• 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
 
0455-0650/01-22-2021 (whew, punched in the right year, unlike on 01-20) was a bit quieter than some trips, starting at the start with D-3 wishing POED good morning -- recrew? -- and then advising they'd have a FMW pickup when they got to Fitchburg. The sounds that followed were somebody's -- probably AY-4's, given later receptions -- car countdowns.
At 0504, D-3 would advise POED that the pickup would be 1x53, garble again to follow. To save suspense naught further would be heard by me to, from, or about POED, and naught would be seen. The car countdowns would now become attributable to AY-4.
At 0514, a Q427/D-3 convo would start, the puzzling part being that while mostly-intelligible 427 was west and clear of Burncoat, I was about 1/2 mile south of Sterling Center on Rte.12, surprising propagation for a loco transmitter at that distance. D-3 would fulfill Form D G303 to CSXT (?)820 and call himself out. ~0415, X7.8 crossing noise had been heard inside my home.
Hash intermittency was ongoing, and at 0332, the 333 WLs were dark, the expectable Stops for the 334 ELs and darkness for the 334 1 stagger and 335s as expected.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were dark and the yard MT. The 1 optimist in the Jade lot would -- given persistence -- get to see POED highball the westerly end of Royalston Hill.
More hash would get served on EB leg of the trip, and at 0557, the 333 WLs were dark. Further east, the 330.8 WBs showed a Stop for 1 and a Clear for 2, the 330 1 WL at Slow Approach. The GL WLs were dark, and a swing by the platform showed 9/9 red on the 330 ELs, so no route was in for POED.
The FG WLs were also dark, and favorable 0610 conditions permitted the reception of "AY-4, 5" immediate additional receptions being of variable quality. At 0612, KCIR 5956 was dark, solo, and east-facing in the FI-1/2 parking spot, and if POED were there, then radio silence and cloaking devices were in full effect.
At 0619, the EB staggers for Derby showed a Limited Approach for 1 and a Stop for 2. A wait of a coupla minutes produced nothing from the east, so I continued the trip. Dunno the who and where of the shunting source. Oh yeah, 4 company gons were still on the RVJ stub.
Variable-quality Yard Channel receptions would continue for the balance of my trip, AY-4 being the only clear attribution.
AY-3? AY-5? AYPO? 22K? Dunno.
  by arthur d.
 
jaymac wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:54 am I prefer to think of it as a preoccupation...
Well, we appreciate the news. Not much traffic here at MP 49 on the old Eastern division anymore. Good to know trains are still moving somewhere.
BTW, what's an FMW pickup?
  by jaymac
 
arthur d. wrote: BTW, what's an FMW pickup?
A pickup of cars from Freight Main West on the nominally WB side of East Fitchburg yard and 1 track north of Track 1.
  by jaymac
 
0300-0450/01-25-2021 -- yes, the Commonwealth has lifted travel restrictions -- was not the fullest of experiences, the 0300, 0305, and 0314 Dispatcher-side hash starting things off. Boston West's transmissions to a TC were the only other proof of scanner function until 0323 when D-3 and AY-3 engaged in a convo about being lined and locked for normal mainline movement, that followed with an FI-2/D-3 semi-clear exchange about swapping sides.
In case there was any doubt that it was the Milling switch under earlier discussion, D-3 241d AY-3 with the 7643 single west to 2 at 0330, the same time the 330 WLs were dark, the usual pattern of Stops for the 334 ELs and darkness for the 334 1 stagger and 335s holding.
Most of the way up Da Hill came the sounds of FI-2 letting D-3 know they needed the signal for the Main, devolution into hash following.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were and would remain dark. From the hardware company west, Yard 4 had occupants that included an MT flat, 1 rack, and covered hoppers. Jade lot optimists? 0.
There wasn't even hash on the EB leg of the trip. At 0357, the 333 WLs were dark, and then at 0401, D-3 reached out to AY-Hashed. Further east, the 330.8 WBs were both at Clear and the 330 WLs at Stop. The GL and FG WLs were dark, and at 0409 FI-2 with KCIR 5956 was hauling full-size and shortie covered hoppers outta East Side and up towards the FG WLs. From the sound of the convos, the cold was playing its usual tricks with couplers.
Post refueling stop and at 0426, the activity in the RVJ lot didn't block the view of the 4 company gons on the stub, and the view from Nashua Street seemed to indicate no indications on the EB staggers for Derby.
0431 produced "Track 10, AY-4," and then only occasional hash until 0449's "AY-4, drop the 3. Back 3 or 4 for a hitch." Car countdowns concluded with "AY-4, far enough" at 0450's end of listening.
22K? AYPO? Q426/7? AY-5? POED? Dunno.
I did get the chance to enjoy the darkness of School Zone signs.
  by jaymac
 
