• Is this switcher still at Fort Drum?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Marty Feldner
A nephew is stationed at Drum; I've asked him (he isn't a railfan, but he knows that members of his family are).
Last edited by Marty Feldner on Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by tree68
If it's there, it's probably inside the unloading shed, it's usual home back in the day.
  by BR&P
I gather it was used just for moving coal at the power plant, as opposed to switching cars around the base? Or would it have been used for general switching of anything ion the base?
  by tree68
While I was working there, it was used almost exclusively for feeding the cogen plant. I do seem to recall an instance or two when it was used to move other cars - more than likely because CSX, which normally handled such moves, wasn't available when needed.
  by Marty Feldner
I was at Drum (I still want to call it Camp Drum) earlier this week; No sign of the unit, and no one I asked remembered it- the posted photo is from 16 years ago. The plant, formerly coal fired, was converted several years ago to 'renewable biomass' (i.e. trees). Stored outdoors in huge piles, it comes in by the truckload from local sources, so no rail switching needed. The tracks, according to my nephew, are now used for flatcar loading of equipment for deployment moves, as happened in October- loading ramps have been built at the east end of the four tracks.
  by tree68
They've been loading vehicles on flatcars in the "east" or "marshalling" yard for years - they were doing so well before I retired there ten years ago. They can also load auto racks there. They did get a significant chunk of money to improve the area, and I don't get out there all that often so I don't know exactly what is there now.

The "west" or "coal" yard was where they held the coal/coke for use at the power plant. They also load containers at the west yard. That's were the runaway originated some years ago.

The power plant switcher was rarely used to move military cars. CSX handled that.

"Gasoline Alley" was reduced to two lands from the former four. In the area of the marshalling yard they've reconfigured the pavement to allow staging of vehicles for loading.

As trivia - at one time there was a large earthen ramp in the facility engineers/public works area for the purpose of gravity dumping of coal for use in heating the buildings at the fort. There were still coal bins (complete with coal) at many of the "World War II" buildings into the 1980's.