• Gardner Gawking

  • Pan Am Southern (webssite: https://panamsouthern.com ) is jointly-owned by CSX and Norfolk Southern, but operated by Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary Pittsburg & Shawmut dba Berkshire and Eastern,
Pan Am Southern (webssite: https://panamsouthern.com ) is jointly-owned by CSX and Norfolk Southern, but operated by Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary Pittsburg & Shawmut dba Berkshire and Eastern,

Moderator: MEC407

  by jaymac
ON a 05-31-2011 0850 drive-by, Gardner was quiet, with open track space. Sitting on the Heywood were an open and MT box and a bulkhead loaded with steel sheets. Crickets could be heard.
  by jaymac
For the 0705 06-02-2011 drive-by, the MT box and steel-on-bulkhead flat were still on the Heywood. Really old OldPaint 351 was sitting solo at the east end of the yard. Also in various places in the yard were racks, a mix of freight, and some PW coal loads. Sitting on the old T layover was a string of stone hoppers, so mebbe things will be happening.
  by jaymac
Sometime before 1035 06-07-2011, stone was dumped at various spots in the yard.
The bulkhead flat still has its steel and the doors on both side of the boxcar have been shut to reveal thoroughly weathered LVRC reporting marks, for anyone with a camera and desire to add to his or her LVRC Life-List. There were boxcars on the Dead Track, which might indicate that the Heywood has become the Top-of-Da-Hill RIP track, especially if the cars on the Dead Track are NEWW-bound. If the Heywood cars are RIPs, they still have months to go before they can challenge the two black tanks for the championship of dwell time.
  by jaymac
In and around 0900 on 06-17-2011, a substantial string of MT PW coal hoppers was occupying 2 through the curves west of the Pleasant Street OH bridge. There was also a good mix of racks and general freight in the yard. The covered hopper that had been spotted and the LVRC box that had been re-spotted by the ED190 of 06-09 on the old T layover track were still there. Down Da Hill at Wachusett, an ECT with NSs 8790, 2694, and 8828 on the the pad was waiting for a new crew, and even further down Da Hill, 495ED would be picking up cars at Ayer not too far ahead of AYMO, so possible traffic jams -- aided and abetted by wet rail -- for the higher elevations of D-3 seemed like a possibility, especially if 2 hadn't been cleared.
  by frrc
Passed by the yard at 05:30am this morning, and there was a SPERRY rail inspection car on one of the sidings.