0253-0441/01-29-2021 had as its prelude the distant crossing noise heard inside my home around 0230, 0252 being when the X7.8 announced he was checking train, that followed by somebody's "far enough." There would then be no small amount of yarding activity, all now attributable to 22K. There was just a "POAY" mixed in, as well. To, from, or about? Dunno. There was so much radioactivity that I had wondered whether the X7.8 had gotten stepped on, but at 0300 came the no defects, and a minute later when I crossed the the crossing, a marker was EB a coupla hundred yards in the distance. 7 minutes transit time for 426? Were they that long? Musta been, cuz at 0304 cars were already on the Rtes. 12/140/X8.7 UGB. 0304 was also when AY-4 made their presence known, calling out 10 cars to a stop, the rest of their car countdowns unheard by me. What was heard was ongoing 22K activity, activity that will get a later comment.
At 0326, the 333 WLs were dark, the 334 ELs and 1 stagger and the 335s al the way they usually are.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were dark, and a small string of general sat on Yard 1 just west of the easterly Bull Run switch. Given the time, the 8° temperature, and the northwest winds strong enough to keep the Aubuchon flag nearly horizontal, realism musta outweighed optimism at the MT Jade lot.
On the EB leg of the trip and at 0353, D-3 started a convo with AY-3, Mount Wachusett mushing the first part of it. A couple later, D-3 confirmed that AY-3 was lined and locked for normal movement on the main, giving an OK on signal indication and calling himself out at 0355.
At 0356, the 333 WLs were dark, and further east, the 330.8 WBs were both a Clear and the 330 WLs and ELs all at Stop, the GL and FG WLs being dark. At 0409, the FI-1/2 parking spot was MT, and at 0414, the EB staggers for Derby were both at Approach and 4 company gons still sat on the RVJ stub.
0415 was when FI-2 explained the Approaches by informing D-3 they were all done at Plastican and wanted to leave their MTs, go to Derby and then FG for their runaround.
0421 was the start of a D-3/AY-3 convo about their runaround and and how many MTs they had, D-3 noting that it was 15 cars, but AY-3 was breaking up, D-3 next adding they'd go to West Main and AY-3's power would then head in at Moores and park on West Wye, 0425 being the the time of the 241 to AY-3 with the 7643 for 1 east to 1 at CPF-AY.
0432 initiated a series of AY-4 car countdowns, and 0441 was when D-3 gave AY-3 permission to reverse direction from where they stood and proceed west to CPF-AY.
BTW, "Wolf" is the name of our current full moon. AY-5 and POED? Dunno

Even casual readers are aware that I am no fan of the PAR/S commo system, but somethings of note happened this trip. 22K -- or at least the C or U doing the talking -- was pretty much audible and from some unusual places, like up Da Hill while I was in back of Chair City Oil and the Westminster, River, Summer, and North Street Zombie Zones. Dunno what the C or U was using, but it wasn't an unaided portable. To go all Oliver Twist, please, sir, may we have more?
  by neman2
 
wrote:"jaymac"Even casual readers are aware that I am no fan of the PAR/S commo system, but somethings of note happened this trip. 22K -- or at least the C or U doing the talking -- was pretty much audible and from some unusual places, like up Da Hill while I was in back of Chair City Oil and the Westminster, River, Summer, and North Street Zombie Zones. Dunno what the C or U was using, but it wasn't an unaided portable. To go all Oliver Twist, please, sir, may we have more?
As a frequent scanner monitor in the Ayer area I've noticed the signal from the yard repeater on 161.40 has been stronger this week. Maybe they performed a tune-up ?

For those of you who are unaware PAS installed a low power repeater in Ayer that retransmits the conductor or "Ayer utility" transmissions on 161.40. This helps when working the Hill yard where the conductor is in the yard and the engine is somewhere beyond Groton-Harvard rd.
  by jaymac
 
That would both make sense and also explain why I could hear from Gardner the person on the ground in Ayer. Curiously, the person in the cab got hashed.
  by jaymac
 
