin," AY-4 again being an intermittent constant for the balance of the trip.
At 0456, NewBlue 5936 was dark and solo in the The FI-1/2 parking spot, and sitting a bit east and also on East Side were WB KCIRs 7655 and 7622 plus covered hoppers and whatever else. POED or ED-9? Dunno.
At 0500, D-3 was mebbe involved in some Yard Channel garble, and at 0503, the EB staggers for Derby were dark and a solo covered hopper again sat on the RVJ stub. 0506 was when the staggers showed a Clear for 1 and Approach for 2, 400 with a total of 4 flats and 1 bi plus the 2020 dropping the 1 at 0509. One more pattern was the absence of hearing any 40.2 report for the 400 during the expectable time-window, AY-4 not re-announcing their presence until 0515 in a Channel 2 exchange with D-3, advising they were clear, D-3 acknowledging and then AY-4 again back to business.
The 0525 transit of the Temple Street/Rte. 140/ MP X7.8 crossing showed shiny wear-surfaces, so something had been through since the 06-30 and/or very early 07-01 rains, but naught had been heard to, from, or about Q426/7. Added to the unheards should be 22K (no racks save the solo at Gardner), AYPO/POAY, and -- again -- AY-3.
  by jaymac
For 0320-0520/07-03-2019, the slightly earlier start yielded -- like the B&M at its close -- no dividends, the first clarity coming at 0346, "AY-3" followed by garble with only "West Side" and "lined and locked normal" intelligible.
At 0349, the 333 WLs were dark, and in turn the 334 ELs at Stop and the 1 stagger dark, the 335s following that example. There was some noise on the way up Da Hill, but naught intelligible.
The 345s were and would remain dark. While the paving for the Timpany Boulevard rotary area seemed complete, it looks like curb-setting will be done, but the message board that had been to the east was elsewhere, so probably no shutdowns. Yard 4 was pretty much FP-FP with racks, Yard 2 had a good amount of general -- MT centerbeams included -- west and racks -- also MTs -- east, and the Extension still had a solo black tank. The southerly Heywood's stone was still untucked, and the brush-cutter was still on the House, but further west than before, so mebbe it'd been active.
The post-offering straight-shot EB had some static eruptions and then a clear AY-4 call to D-3 at 0423, followed by another at 0424 with Channel 2 as a specification. I can't always get D-3 on Channel 2 from a distance, so dunno if he actually responded or put in a signal, but at 0425 came "AY-4, back."
At 0428, the 333 WLs were dark, and further east and after a refueling stop, the 330.8 WBs showed a Stop for 1 and Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL at Slow Clear. The GL and FG WLs were dark, and at 0444, dark, solo, and west-facing NewBlue 5936 was making the FI-1/2 parking spot look good. 0445 was when D-3 was heard calling out to AY-3, but while I was still in the Summer Street/North Street Zombie Zone, so further developments got lost.
At 0451, the EB staggers for Derby showed a Stop for 1 and Clear for 2, and a solo covered hopper was on the RVJ stub. The plan was to invest some time in case there would be WB on 1. Like too many investment plans, this, too, came to naught. At 0453, the 1 went to Approach and then both went dark. EDPO or a Keolis work move? Dunno. No surprise, but I never heard a report from the 40.2 during the possible time window.
At 0504, somebody called out to D-3, but AY-4's car countdowns mighta interfered with my hearing what the subject/s might be.
22K, Q426/7, POAY/AYPO, POED/EDPO? Dunno. Again.

A good Fourth and a safe Fourth!
  by jaymac
For 0325-0540/07-05-2019, there was -- as will be seen later -- more proof of the maxim to expect a train on any track at any time in any direction.
Things were -- static excepted -- generally quiet until 0348 when an air compressor clearly came over the Yard Channel, garble then following.
At 0355, not only were the 333 WLs 9/9 red, but a marker was disappearing EB, as did I, but just quickly enough that I was able to see the 330 1 WL at Clear and get into the Bike Shop/Zeda's lot in time for KCIRs 7620, 7528, and 7489 plus 75 +/- getting east at 0405. There were shorties -- a solo Ciment Québec among the CEFXs -- in 2 cuts; full-size covered hoppers; a utility-pole bulkhead; Dunkley and Pacific Sierra wrapped centerbeams; scattered MT center beams; 2 Smurfs, 1 Big G, and 2 CPs among all the FBOXs; and placarded and non-placarded tanks. While the EB -- presumed and later confirmed as EDPO -- was passing in review, AY-5 with the 7533 advised D-3 they were ready to go at Fitchburg and had dropped the engine on Track 1.
Routine already disrupted, a straight shot WB on Rte. 2 A was made to Westminster, the 335s being dark and "AY-4, 3-step" being clear at 0415.
Up Da Hill, as has been pattern lately, the 345s were and would remain dark for during my presence. Yard 4 was FP-FP with racks, Yard 2 had general -- mostly covered hoppers -- from the Pratt yard east, a pair of racks on the east. The Sameoldsameold Ledger entries included the southerly Heywood's untucked stone, the House's brush-cutter, and the Extension's black tank.
The soundtrack for the post-offering and straight-shot EB was Yard Channel garble, AY-4 being clear a couple times. At 0439, the 333 WLs were on the Medium Clear for the Controlled Siding now breaking the earlier unanimity. 1 and 2 were MT, but earlier than pattern, 400 was already at the platform, my decision being to keep ahead of same for however long.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, the 330 2 WL at Slow Clear. The GL and FG WLs were dark, and at 0453, the FI-1/2 parking spot was MT, but further east and on West Side was NewBlue 5936. Dunno it was just sitting there or was the power that AY-5 had earlier told D-3 they had moved.
Anyone guessing that shorties might be seen sitting on 1 at the Main Street/Rte. 13 UGB deserves a self-congratulatory trip to the nearest Shrine Of The Deity Of Whatever Location Dunks And/Or Other Purveyor. The Derby EB staggers showed an Approach for 1 and Clear for 2, and a covered hopper was still on the RVJ stub. 400 had been making repeated noise for the stopped EDPO as they approached the platform. 4 flats and 1 bi plus the 1117 got on the move and dropped the 2 stagger at 0507, an Approach coming on at 0509.
At 0514 came the sound "EDPO," the 1 going to Clear. EDPO got loud and on the move at 0515 and dropped the 1 at 0518, the marker getting east of the EBs at 0518. While EDPO was providing me with their second passage in review, AY-3 got on the air with a car countdown, though not sure from where.
What didn't get on the air -- at least as far as me -- was the 40.2. The radio was quiet either side of when the 400 wouldt be going through and was only a bit busier for when EDPO woulda been transiting. Also among the unheards were convos to, from, or about POED, ED-9, 22K (no loaded racks in Gardner), AYPO/POAY, and Q426/7.
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