  by jaymac
Got there too late on 06-22-2011 to see ED190 come into Gardner, but -- by radio -- it brought racks. Did, however, get see some of its preparations for heading west as 190ED with NewBlue 352 and OldPaint 351. MT racks were just behind the power as various other tracks in the yard were picked up. There was even what looked like an OMYA covered hopper. After the usual back-and-forth-and-3-step-applied-and-3-step-released dance-moves, ED190 pulled out onto 2, which seems in need of the professional help of a tamper, and sat waiting for 495ED to get up Da Hill and get past. I had a deficit of patience and a surplus of other things to do, so I departed, but did hear 190 call 495 clear and barely heard the Parkers talker fire up a bit before noon.
  by jaymac
Things were a bit busy pre-noon on 06-24-2011. FI-1 with 347 and 3 boxes pulled onto the Heywood at 1036 in front of an uncrewed MOAY on 1. The 346.6 talker had fired up at 1034, and ED495 on 2 was east of CPF-345 at 1052 with NewBlue 606 and OldPaint 619 plus 42, including 3 distinct blocks of covered hoppers, none of which were Ciment Quebec. A bit further to the east, an uncrewed and solo NewBlue 607 was sitting on the 1 pad at Wachusett, leading a bunch of eventual Hill climbers that extended around the reverse curves. AYMO was starting to make up, so it probably would be an equally busy afternoon in the fabled higher elevations of PAS Country.
  by jaymac
As of 1230 on 06-30-2011, the LVRC box that had been on the old T track had gone elsewhere, but the covered hopper was still there.
PW's Gardner Switcher had been talking with D-3 on and off, so I hung around. Around 1315, 4003 nosed into the yard with 30 racks and 3909 on the tail. The PW crew asked D-3 if the 6 racks -- supposedly loads for Ayer -- on yard 1 were the ones they had brought in yesterday. The PW switcher was supposed to hook up with an EB -- variously ED495 or Auto Extra -- that would be due in in a couple of hours to take rack loads south. There were other cars for the PW that the crew wanted next to the power, so some fancy dancing on all the yard tracks got all 30 MT racks spotted for WB PAS pickup, the six aforementioned loaded racks were on yard 1 for the EB, the PW power got married, and the crew couldn't raise D-3 to find out how much longer before the promised EB materialized. The three cars closest to the southbound power were flats with short bulkheads carrying new and heavy 78-foot stick rail. Since I can occasionally repel trains, I did my part and left at 1515, but over the next quarter-hour, there was no D-3 chatter for Gardner.
The weather was nice.
  by jaymac
So I just saw on NERAIL. The Makita cap a few feet above boney knees in the Jade lot was me.
  by jaymac
On 07-02-2011 at 1015, a solo, shiny, and unattended PW 2008 was on the the east end of a buncha racks in the yard. The crew coulda canned or been on lunch. No other PW power was visible. There was another string of racks on 4 in the yard , but those coulda come in with an earlier Gardner Switcher.
  by jaymac
On 07-11-2011 at 0820, pretty much the principal occupants of the yard were racks. One major exception was SRS 128 sitting on the Bull Run, headed east. There must be a bunch more of -- to kick it old school -- Go-Real-Slow orders.
On the going-really-slow theme, if you're driving past the Jade up towards the three-way intersection with Main and Chestnut Streets, pay attention to the 25 mph sign. Gardner PD had an unmarked handing out expensive autographs. Coming down Chestnut Street to Main, there was also a stop sign set in a bucket, which may pop up in random places.
  by jaymac
The 07-20-2011 PW Gardner Switcher got D-3 permission to enter the yard at 1315. 3901 (which appeared on the PW forum in the <Locos Behind Shops 07-08-2011> thread under TOMT7X's 07-19-2011 posting as having blown a turbo, so PW shop crews must be both good and quick, or the damage wasn't catastrophic) led in 1 MT rack and 16 more plus 3909 carrying the EOT. A few of the 16 were apparently-MT Sullivans. The Gardner-bounds got set out on 4, the power wedding took place, and things headed south around 1400 with one plug-door box, bound --according to Worcester -- for the Journal-Bulletin. If it was Maine/Maritimes newsprint, that woulda been very slow/interesting routing.
One car of interest was left sitting on Yard 1, an articulated rack for Ayer. How and when it got set out and why it was still there were mysteries left unanswered. Also unanswered was when AYMO would appear. There was no audible radio discussion of it as of 1500.
  by jaymac
There are times when -- except for the sizzling of the Jade's woks -- you can just about hear the Gardner grass get taller. 07-21-2011 was not such a day. There was an 0800 or so MOAY/AYMO meet detailed in the <Yet Another Late MOAY Plus, 07-21-2011> post. During this event, OldPaints 351 and 512 plus cars were sitting on the Dead Track and Quaboag/ESPN 1701 was at the west end of the yard.
A few hours later, the earlier business replicated itself. FI-1 with OldPaint 347 plus 6 boxes got out of the way and onto the Heywood at 1212. The 351 and 512, now apparently 190ED, picked up the Quaboag/ESPN 1701 and headed west with what seemed very much like the 16 cars the PW had dropped the day before, getting west of the yard at 1235.
Now it was POED's turn. NS 9527 and OldPaints 617, 314, 614, and 332 combined with the just-arrived PW Gardner Switcher -- BFFs 3901 and 3909 -- to do set-outs and pick-ups that probably would last after 1400 and quite possibly temporarily clean out the yard.
On days like this, conductors must wonder if they made the right career choice.
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