0300-0505/02-01-2021 started off with sounds of silence, an exception to be noted later. Boston West providied the earliest proof of scanner function at 0311, followed at 0320 by Dispatcher-side hash and at 0324 by somebody telling somebody else to drop the 3 and back on the pin.
At 0330 and when the 333 WLs were dark, FI-2 and D-3 would engage in a hashfest, D-3 OKing them on signal indication. Things were clearer at 0332 when D-3 acknowledged that AY-3 had a 9-car runaround and the Milling was lined and locked normal. Hash again became the mode, only Moores and West Main Street escaping. Yes, the 334 ELs were at Stop and the 334 1 stagger and 335s dark.
At 0339 and while I was not quite to Rte. 2 WB, the X7.8 talker came on, then garbled, and next said transmission over. I'd heard crossing noise while I was going to my car, so mebbe it was for Campground or South Meadow. It could also have been for Shrewsbury or Burncoat since I never heard a Form D fulfillment, but many are the places where such would not propagate.
At 0343, D-3 241d AY-3 with the 7643 from the Single west to 2 at 312, and the next reception came from the C of FI-3 -- yes, three -- telling the E to drop the 3. The 345 ELs and WLs were at Stop, and viewable from the car-service parking lot west of of Pratt was KCIR 7594 while the C was still walking the yard. 0348 was when the C advised the E that the switch was lined and locked normal and the derail down and to shove back. With the WB marker on 2 by the hardware store sat some general that included unplacarded tanks and BNSF covered hoppers. Yard 2 had general that included a good number of coil cars and covered hoppers on the east. Dunno if FI-3 had been dropping or setting off, and PD Gardner radioactivity didn't help, either.
At 0359, a breaking D-3 reached out to POED with what coulda been a 241, and at 0402, the 333 WLs were all at Stop, 22K being EB on 2.
Further east, 22K was EB on the westerly River Street UGB, the 330.8 WBs showed a Clear for 1 and Stop for 2, the 330 2 WL at Clear. NSs 6595, 6915, and 6954 got 0 -- yes, zero -- racks and 82 occupied well positions east of the Bike Shop/Zeda's at 0412. At 0411, there had been AY-4 activity, and they would remain a constant intermittent for the balance of the trip. The GL WLs were at Stop, so a swing-by was made to the platform where the ELs were all at Stop, but WB head and ditch lights were now on 1 up by the Water Street OHB. A return to the Bike Shop/Zeda's was made, and KCIR 5948 -- now on 2 -- was east of the Bike Shop/Zeda's at 0418.
The FG 2 WL was at Approach, getting dropped by FI-2 at at 0422. West of the UGB on 1 were a few shorties with a marker on the easterly end, and -- no surprise -- the FI-1/2 parking spot was MT at 0425. 0428 was when a breaking D-3 gave a 241 to POED with the 7534, all other deets lost.
0430 was when 22K was sitting west and clear of the North Leominster platform on 2, 4 company gons sat on the RVJ stub and cuzza RVJ lot activity, the Approaches on the EB staggers for Derby were seen from Nashua Street.
AY-4 continued -- elevation and topography cooperating -- to make their presence known, and starting at 0451, D-3 would reach out a number of times to AYPO, eventually getting a response and asking if they thought they could make to School Street, Lowell to tie down, the hashed-to-me response getting a D-3 0505 roger.
  by jaymac
 
0255-0455/02-03-2021 was spare on clarity, mebbe cuz the earlier snowmageddon had compromised some antennas, possibly even the Ayer Yard Channel repeater.
Not even Yard Channel garble got to me until 0319 and 0321. At 0322, there was Dispatcher-side garble with "OK" and "Roger" being clear, followed at 0324 by "Disregard that."
Increased clarity would come at 0326 when D-3 asked Q426 if they were still shoving, whatever 426 said and whatever D-3's response to that might be getting hashed.
At 0330, the 333 WLs were dark, and at 0332 another hash period lasting for about 5 minutes started. The 334 ELs were at Stop and the 334 1 stagger and 335s dark. Just about 0340, D-3 reached out to AE01 with a change of plans, deets lost to me, thanks to Mount Wachusett.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were and would remain dark. Not only was the yard MT, but like the #2, showed no signs of any activity, assuming snow-topped rails are a valid indicator. Mebbe account buried switches, but naught for or from the PW did seem a trifle strange.
Garbles resumed on the EB leg of the trip, and at 0402, the 333 WLs were dark. Further east, the 330.8 WBs were both at Clear and the 330 WLs and ELs all at Stop. The GL and FG WLs were dark, and at 0418, KCIR 5948 -- a probable contributor to at least some of the garbles -- sat on East Side at the westerly end of covered hoppers as the C more than earned his pay. Other folks were as well, given the numbers of ongoing and unattributable car countdowns.
Post refueling stop and at 0430, the EB staggers for Derby were dark, and the 4 company gons on the RVJ stub with plowed snow as well as rust-welding to complicate any near-term pickup.
At 0431, there was another spate of garble, clearing up enough for somebody to give somebody else a car number and advise that it was on the westerly end.
0433 would be when somebody called out, "OK ahead, POAY," and 0434 was when 7400's C or AC advised the E that the air was good and that she was back on the train, this from a presumed portable about 12 miles away. Ah! Antenna altitude with naught in the way!
At 0439, D-3 acknowledged that POAY was ready to cancel G303, that followed by hash to, from, or about 426. At 0442 and in altered phrasing, D-3 advised that G303 had been fulfilled at 0439, adding that when POAY became AYPO, they were to pick up the 7523 which had died on AY-4. Shopping a GE at Waterville, not Deerfield?
Last words at 0455? Hash.
22K? EDPO? Dunno.
  by jaymac
 
