• How NS uses the Royalton Branch?

  • Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
  by train2
I was in Harrisburg the other morning and a one-unit empty coal train arrived north (or west) bound using the Royalton branch into downtown Harrisburg. I was preparing to watch a morning AMTK head out and saw this train coming into town on the parallel section of track.

Anyone able to explain how NS uses this line and what traffic moves this route vs. going over Shocks Mills to Enola?

If anything I thought a coal empty would have gone to Enola?

  by LCJ
First of all, Enola is not a destination for empty coal trains, but merely a stopover point on the way back to the mine. Royalton Branch is a viable alternative for a train headed west of Harrisburg for reloading.
  by train2
Thanks I was aware it could be used as a through route.

I hoping someone can indicate what pattern NS uses on regular basis?

Is it mainly for the pig train to Balto, empty hoppers headed west, etc? Those kinds of things whould be helpful.

  by LCJ
I guess that is what you asked for. Sorry I can't be more helpful, as I've been away from there for several years.

Historically, it was used as you said (IM to Baltimore, through mty coal). Remember also that this route can get you to Enola via Rockville, something we did on occasion when the east end of Enola was congested (when wasn't it?).

  by jgallaway81
Loaded coal buckets will also use the Roy as a route. I've seen that a couple times sitting at CP-HBG.

Usually you can tell which loads are bound for where based on how the coal is loaded in the hopper... heaps of coal are bound for various powerplants, where as the trains where the coal has been 'smoothed' down to within a couple inches of the top of the hopper usually are bound for Amtrak lines.

Pigs and single level stacks (single stack'd wells, spines & flats) are run on the Roy, LD & MT coal, and a couple of locals I believe also use the line.

As for a traffic pattern, I'd have to say that when the Enola is exceptionally tied up, its possible to see thes trains.

Unfortunately, I can't help any further, I left HBG Consolidate Terminal last Sept after getting married, I moved to Altoona.