Tnx- The storm damage had slipped what passes for my mind.
  by jaymac
 
0255-0450/02-05-2021 started off -- again -- quiet, the first proof of scanner function coming at 0406 from P&W Dispatcher St. Albans, phrasing that still seems strange.
At 0313, there was hash that seemed to include "ED-8," phrasing that had become strange, so mebbe I misheard. That was followed by D-3 semiclarity asking if somebody had stopped by the San-Vel switch on the #1. Mebbe ED-8 was the rack-bearer for 22K, and to save suspense, naught would be heard to, from, or about 22K during the listening period.
D-3 frequently hashes, but today was the first time the hashing occurred when I was in and around Sterling Center, normally a clear spot.
At 0321, FI-2 announced they were west and clear of CPF-FG, and a minute later somebody started some car countdowns.
At 0324 and with Mount Wachusett now a factor, there was hashing on both sides of Channel 1 that would include at 0326 something about a runaround.
At 0329, the 333 WLs were dark, and 3 later, D-3 would get into a semi-broken convo with AY-5 about clearing up for AYPO, AY-5 being both stronger and clearer than D-3.
As a hedzup, the stretch of Development Road leading down to 5th Mass. Turnpike has still gotten only marginal plow attention and is cleared just over a lane wide. If you're on it in the near term, hope that here's no one else in the opposite direction.
Yes, the 334 ELs were at Stop and the 334 1 stagger and 335s dark.
At 0339, Q427 -- more about which later -- called out to D-3, but increasing distance from 427 and Mount Wachusett being between the Paxton antenna and me limited any further info.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were and would remain dark. Starting on the Extension were 1 rack, 3 tanks, and then a whole string of racks out towards the westerly FP. Yard 2 had racks and mebbe other stuff, and Yard 4 was totally obscured. Today's possible optimist was sitting in back of Chair City Oil , and the Jade lot was MT.
The EB trip was quiet until 0358 Yard Channel hash, and at 0401, the 333 WLs were dark. At 0406, D-3 garbled something to an unheard-by-me FI-2. The 330.8 WBs were at Clear, the 330 WLs and ELs at Stop, and the GL and FG WLs dark. At 0419, KCIR 5948 sat dark and facing east in the FI-1/2 parking spot, and at 0419, there was an exchange of Yard Channel hash. The EB staggers for Derby were dark and -- no surprise -- 4 company gons still sat on the RVJ stub at at 0422.
0429 produced an AYPO car countdown, and 0439 was the start of a D-3/427 exchange, first fulfilling 426's Form D G331 at 0440 -- 426's X7.8 crossing noise having woken me up at 1030/02-04 -- and then giving 0441 as the time effective for Form D G302 -- X25 to Burncoat. The power IDs for both 426 and 427 were mushed, as was 427's train info. Train length musta been respectable cuz the hazmat locations ended at car 75. The usual request for time into DCS was made, that possibly acknowledged by D-3 mush at 0445.
At 0448, AY-3 called out brokenly to D-3 with something about 15 cars, the Milling loop, 4, 11, and the Thorofare, D-3 advising that they wouldn't be able to get up to the Milling and to tie it down there.
AY-4 wasn't heard to, from, or about, but that was no surprise, given the varying Hill Yard presences of AY-5, AY-3, AYPO, and Q426/7.
  by jaymac
 
0254-0455/02-09-2021 started off with POAY telling 426 to come on down. A few spurts of static would be all until 0314 when FI-2 reached out to D-3, changes in distance and topography hashing the receptions of what they had to say to each other, but at least showing that POAY, Q426, and FI-2 would be at least the suspects for further static.
At 0327, the 333 WLs were dark, the usual pattern of Stops for the 334 ELs and darkness for the 334 1 stagger and 335s in full force.
The next clear reception come at 0340 and almost at the crest of Rte. 2 WB -- "FI-3, OK ahead." The 345 ELs and WLs were at Stop, and double-stack trashes were on the 2 on the Timpany Boulevard UGB and however far west. As might be expected, the FI-3 C was dealing with some uncooperative switches while the power -- E-W NS 6924, NewBlue 3405, and NS 9653 -- sat on the Extension. Yard 2 had a mix of scattered racks and general, and a clear-tented lumber centerbeam was visible on Yard 4 through a gap. Dunno what else there mighta been. My doing the heavy looking-on sure wasn't helping the C throw heavy switches, so I was EB, hearing the 0353 "FI-3, back it up, clear for 10" start of a countdown.
At 0402, the 333 WLs were still dark, and with only a few spurts of static, the 330.8 WBs were Clear and the 330 WLs and ELs all at Stop.The GL and FG WLs were both dark, and at 0417, the FI-1/2 parking spot was MT, no surprise since the 0324 FI-2 signal strength suggested somewhere between Ayer and Derby.
0417 was also when a breaking D-3 to now-AYPO, the lack of altitude differential and surplus of topographical blockage limiting understanding of further developments.
22K with no racks up front was sitting on the 2 at North Leominster with NSs 6951 and 6971. The leader was just east of the westerly end of the platform suggesting a recrew, no surprise given the Hill Yard activity, and at 0428, the EB staggers for Derby were both at Approach. FI-2 to the east? Never heard, except for 0431 and a both-sides-hashed D-3/FI-2 convo that coulda hinted Ayer. Yep, 4 company gons were still on the RVJ stub.
At 0440, D-3 reached out to AYPO, advising he was ready to copy. The presumed train info wasn't repeated, but an OK on signal indication came at 0441.
0442 was when D-3 turned his attention to Q427, telling them to stand by a moment, then advising them at 0443 that he could barely make them out. I next had the same trouble with D-3 for what coulda been his fulfillment of 426's Form D. After confirming the new leader was CSXT 5264, D-3 issued Form D G304 --time effective 0446 -- for X25 to Burncoat, saying D-3 was out after some more garble. The rest of the trip was quiet for me.
Given the newpylong and atholrail posts about assignment changes, it does seem the the PAS part of the PAR/S isn't making time for the sale to be finalized.
  by jaymac
 
jaymac wrote: Given the newpylong and atholrail posts about assignment changes, it does seem the the PAS part of the PAR/S isn't making time for the sale to be finalized.
That shoulda been "marking time."

0240-0450/02-11-2021 being as cold as the landlord's heart, the offerings were sparse. There had been crossing noise heard from inside ~0240, which would later be confirmed as Q426.
Starting at 0307, there would be some Yard Channel hash. 0315 would bring more -- but unattributable -- clarity with "just cleared the light. followed on Road side by "power is back onto the switch," followed by more -- but only occasional -- hash.
At 0323, the 333 WLs were dark, and as you might guess, the 334 ELs were at Stop and the 334 1 stagger and 335s dark. There had been Dispatcher-side at 0329, Mount Wachusett a factor.
Up Da Hill, the 345s were dark and the yard MT except for 3 non-placarded tanks on 1 just west of the Yard Lead switch. Dunno if that meant that FI-3 and/or POED were and/or was already west, naught being heard to, from, or about either of those folks.
The EB trip was quiet until 0352 when D-3 reached out to AY-3. At 0354, the 333 WLs were dark, and D-3's advice to AY-3 about AY-5 got a bit hashed. The follow-up to the ? about whether AY-3 was planning to clear up wherever "there" was got totally ZombieZoned.
Further east, the 330.8 WBs were both at Clear and the 330 WLs and ELs all at Stop. At 0401 and in between the dark GL and FG WLs, D-3 rogered somebody and asked if there were any hazardous, the response and acknowledgment not getting to me.
At 0407, the FI-1/2 parking spot was MT. Post-refueling stop, there was more hash on Yard Channel, and at 0422, the EB staggers for Derby were dark, 4 company gons still on the RVJ stub.
0430 would bring AY-4 calling out to Q426, then D-3 telling whomever that he was out, and then more hash. Hash would sporadically close out the trip, leading me to wonder if the Ayer Yard Channel repeater was OOS.
If 22K was ever involved in a discussion, those words never reached my ears.
  by arthur d.
 
JayMac, a completely off topic question if I may, given your knowledge of the area: Coming down the hill from Gardner on the south side of route 2, located, I think in Westminster, one can see a rather large smokestack sticking up out of the woods, all by itself, no plant or mill around to account for it. Might you have an idea what industry it may have served? Perhaps the fabled Keebler elf hollow tree?
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